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Gale Environmental Almanac

Hoyle, Russ

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ISBN 10: 0810388774 / ISBN 13: 9780810388772
Published by Gale Research Inc., Detroit, 1993
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From monobooks (Livingston, NJ, U.S.A.)

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First printing. Hardcover in glossy pictorial boards. 684 pages, illustrated. Bookseller Inventory # 001446

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Gale Environmental Almanac

Publisher: Gale Research Inc., Detroit

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Book by Goldsmith, Emanuel S.

From Booklist:

This volume adds a new dimension to the meaning of the word almanac. According to at least two dictionaries, almanacs are annual publications that contain information and statistics in tables, lists, and charts and may include a collection of useful and interesting facts. The 12 chapters in this work, designed "to impart environmental literacy to the reader," are more substantial. They are essays on the historical, political, legal, scientific, and media aspects of environmental issues written by specialists in environmental topics: journalists, professors, and lawyers.

Hoyle, former senior editor at Time, edited the volume with the help of an impressive advisory board. He is responsible for the introductory chapter and the last four chapters, covering climate changes, biodiversity, energy, and pollution and health. Each of the first eight chapters contains directory or tabular information in addition to the essay: a chronology, key historical figures, national parks, environmental organizations and people, lists of federal agencies, common pesticides, law firms, treaties, or publications. One of the most valuable of these is the voting record of each member of Congress in 1990 on specific environmental legislation. Although the stated aim of the work is to "cut through the rhetoric and the posturing of quintessentially political disputes" and to enable readers to come to their own conclusions about what needs to be done, the work takes an advocacy point of view and points out not only the problems, but also directions for change. All the famous names and events in environmental history from John Muir to the Earth Summit in 1992 are included. The volume appears to be up to date through the early administration of Bill Clinton.

The editors have gone to great lengths to make this book visually pleasing. Sidebars outline the qualifications of the author of each chapter. Quotations from the text dot the wide margins. Background information on special topics such as Love Canal appear in boxes. Black-and-white illustrations include photographs of familiar sites such as Three Mile Island, portraits, maps, cartoons, and reproductions of paintings such as George Catlin's Buffalo Chase.

Several problems exist with this otherwise welcome overview. The special features are not listed in the table of contents or in the index, making quick reference to factual material difficult. For example, references to World Wildlife Fund in the index lead to four mentions in the text but do not send the user to an address for the organization that is included in the "Directory of Environmental Organizations" at the end of chapter 3. Much of the information in the special lists at the end of chapters is from sources such as the Gale Environmental Sourcebook, CQ Almanac, Information Please Environmental Almanac, Washington Information Directory, The Federal Yellow Book, Environmental Profiles, and The Green Encyclopedia, many of which libraries own. Therefore, high-school, college, and public libraries may want to use this excellent overview as a textbook or circulating book rather than as a reference book.

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