<span class="padlock_text"></span> v27 #1 From the Reference Desk

by | Mar 27, 2015 | 0 comments

by Tom Gilson  (Associate Editor, Against the Grain, and Head of Reference Emeritus, College of Charleston,  Charleston, SC 29401)

Dirty Deals?  An Encyclopedia of Lobbying, Political Influence, and Corruption (2014, ISBN: 978-1-61069-245-8, $294; e-ISBN: 978-1-61069-246-5, call for pricing) is a recent release from ABC-CLIO.  Edited by Amy Handlin, this three-volume set is devoted to a fundamental but often disparaged and abused activity within the American political process.  Lobbying and the resulting political influence, not to mention corruption that of comes with them, have been part of our democracy since the beginning, and this work sets out to clarify their roles and impacts.

Ms. Handlin attempts to accomplish her mission by employing a flexible approach in covering the topic.  The Encyclopedia is designed so that each of the volumes can stand alonewhile at the same time hold together as a viable, integrated reference.  The first volume provides an anthology of essays that deal with the three major themes of lobbying, political influence, and corruption, while the second consists of background articles on selected and relevant topics.  The third volume excerpts numerous primary documents and places them in context and includes Federal laws, U.S. court decisions, Executive Orders, codes of conduct, and lobbyist registration documents.

The essays in the first volume lay a thoughtful and solid foundation in discussing basics like the origins and history of lobbying as well as up-to-date concerns like the role of social networking and overseas lobbying.  Topics like campaign finance reform, the watchdog role of the press, and the roots and impacts of corruption are also given thorough attention.  The essays are scholarly and replete with facts and informed opinion.  Each essay also has an impressive bibliography, adding real academic value for serious researchers.  The articles in Volume Two include biographies of people ranging from Jack Abramoff to Thomas Nast and Abe Fortas as well as entries that discuss relevant laws, concepts, events, and groups and associations.  They are linked by “see also” references and have very brief lists of suggested readings.  The primary sources making up the third volume are introduced by an overview, lending context followed by a substantial excerpt from the original.

Dirty Deals?  An Encyclopedia of Lobbying, Political Influence, and Corruptionoffers students a well-rounded and thoughtful treatment of a unique and often hidden aspect of American politics.  As such, it will complement CQ Press’ well respected and authoritative Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States (2011, ISBN: 9781604264579; e-ISBN: 9781608717569, $215) on the reference shelf.  And with each volume being able to stand on its own, the set could easily find a home in circulating collections.  The set is available in both print and as an eBook.



Salem Press has released another in the Defining Documents in American History series.  The 1930s (1930-1939) (2015, ISBN: 978-1-61925-495-4, e-ISBN: 978-1-61925-496-1, $175) is a collection of essays that place in context some 50 primary source documents and by doing so, provides a sense of what America was like during that pivotal decade.  The collection is edited by Michael Shally-Jensen, and the essays are written by thirteen different contributors.

The volume is organized by six categories including Setting up the New Deal;  Unemployment and Relief;  Women, Minorities, and Youth; the Bonus Army;  Foreign Policy;  and Culture, Crime, and More.  Aside from the actual document, each essay follows a set formula and provides an overview, defining moment, author biography, document analysis, and essential themes.  In any collection like this the selection of documents is a key factor, and this collection offers a diverse and representative mix.  Documents range from an FDR Fireside Chat and a letter from a young woman named Grace recounting the devastation of the Dust Bowl to a plea for justice by one of the Scottsboro boys and a radio report of the HindenburgDisaster.  Many of the documents are brief, but they, along with their accompanying essays, serve to capture and clarify events, social concerns, political issues, government actions, and other broader themes.  Each essay ends with a short bibliography of additional readings.  Providing added value is a listing of the documents by date, an annotated list of Web resources, a collected bibliography, and a general index.

