Review by Choice Review
The newest title in Salem Press's "Ready Reference" series, this set provides succinct information concerning the multitudinous issues pertinent to American women past and present. Arranged alphabetically, the 696 signed entries vary in length from 100 to 4,000 words, highlight relevant issues, and contain cross-references. Longer entries include bibliographies and supplement the text with useful charts, graphs, chronologies, and photographs. Contributors take care to discuss different viewpoints and controversies, and many entries examine issues affecting disabled women, lesbians, and women from various race, ethnic, and economic groups. Five appendixes, including a list of schools offering women's studies programs, and two indexes complete the set. A rival multivolume source on women, The Women's Studies Encyclopedia (CH, Feb'90, Jun'91, Jul'92), has a different scope and purpose, focusing on information germane to feminist research across disciplines. This new set succeeds in providing wide-ranging, introductory material on women in a convenient format, is suitable for both undergraduates and general readers, and is highly recommended for reference collections in academic and large public libraries. Smaller libraries might consider From the Goddess to the Glass Ceiling, ed. by Janet K. Boles and Diane Long Hoeveler (1996). L. Krikos; Ohio State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This year has seen a number of excellent reference works about women, from books about women in Congress and the military to general works such as almanacs. Magill has added to the bounty by publishing a very good three-volume ready-reference work on women's issues. Containing 696 entries from 100 to 4,000 words, the set covers biography, legal cases, social issues, history, art, entertainment, and other subjects that have an impact on women or which women have influenced. Longer articles of 1,250 words include bibliographies, and the bibliographies of articles of 2,500 words include annotations. The articles give such key information as authors, dates, locations, relevant issues, significance, and cross-references to related articles. More than 200 photographs, along with charts, tables, maps, and milestones, are included in the text. As with most Magill books, excellent appendixes and indexes round out the work. The five appendixes cover colleges with women's studies programs; landmarks, monuments, and historical sites; museums, archives, and research centers; selected organizations founded to help women; and a list of Supreme Court cases affecting women's rights. A historical timeline of U.S. and Canadian events, a bibliography, and a filmography precede the indexes. The work has two indexes, one of people and the other of names, organizations, events, and concepts, with main entries in bold type and numerous cross-references. The approach that sets this work apart from many others is the way it takes topics such as education, pioneers, psychiatry, religion, and sports and highlights key figures and events and the impact women have had in these areas. For example, the article on Television points out that women have achieved authoritative positions in larger numbers in the television industry than in any other part of the entertainment world. The two-page article covers the history of television, public television, network executives, and the impact of women, with cross-references to four additional articles on acting, business, journalism, and the National Association of Media Women. An eight-item bibliography, primarily books, provides additional information. This type of approach will help any researcher who is trying to single out the effect women have had on just about any area of life and culture. The second major strength of this work is balance. Both sides of all the major issues, especially abortion, are given well-researched and evenly balanced coverage. For example, the article Roe v. Wade cross-references to both pro-choice and pro-life articles. Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly are covered in articles of equal length. Women's Issues is a welcome and well-done addition to the Magill series of reference works. It is balanced, erudite, and informative. This work would be an important addition to any reference collection, and especially those with women's studies.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.