Each print volume in this long-standing series profiles approximately 6-8 novelists, poets, playwrights and other creative writers by providing full-text or excerpted criticism taken from books, magazines, literary reviews, newspapers and scholarly journals. Among those profiled in this volume are: Dorothy Allison Charles Baxter Joy Kogawa Bernard Malamud
From Library Journal:
It's astonishing how few environmental encyclopedias have been published since the first Earth Day 25 years ago, but even if there were many to choose from, Gale's Environmental Encyclopedia would still be a top choice for most school and public libraries. Vast in scope (its almost 1000 pages offer roughly 3000 entries), this work is readable in terms of both content and layout; the content is balanced and accurate overall. Compiled by nearly 100 contributors, this encyclopedia includes definitions, signed articles, and biographical sketches in roughly equal proportions, with entries ranging from "Edward Abbey," "biodiversity," and "cigarette smoke" to "Zebra mussel," "zero risk," and "zooplankton." Entries such as "ecofeminism" are not only defined but given a whole page tracing the movement's inception and development, with references listed for further reading. The book includes extensive cross-referencing and indexing, as well as a chronology of the environmental movement and environmental legislation. Many U.S. laws and agencies are explained (no mean feat!). As always, one can quibble with choices of inclusion and exclusion (why is "asthma" included but not "multiple chemical sensitivity"?). In addition, there is some overlap with the Gale Environmental Almanac (LJ 3/15/94), which devotes more space to long essays. Still, these two Gale companion volumes are preferable to William Ashworth's Encyclopedia of Environmental Studies (LJ 7/90), which is not as intensive. Highly recommended for most reference collections. With a more worldwide scope, Europa's Environment Encyclopedia and Directory is complementary to the title reviewed above. There are five sections; 20 maps (covering climate, population, deforestation, and pollution); a glossary that provides brief definitions of 1000 terms (e.g., Bhopal, ozone, salinization); a directory of environmental organizations (3000 government and nongovernment agencies listed by country and including contact names, addresses, phone and FAX numbers, and a brief description of agency activities); an extensive bibliography of nearly 1000 international periodicals (alphabetical by title and not cross-referenced) with contact, content, and frequency information; and a "Who's Who" of 600 environmental leaders such as Wangari Maathai (Kenyan environmentalist and woman of the year). More useful than the Gale title above for looking up terms like "Arctic Treaty," "Basel Convention," and international leaders and agencies, the Europa volume is less useful for finding basic terminology such as "drift nets" and "food chain." It's worth the high price if a collection needs a current international environmental directory. In the daily business of a typical library, both titles under review are much more useful than Environmental Profiles: A Global Guide to Projects and People (LJ 7/93).
Laura Lipton, Miller Horticulture Lib., Seattle
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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