The Oxford Dictionary of the World

ISBN 13: 9780198600602

The Oxford Dictionary of the World

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9780198600602: The Oxford Dictionary of the World
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From Tintern Abbey to Timbuktu, Loch Ness to the Limpopo River, the ABC Islands to the Zuider Zee--Oxford's Dictionary of the World is a testament to the fascinating diversity of the planet Earth.
Combining the expertise of one of the world's foremost gazetteer compilers with that of the Oxford dictionaries department, it is the most up-to-date world geographic dictionary available today. Fourteen regional geographical experts vetted the text to ensure its authority and accuracy and both text and maps reflect the latest political realities, including the new nations of Slovakia, Eritrea, and the states of the former USSR and Yugoslavia. Indispensable for up-to-the-minute reference, and a fascinating browse for the armchair traveller, the Dictionary of the World covers:
* Countries (profiles of every nation, dependency, and area of special sovereignty in the world)
* Regions
* Peoples, languages, and religions
* Cities and major towns
* Natural features (such as rivers and mountains)
* Famous buildings, sites, and monuments (The Taj Mahal, Hyde Park, The Empire State Building)
* Ancient sites (Troy, Masada, Stonehenge)
Each of the 15,000 entries incorporates detailed statistics and descriptions of population, topography, history, industry, and special features of interest. Locator maps are included with each country description--federal maps are provided for major nations--together with a 16-page, full-color world map section and 30 appendices of world geographical and statistical information.

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About the Author:


About the Editor:
David Munro is a research fellow at The University of Edinburgh and a member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. The compiler of several world gazetteers, he has led a number of expeditions to the tropical forests of Central America.

From Booklist:

The slow shifting of tectonic plates and the occasional cataclysm such as a volcano aside, the physical world remains fairly constant, but the political world superimposed on it changes much more frequently. The Oxford Dictionary of the World sets out to describe the features of the physical world but also takes note of the political. Its "core text of 3,000 entries was drawn from The Oxford English Reference Dictionary (1995)" and was expanded by "the addition of 7,000 new entries and reference data relating to some 5,000 locations."

The resulting A-to-Z entries identify and describe inhabited places, physical features such as named rivers and mountains, and major political entities such as nations, autonomous republics or regions, and provinces. They also define elements of the physical landscape and social and political phenomena associated with places. For example, the dictionary includes the entries darya (Persian for river); scarp slope (the steep slope of a hill); Korean (the language); and Iroquois (the league of North American Indian tribes). The dual focus on the physical and the political is evident in the entries themselves. After explaining where a place is, the articles cite population and very briefly recap history and social or political significance.

Several good gazetteers already exist. In scope and size, this is most comparable to The Statesman's Year-Book World Gazetteer (St. Martins, 1991). Although Statesman's provides longitude and latitude coordinates for places and Oxford does not, several factors make Oxford the more appealing and more useful book. First, its page design is more attractive. Second, it incorporates tables that provide more demographic data for major political entities. Each U.S. state entry includes a table giving the population of each county; entries for Germany, Malaysia, Peru, and other countries include similar tables for political subdivisions. Third, Oxford's deeper entries provide more information about the places it describes. Fourth, Oxford includes 250 locator and country maps in black-and-white outline and a 16-page appendix of color maps of the world. Statesman's has no maps. Finally, many political changes have occurred since Statesman's appeared five years ago. Oxford mentions events such as the civil war in Liberia, President Aristide's return to Haiti, and the devastating earthquake in Kobe in 1995.

Oxford does not replace the more comprehensive Chambers World Gazetteer (Chambers, 1988), also edited by David Munro, or Webster's New Geographical Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, 1984), but it is an excellent update and supplement to them.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780198661849: The Oxford Dictionary of the World: The Most Up-to-Date Guide to Countries, People, and Places

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0198661843 ISBN 13:  9780198661849
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1995
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9780195213089: Oxford Dictionary World/Concise Atlas of the World

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