Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations

ISBN 13: 9781414410890

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations

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9781414410890: Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations
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Provides an overview of the world, country by country, with information on population, geography, history, and politics.

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From Booklist:

First published in a single volume in 1960, Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations went through several publishers before it landed under Gale's big tent with the eighth edition in 1995. Since then, this reliable staple of library collections has arrived consistently every few years.

Retaining the structure of past editions, volume 1 covers the United Nations, and the remaining volumes cover Africa, Americas, Asia and Oceania, and urope. A total of 194 countries are profiled, one more (for Montenegro) than in the previous edition. Each country entry begins with a picture of the flag and the national emblem (in black and white) and a digest of facts about the capital, the flag, the national anthem, the monetary unit, the system of weights and measures, national holidays, and the time relative to noon, Greenwich mean time. The digest is followed by 48 uniform sections covering topics in geography, demographics, religion, history, government, economics, and society and culture. One section is devoted to famous people, a feature students will find useful. Each entry also includes a map and a bibliography. All of the bibliographies have been updated and now include a great many titles published since 2000. All facts, figures, and other information have been checked and verified or updated as well.

Although most of this information can be found elsewhere (as we noted in our review of the very first edition), Worldmark has always gotten high marks on the "all in one place" test. Does your library still need it, now that so much country data is easily available online? We checked Worldmark against several standard free sources. Background Notes [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn], produced by the Department of State, has similar information but with more emphasis on political conditions (including a country-by-country summary of each country's foreign relations) and less coverage of society and culture. Country Studies, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army and available through the Library of Congress Web site [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs], offers a considerable amount of detail in its book-length studies but currently covers only 101 regions and even fewer in the attractive Country Profiles area of the site. The World Factbook [https://cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bx.html], produced by the CIA, is also very detailed but not as user-friendly. Although Worldmark has some information that is unique to it (the list of holidays, for example, and the section on famous people), the three online resources have the advantages of links to other Web sites plus (especially as Worldmark ages) more current data. Whether your library continues to provide Worldmark depends largely on very practical questions such as budget, the habits of your patrons, and the availability of terminals for accessing the resources that are available online. For other country resources, see the reviews of Encyclopedia of the World's Nations and Cultures, on p.100, and CultureGrams Online Edition, on p.102. Mary Ellen Quinn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6–9—These new editions of two reference stalwarts trail those published in, respectively, 2004 and 2002. Along with minor updates in statistical and historical content— through spring 2006 for Worldmark, and through March 2005 (with some later notes) for Nations and Cultures— the two have undergone major changes in scope. Worldmark retains its original arrangement, devoting each volume to a continent or group of continents, plus one for the U.N., but has dropped its sixth volume, "World Leaders," completely. Reflecting enhanced coverage of each country's arts, customs, and lifestyles, the Facts On File product has added the words "and cultures" to its former title, and added several topical subsections to each of the alphabetically arranged profiles, from "Human Rights" and "Flora and Fauna" to "Etiquette" and "Personal Appearance." Comments in the more subjective categories are mostly positive or at least neutral. Individual country entries in both encyclopedias are roughly similar-opening with a fact summary and simple, easily reproducible black-and-white map, closing with a resource list, and in between summarizing physical, cultural, and historical highlights in consistent, clearly labeled sections. Worldmark's level of detail tends to be higher than that in Nations and Cultures, though the latter has livelier writing. Unlike Worldmark, however, Nations and Cultures offers a comprehensive subject index. For libraries lacking equivalent online resources or previous versions of these titles, consider the Worldmark to support country assignments, and Nations and Cultures for broader reference. There isn't enough new material here, however, to justify purchasing them as replacements.—John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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