School Library JournalGr 6 UpOriginally published in 1992 (Millbrook; o.p.), the new edition of this doomsayers compendium has the same descriptions of Greek, Roman, and medieval soothsayers; religious extremist groups; panics caused by comets; and early Christian belief in the imminent second coming of Christ. It has been updated with short summaries of some bizarre events that have occurred in the 1990s, including the Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco, TX, the strange end of the Heavens Gate cult, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the deadly sarin attack launched in the Tokyo subway system by a religious group. Cohen also discusses nuclear power instability caused by the dissolution of the Soviet Union plus recent detection and prediction of potentially catastrophic asteroids bound for Earth. Yet, as in the first edition, the author hastens to reassure readers that dire predictions of the worlds end have all proved untrue in the past. He downplays any significance accorded the arbitrary date of 2000 since diverse cultures follow entirely different dating systems. The work fails to mention the Y2K bug. At least 80% of the text and all but two of the black-and-white photos and reproductions are identical to those in the earlier edition. Yet with slightly larger typeface, an eerie new cover illustration, and the updated information, this is an attractive package that improves on its earlier incarnation.Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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