Review by Choice Review
As late as 1950, diplomat and historian George F. Kennan noted that foreign policy caused "utter confusion in the public mind." This set attempts to clear up some of that confusion, with extraordinary results. Editors Jentleson and Paterson commissioned 373 scholars and foreign policy analysts to write 1,024 articles on an enormous range of subjects. The majority of articles are brief (less than 1,000 words), but there are also 217 articles that range up to 5,000 words and 51 that run to 10,000. The selection of topics is not without flaws; notable for their omission, for example, are the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the American Relief Administration, and Owen Lattimore. The volumes are enhanced by a clear and concise introduction that explains key ways of understanding foreign relations, defines eight distinct periods in US diplomatic history, and articulates five core goals that have been the foundation of US foreign policy. Minor flaws aside, this is a masterful achievement that belongs in every library in the US. T. Walch; Hoover Presidential Library
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Oxford has published this encyclopedia, which is "prepared under the auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations." The Council, founded in the 1920s, is well known for promoting the study of U.S. foreign affairs. The four volumes contain more than 1,000 articles written primarily by academics. The articles answer the questions identified in the introduction--what, why, where, when, and how. Because foreign relations are interrelated with economic, military, cultural, and political activities, the range of entries reflects this: Automotive Companies, Bay of Pigs, CNN, Fur Trade, Loyalists, PanAm Flight 103, Ronald Reagan, Vatican, and, of course, Council on Foreign Relations. All the articles include a short and current bibliography, and there is a classified bibliography in the appendix. A chronology of U.S. foreign relations and tabular data on the 185 countries in the UN are also included in the appendix. The index in the last volume is comprehensive, even indicating charts, maps, and tables. Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations updates and expands on the three-volume Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy (Scribner, 1978) and the one-volume Dictionary of American Diplomatic History [RBB D 15 89]. It will be a welcome source in academic and large public libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Since the days of Diderot, there has been no end to the making of encyclopedias, and this new one is worth the cost. Produced under the auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations, it differs in presentation and scope from the thematically arranged three-volume Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy (1978) and is much more extensive than John Findling's shorter but still quite valuable Dictionary of American Diplomatic History (Greenwood, 1989. 2d ed.). The new four-volume set is a treasure-trove of excellent scholarship from well-known historians, political scientists, and assorted academicians affiliated with the study of diplomacy. Wide-ranging in its coverage, with more than 1000 essays varying in length from a few paragraphs to several pages, it is unmatched in its treatment of this dynamic and fast-changing field. The encyclopedia concludes with an extensive chronology of U.S. foreign relations and a country-by-country bibliography of recent writings. An indispensable resource where affordable; for larger libraries, it readily supplements existing works, and for smaller ones it provides all the coverage necessary for most users.Edward Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.