The Encyclopedia of International Boundaries

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9780816032334: The Encyclopedia of International Boundaries
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Presents all existing international boundary lines, along with their history, topographic features, disputes, and present status

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An international group of geographers has compiled this first comprehensive reference source on the land boundaries of 200 contemporary independent states and 35 dependencies. The contributors are from academic institutions in Israel, the U.S., Croatia, and the International Boundaries Research Unit, University of Durham, England.

After an introduction about boundaries in modern states, the work is arranged alphabetically by country. Each entry includes a brief description of the state; its area, population, and political structure; and a summary of its history. Following this general information are sections on its relationship to adjoining nations, with a description of the boundaries, geographic setting, wars and treaties that determined the boundaries, and the present situation. For example, under Bulgaria, there are separate sections on each nation with which it shares a boundary--Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. A cross-reference notes when a boundary has been described in an earlier entry. As a result of the alphabetical arrangement, this results in seven references at the Serbia entry.

Black-and-white, clearly drawn regional maps enable users to see divisions between countries. While latitude, longitude, and scale are shown, maps are not very detailed. They are spread throughout the work without cross-references. The one under Serbia includes Bosnia and Croatia, but there are no cross-references to those entries. Black-and-white photos of some boundary areas are similarly spread through the work. They are not especially sharp and don't enhance the information value of the book.

At the end of the book, a brief glossary includes references to entries in which the terms are used. A list of countries that share boundaries refers the reader to specific pages, serving as an index. A list of maps is arranged as they appeared alphabetically, still not helping the user find the map of Bosnia and Croatia at the Serbia entry. A four-page bibliography is divided by regions of the world and includes current titles. The subject index is arranged by types of boundaries, such as mountain ranges and rivers. It lists which countries border the Danube, for example.

While it is marred by unattractive photos and a lack of map cross-references, the text of this book is clearly and objectively written and current (e.g., noting the new border between Israel and Jordan as of February 1995). It will be useful in geography collections in large public and academic libraries.

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University of Durham International Bound
Published by Facts on File (1995)
ISBN 10: 0816032335 ISBN 13: 9780816032334
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International Boundaries Research Unit, Gideon Biger (Editor)
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ISBN 10: 0816032335 ISBN 13: 9780816032334
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