Review by Choice Review
The editor claims distinction for this set because it includes non-Western writers--misleading, since Great Historians, ed. by Lucien Boia ( 2v., 1989-91; CH, Nov'91), also covers many non-Western historians. Nevertheless, this work is impressive and well organized, consisting of three types of entries: essays by individual historians assessing their contributions to the literature, articles focused on nations or geographic regions, and topical pieces. Topical entries cover areas such as social history and familiar historical controversies (e.g., the Industrial Revolution). All entries include substantial bibliographies. The work would be easier to use if the entries were kept in discrete sections by type rather than arranged alphabetically. The set includes a list of advisors and contributors, an alphabetical list of entries, a thematic list by category, a chronological list of historians, a very detailed title index, and an extensive list of further readings. Careful organization, comprehensiveness, substantial length of entries, and richness of bibliographies set this work above its rivals. Highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries. A. J. Dedrick; University of Colorado at Denver
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Designed for the "informed reader" rather than the specialist, this encyclopedia includes writers from non-Western cultures as well as the Western canon. The entries, arranged alphabetically, consist of three types of essays--on individuals, nations or geographical areas, and topics. The topics were suggested by 19 advisors and prepared by approximately 400 contributors. Within some entries there may be chronological arrangement. Each entry is signed and followed by see also references and an often extensive bibliography or further reading list. Biographical entries include brief biographical notes. Length ranges from half a page to more than 12 pages for United States: Nineteenth Century. A list of advisors and contributors and an introduction, "Rethinking History," can be found at the beginning of volume 1. Both volumes provide alphabetical and thematic lists of entries and a chronological list of historians. The thematic list groups entries by region and periods (Europe, medieval, for example) and topics, from art history to women's and gender history. The chronological list begins in 551^-479 B.C.E. with Kong-zi (Confucius) and concludes with Australian historian Marilyn Lake (1947^-). Volume 2 concludes with a title index, a "Further Reading Index," and notes on contributors and advisors. The title index provides access to the principal writings listed in the entries on individual historians. The "Further Reading Index," arranged by author, leads the reader to citations in the bibliographies. The choice of entries reflects a global intellectual culture that has led to new branches of history and debate: social history, with influences from anthropology and sociology; gender studies; and metahistory, to name a few. The encyclopedia leads the reader both to familiar historians, such as Edward Gibbon and Plutarch, and to the less well known, such as Fernando Ortiz, the founder of Afro-Cuban studies. There are essays on slavery, ancient and modern; Vietnamese chronicles, which are an important source of Vietnamese history from the Tran dynasty (1225^-1400) onward; the study of crime and deviance; and labor history. Notable historians or history writers from places as far-flung as Iceland and India are given coverage. Another recent title, Garland's one-volume Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing [RBB D 15 98], has a similarly broad perspective; but entries are generally briefer and coverage is more selective. Only a few living historians are included, for example, while the Fitzroy Dearborn set has entries for more than 200, among them Stephen Ambrose, Eric Foner, Peter Gay, Elaine Pagels, and Simon Schama. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing is a worthy addition to the reference collections of large public and academic libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.