1930s (1930-1939) is a single-volume work that will be as at home on circulating shelves as it is in reference collections.  It provides a thoughtful reflection of America during a decade that laid the foundation for much of what was to follow in the Second World War and beyond.  Although intended for high school students and undergraduates with its user-friendly organization and accessible writing style, this book will also appeal to interested lay readers.

As is the case with all Salem Press reference books, free access to the online version is available with every print purchase.  As mentioned in other reviews of Salem Press titles, this practice allows libraries to place the print volumes in circulation while relying on the electronic version for reference.



Guide to Reference: Essential General Reference and Library Science Sources (2014, 978-0-8389-1232-4, $65) adds to the list of single-volume works drawn from ALA’s highly respected Guide to Reference database.  This book gathers together general reference and library science reference sources and provides an annotated listing of those Web and print resources deemed most relevant and useful.

The book is organized into two main sections.  The first, and larger, of the two draws from the 5,600 general reference works listed in the Guide to Reference database.  In culling from the database, the editors focus on essential general reference tools in areas like bibliography, biography, genealogy, and core geography, as well as those found in formats ranging from dissertations to encyclopedias and from newspapers to the Web.  The second smaller section of the book lists those works of most value to library and information professionals as well as aspiring library students.  This section is further subdivided by two categories:  general works and professional practice.  The general works section is organized by formats as diverse as user guides, fact books, blogs, dictionaries, and databases.  The professional practice section includes coverage of everything from administration and assessment to reader’s advisory and reference to cataloging and collection development.

As is the practice in the other books in this series, each source is assigned an entry number and given full bibliographic information along with a descriptive and evaluative annotation that helps the reader assess its purpose and usefulness.  While electronic resources are more dominant, there are still a number of print resources listed.

Guide to Reference: Essential General Reference and Library Science Sources provides not only a list of top-notch general information sources for answering individual queries, guiding researchers, and building useful collections, it also offers a real sense of the scope of the reference literature in the areas covered.  And in the case of the library and information science sources, it points to the growing level of professionalism being attained in the field.  Reference and collection development librarians, not to mention library science students, will want to invest in this handy and affordable guide.



Extra Servings

A couple of new references will be added to the Salem Press catalog.

  • Psychology & Behavioral Health, 4th Edition (March 2015, 978-1-61925-543-2; $495; e-ISBN: 978-1-61925-544-9, $495) is edited by Nancy A. Piotrowski and offers “a comprehensive five-volume set thatcovers notable theories, people, social issues, life stages, the physiology and anatomy of the nervous system, and various mental illnesses or conditions, all in a simple, easy-to-use A-Z format…”
  • Adolescent Health (July 2015, 978-1-61925-545-6, $395; e-ISBN: 978-1-61925-546-3, $395) is a three-volume resource “covering all aspects of Adolescent health, including Drugs & Addictions, Going Online, Sexual Health, Health Myths, Your Mind & Body…  Adolescent Health provides over 600 essays on the most important topics surrounding adolescent health…”

SAGE Reference is adding a few new titles to its list in the coming months.

  • The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Counseling and Psychotherapy.  (Mar. 2015, 978-1-4522-7412-6; e-ISBN: 978-1-4833-4650-2, $375) is a two-volume reference edited by Dr. Edward S. Neukrug that “examines the global landscape of all the key counseling and psychotherapy theories along with the theorists behind them. Presenting the information in context, making it easy to understand the theories’ strengths and weaknesses, this quick, one-stop resource gives the reader the “who, what, where, how, and why” of contemporary counseling and psychotherapy theory….”
  • The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law (April 2015, 9781452274355, $350) is edited by William A. Babcock and William H. Freivogel and “is an authoritative and rigorous two-volume, issues-based reference set that surveys varied views on many of the most contentious issues involving mass media ethics and the law.  Divided into six thematic sections covering information from contrasting ethical responsibility and legal rights for both speech and press, newsgathering and access, and privacy to libelous reporting, business considerations, and changing rules with social media and the Internet, the information in this guide is …relevant to a variety of audiences…”
  • The SAGE Encyclopedia of Classroom Management (May 2015, 9781452241395, $375) is a two-volume set edited by W. George Scarlett that “raises issues and introduces evidence-based, real-world strategies for creating and maintaining well-managed classrooms where learning thrives.  Students studying to become teachers will need to develop their own classroom management strategies consistent with their own philosophies of teaching and learning.  This work aims to open their eyes to the range of issues and the array of skills they might integrate into their unique teaching styles…”

The next few months will also see a couple of new titles from CQ Press.

