The Modern World

The Modern World

by Sarolta Takacs

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Angelica Delgado
When students require information on a country or continent, the reference sources to which librarians typically point include demographics, history and economics of the region, and perhaps cultural contributions to the world at large. With volumes titled Civilizations of Africa and Civilizations of Europe, this set suggests it has the potential for usefulness in such an assignment. The five volumes cover the major geographic areas of the world - the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Middle East. Entries are arranged alphabetically and cover selected countries within the area, significant figures, and concepts such as social welfare state and absolutism in an extremely general way. There is no apparent reason for including separate entries for some countries and not for others, and the choice of broad concepts is similarly mystifying. A country subject-specific encyclopedia is not intuitively the first place a student would look to read about, for example, liberation theology. In quasi-defense of this resource, it contains topics to which encyclopedias normally do not devote entire entries, such as the Quebec Separatist Movement. The time lines are plentiful and offer at-a-glance historical tidbits. The large type and text boxes provide an inviting format, but the entries are so general that it is difficult to see how they can be helpful for reports. The photos, maps, further reading recommendations, and listed sources are scant. Students would be better served by using a dependable library staple like World Book Encyclopedia or the CIA World Fact Book for reports. Reviewer: Angelica Delgado
Library Journal

Each book in this five-volume set covers a distinct part of the globe, including the African continent, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and, finally, Asia and the Pacific. Each volume is arranged alphabetically by subject heading. Approximately 45-48 subject entries are discussed in each volume. Varying between one and five pages in length, the individual articles are easy to read. However, because each book has only 150-160 pages, the material is rather limited in depth. Articles about separate countries and territories include geography, culture, and a brief history of that area. All five books present articles discussing the area's agriculture, culture and traditions, literature, religion, and warfare. Compiled by Takács (Vestal Virgins, Sibyls, and Matrons: Roman Women in Religion), the entries also occasionally have sidebars titled "Great Lives," "Turning Point," "Into the Twenty-First Century," and "Modern Weapons." These provide more information on influential people, historical events, projected progress, and modern military equipment. Each book's glossary contains definitions of important terms found in boldface blue type in the book. Numerous maps, time lines, and other illustrations help show current political boundaries as well as historical events and famous people.
—James Langan

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

This engaging, well-written set masterfully chronicles world history from 500 C.E. to the present, with a particular emphasis on how changes throughout the years helped shape contemporary society. The short articles cover topics such as daily life, religion, economy, warfare, government, art and literature, historical events and movements, and technology. Cross-references and a further-reading list are appended to each piece, and maps, time lines, and illustrations expand the work's usefulness. Instructive half- to three-quarter-page extras are included-for example, "Turning Points" introduce cultural and political changes that indelibly shaped society, "Great Lives" profile individuals whose accomplishments were revolutionary; and "Into the 21st Century" entries explain how key events paved the way for developments now and in the future. Compared to the relevant books in the "Lucent Library of Historical Eras" series (Lucent), this set has a stronger emphasis on the events that shaped modern times and that will affect the future.-Hillary Jan Donitz-Goldstein, formerly at New York Public Library

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Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 12.10(h) x 4.80(d)

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