"An interesting, well-written, and valuable source, of interest to scholars and students of political and social movements." - Choice
"A fine reference on modern radical thought and action." - Reference & Research Book News
"The reasonable price and global, gender-balanced approach make this work an attractive reference companion." - Library Journal
"Short bibliographies…[are] a significant and very useful feature since the biographies pack coverage of their subjects' formative influences, thought, activities, and accomplishments into one concise page. Biographies are cast in a reportorial fashion with an objective tone." - Rettig on Reference (Gale.com)
"The body of the book presents compact biographies of 380 20th-century activists from every field of endeavor and every part of the globe. The attention paid to those involved in the arts and letters is refreshing. In addition to the more obvious inclusions, there are some that might surprise, such as Virginia Woolf, R.D. Laing, Selma Lagerlof…. The value of this resource is further enhanced by profiles of more than 80 radical groups and movements. The writing is uniform and graceful. This fine resource provides excellent coverage of radical activism." - School Library Journal
Veteran environmental activist Button has compiled a representative worldwide selection of individuals, organizations, and movements associated with radical activism during its long, 20th-century roller-coaster ride. Button attempts to redress the androcentric and ethnocentric biases of the past: women constitute 42 percent of the 360 sketches in the biographical section, while American and Western European entries are capped at less than 60 percent. A substantial essay placing radicalism in clear historical perspective precedes the biographical sketches, which are followed by a similar sequence for groups and movements. Usually less than a page, the entries are competent though occasionally rather wooden. The lack of inclusiveness may frustrate some (e.g., Why not Norman Thomas? Why not the League for Industrial Democracy?). Nevertheless, the reasonable price and global, gender-balanced approach make this work an attractive reference companion to such titles as Biographical Dictionary of the American Left (Greenwood, 1986) and Encyclopedia of the American Left (Garland, 1990).-Mark R. Yerburgh, Fern Ridge Community Lib., Veneta, Ore.
This handbook aims to satisfy the curiosity and information needs of patrons searching the subjects "radicalism" and "radical," in terms of the left. Compiled by an environmental activist and author of "A Dictionary of Green Ideas", the work is global in scope and includes radicals who worked for social change in a wide variety of areas, from the arts to women's rights. The handbook begins with an explanation of the criteria for inclusion: individuals have to be doers as well as thinkers and have to have worked for radical causes for much of their lives. An essay discusses radicalism in the twentieth century, its radical antecedents (17901860) and "rebirth" (195575). The author says that the 1990s present immense new challenges for the radical movement, but he is optimistic about creating the world that radicals have worked for
The main part of the book begins with a look at "radical forerunners," 38 individuals crucial to twentieth-century radicalism--for example, William Blake, Susan B. Anthony, and Frederick Engels--who completed their life's work before 1900. The next section contains profiles of 350 twentieth-century radicals, arranged from Chinua Achebe to Emiliano Zapata. Birth and death dates (if appropriate), occupation, and a short bibliography of works by and about the person are provided along with the biography. More than 100 of these radicals are still living. Coverage is international; only 90 of those profiled are from the U.S. Some of these people will be found in such books as "American Reformers" (Wilson, 1985) and "Leaders from the 1960s" (Greenwood, 1994). The "Groups and Movements" section is also arranged alphabetically and describes organizations, cultural and political movements, events, and campaigns that have had an impact on the development of radical ideas and tactics. Groups range from ACT-UP to Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo and the Yippies. These profiles also have bibliographies. Two appendixes list radical activists by country and by main area of activity, and a third provides information on some 70 "other notable American radicals." A comprehensive subject index concludes the book
"The Radicalism Handbook" is a reference work with an agenda: to show that leftist radicalism has played an important role in modern political and economic thought. Patrons seeking information on the impact of conservative radicalism will not find it here. Recommended for academic libraries.
Previously published by Cassell as The Cassell Handbook of Radicalism. A fine reference on modern radical thought and action, opening with a 46-page introductory essay, "Radicalism in the Twentieth Century." Following a look at 38 "Radical Forerunners," some 350 20th-century radicals are profiled, most including a short bibliography. A "Groups and Movements" section describes organizations, cultural and political movements, events, and campaigns that have had a marked influence on the development of radical ideas and tactics. Among the three appendices is a list of 70 additional radicals in the US with their dates, field of activity, and suggestions for further reading. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)