  • State Rankings 2015: A Statistical View of America(April 2015, 978-1-4833-8505-1, $160) is a single-volume work by Kathleen O’Leary Morgan and Scott Morgan that is published annually and “features comprehensive state statistics making it easy to compare states across key measures in education, health, crime, transportation, taxes, government finance, and so much more. The editors compile useful statistics that would otherwise take an enormous amount of time to research, making it a favorite resource on reference shelves throughout the United States and around the world…”
  • Political Handbook of the World 2015 (April 2015, 978-1-4833-7157-3; e-ISBN: 978-1-4833-7159-7, $395) by Thomas Lansford is another single-volume published annually.  This reference will continue to be an … “authoritative source for finding complete facts and analysis on each country’s governmental and political makeup.  Compiling in one place more than 200 entries on countries and territories throughout the world, this volume has coverage of all major and minor political parties and groups in each political system.  It also provides names of key ambassadors and international memberships of each country, plus detailed profiles of more than 30 intergovernmental organizations and UN agencies…”

ABC-CLIO Greenwoodhas a number of new titles in the offing.

  • Contemporary Immigration in America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia (Feb. 2015, 978-0-313-39917-6 $189; e-ISBN: 978-0-313-39918-3, call for pricing) is a two-volume work edited by Kathleen R. Arnold that “examines the role of contemporary immigration in individual states.  This two-volume encyclopedia fills that gap.  Chapters address legal, social, political, and cultural issues of immigrant groups on a state-by-state basis and explore immigration trends and issues faced by individual ethnic populations…”
  • Earth’s Landscape: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Geographic Features(Feb. 2015, 978-1-61069-445-2, $205; e-ISBN: 978-1-61069-446-9, call for pricing)is another two-volume set.  It is authored by Joyce A. Quinn and Susan L. Woodward and “describes continents and oceans; individual mountains, islands, caves, and rivers; and ecological entities such as wildlife refuges and national parks.  Each entry provides a geographic overview of the feature’s significance, location, description, geologic history, biota, protected areas, and environmental issues.  But the coverage goes even deeper so that entries also discuss the cultural importance of each natural place…”

Rowman and Littlefield is also publishing a couple of new reference works.

  • Encyclopedia of Christian Education – 2nd edition (March 2015, 978-0-8108-8492-2, £215.00;  eBook: 978-0-8108-8493-9, £215.00) is edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport.  This reference “explores the many facets of Christian education in terms of its impact on curriculum, literacy, teacher training, outcomes, and professional standards.  This encyclopedia is the first reference work devoted exclusively to chronicling the unique history of Christian education across the globe, illustrating how Christian educators pioneered such educational institutions and reforms as universal literacy, home schooling, Sunday schools, women’s education, graded schools, compulsory education of the deaf and blind, and kindergarten…”
  • Encyclopedia of Archival Science (June 2015, 978-0-8108-8810-4, $125; eBook: 978-0-8108-8811-1, $125) by Luciana Duranti and Patricia C. Franks “features 154 entries, which address every aspect of archival professional knowledge.  These entries range from traditional ideas (like appraisal and provenance) to today’s challenges (digitization and digital preservation).  They present the thoughts of leading luminaries like Ernst Posner, Margaret Cross-Norton, and Philip Brooks as well as those of contemporary authors and rising scholars.  Historical and ethical components of practice are infused throughout the work…”


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