Roughly twice the size of David M. Brownstone and Irene M. Franck's Dictionary of 20th Century History ( LJ 8/90) and the Twentieth Century: An Almanac ( LJ 10/1/84), this hefty single-volume encyclopedia comprises about 10,000 brief, unsigned articles devoted to the most significant people, places, events, and scientific and artistic developments of this century. The entries, which are arranged alphabetically with access enhanced by numerous internal and external cross references and an index, average about ten per page, and sometimes include bibliographic citations. Most attention is accorded political leaders (e.g., Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill, the Kennedys, Henry and George Wallace, Woodrow and Harold Wilson), but prominent figures from other walks of life (i.e., sports, medicine, literature) are well represented, as are major wars and military engagements, political conferences and movements, court cases, theories, books, plays, and the like. Countries of the world and other key places are also covered, although the criteria for inclusion of place-names is not clear; why, for instance, do California and Florida have entries but not Georgia and Massachusetts? Current as of early 1991, the material is normally presented in an objective manner and written at a level comprehensible to the average newspaper reader. Approximately 750 black-and-white illustrations and 250 maps complement the articles. Although the aforementioned Dictionary of 20th Century History is comparable in organization and costs only $24.95, many libraries will still want the Encyclopedia because it is the largest and most current source of its kind.-- Ken neth F. Kister, author of ``Best Encyclopedias,'' Tampa, Fla.
YA-- A comprehensive A-to-Z guide to the important people, places, events, and ideas that have shaped the contemporary world, with an emphasis on people--statesmen, artists, stage and sports figures, scientists and authors. An invaluable resource for any school library.
Subtitled, A comprehensive A-to-Z guide to the important people, places, events and ideas that have shaped the contemporary world. The formidable tasks of selection and compaction seem to have been accomplished with skillful eyes for what information must be included to give readers a basic understanding of a subject in relation to the 20th century and what might be included to pique curiousity and convey "flavor". Eight thousand entries, many (but not most) with at least a few references for further reading, are interspersed with sensibly selected b&w photos--one or two per spread. Includes cross-references and a detailed index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)