Reference Reviews | March 15, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Dictionary of American Regional English: Contrastive Maps, Index to Entry Labels, Questionnaire and Fieldwork Data. Vol. 6. Belknap: Harvard Univ. 2013. 1080p. ed. by Joan Houston Hall. maps. index. ISBN 9780674066533. $85. REF

Fans of the long-running project to create the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) have much to cheer and to consider. To cheer: this sixth volume follows its predecessor after only one year, and the work as a whole won this year’s Dartmouth Award for outstanding reference source. To consider: a digital version is slated for launch later this year by Harvard University Press, for which beta testers are currently being recruited. This volume is anchored by 1,600 contrastive maps and a regional index. Many, but not all, maps from volumes one through five have been included, and new ones have been produced, including social-contrast maps indicating factors such as age and education level. Examples include six traditional DARE maps for the base word “potluck”; these identify Indiana as using multiple other words, such as “dinner on the grounds.” A social-contrast map indicates that older people in Indiana, but not many other states, still use the phrase “barn-raising.” Want to learn other words that are likewise special to Indiana? The index section allows searching by state, region, and ethnic background, such as German words. Listings for cities are included with their states—New Orleans appears within Louisiana’s list, for example. Naturally, many items are labeled with reference to the preceding volumes. Here the appeal of a digital version becomes clear; instead of obtaining a second printed volume and following the reference, the reader can simply click a mouse. The DARE project already offers some resources online at, including indexing and basic searching, to be used with the printed resource. Together with Harvard UP, the project has established both a Twitter feed and Facebook page. VERDICT This thorough, fascinating work of scholarship is highly recommended for serious language students, with budget-minded customers encouraged to await release of the digital resource. —Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL

Art in Oceania: A New History. Yale Univ. 2013. 536p. ed. by Peter Brunt & Nicholas Thomas. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300190281. $100. REF

Brunt (art history, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, New Zealand; Tatau/Tattoo ) and Thomas (historical anthropology, Univ. of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Entangled Objects ) present a classic regional art history survey. The visual art of Oceania is not just masks and figures, and this resource presents additional creative forms—rock engravings, tattoos, beaten and stained fabrics, woven cloth and containers, sand drawings, installation art, and more. Covering works discovered in earliest archaeological evidence through those created in the last 50 years, the book pays credence to the impact of changing relations among Pacific peoples as well as their resilience and creativity in the face of globalization. The result is a portrait of Oceanic art as both traditional and innovative. This work is rich with illustrations (over 500), and includes maps of the region. The main text is punctuated by feature and voice essays. VERDICT A crucial resource for teaching that will be of interest to those wanting to form or change their broad perceptions of Oceanic art. —Julia A. Watson, Marywood Univ. Lib., Scranton, PA

Library Journal Reviews starred review Tucker, Spencer C. Almanac of American Military History. ABC-CLIO. 4 vol. 2012. 2524p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598845303. $415. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

This set is perfectly in line with what information professionals have come to expect from this author-publisher team. As the title suggests, the bulk of the work is a chronology of our nation’s wars, rebellions, revolts, and other examples of armed conflict, both here and abroad. Tucker casts a wide net, including events that are not strictly of a military nature but that impinge on the broader story. Entries begin with Norseman Leif Ericson’s 1000 CE landfall at Newfoundland, Canada, and cover strife in the Middle East through December 27, 2011. The text is helpfully divided into sections by major conflict era, which essentially constitute chapters. Therefore, “Forging a Nation” concentrates on the American Revolutionary War, while “Turmoil in the Early American Republic” focuses on the War of 1812, and so on. Each of these discrete units follows a standard format of “Overview,” which is an extended essay sketching out the big picture, followed by “Timeline,” “Documents,” “Statistics,” and “Bibliography.” All entries are fully fleshed out with plenty of particulars regarding journalism’s famous “five w’s.” The set is replete with special features; numerous text boxes contain biographical sketches of major military figures, explanations of various weapons, and statistical snapshots of battles. Generous end matter consists of appendixes listing military ranks, awards/decorations, and overall statistics, along with a glossary of military terms, a bibliography, and chronological and general indexes. While the set is well illustrated with historic prints, paintings, and maps (many taking up a full page for easy viewing), all are in black and white only. Color printing would have enlivened the page and enabled the reader to discern more details of dress and armament, yet this is a quibble. VERDICT Tucker nails it again in these 2,500 pages of excellent writing that cover a wealth of historical information. For these reasons, plus the fact that military events account for a large subset of general American history, this set is heartily recommended for public and academic libraries. For the fullest accounting of our nation’s martial adventures, a supplemental volume is also recommended: The Oxford Companion to American Military History , in which 1,100 entries cover major wars, military leaders, Acts of Congress, peace groups, weapons, and aspects of life in the armed forces. Together, these books should be able to answer just about any question on the subject. —Michael F. Bemis, St. Paul, MN

The following titles are reviewed in the March 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Benson, Philippa J. & Susan C. Silver. What Editors Want: An Author’s Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing. Univ. of Chicago. 2013. 178p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780226043142. pap. $20; ebk. ISBN 9780226043159. REF


A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era: Legislative Achievements. Univ. of Tennessee. ( Voices of the Civil War). 2012. 311p. ed. by Thomas C. Mackey. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781572338692. $49.95. REF

Japan at War: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. 2013. 615p. ed. by Louis G. Perez. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598847413. $100. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF


Jones, Dylan. The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music: From Adele to Ziggy, the Real A to Z of Rock and Pop. Picador. 2012. 912p. index. ISBN 9781250031860. pap. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781250031884. REF


Debates on U.S. Immigration. SAGE. 2012. 624p. ed. by Judith Gans. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781412996013. $115. Online: SAGE Reference Online REF

Library Journal Reviews starred review The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. 2d ed. 3 vols. Oxford Univ. 2012. 2560p. ed. by Andrew F. Smith. illus. index. ISBN 9780199734962. $450. REF

Library Journal Reviews starred review Proquest. Statistical Abstract of the United States 2013. Bernan. 2012. 1048p. index. ISBN 9781598885910. $179. Online: Statistical Abstract Database REF

Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma is Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, and was formerly the reviews editor at Library Journal.