Encyclopedia of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean cultures /

Other Authors: Balderston, Daniel, 1952-, Gonzalez, Mike., LoĢpez, Ana M.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: London ; New York : Routledge, 2000.
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Review by Booklist Review

Reference sources on Latin America and the Caribbean that are accessible to general readers and students are not easy to find. This set presents more than 4,000 entries that document "social, political and cultural developments . . . from the 1920s to the present day." Except for an initial series of articles that survey each decade, the work is in straight dictionary format. Articles range in length from a short paragraph to several two-columned pages. All articles are signed, and many have some suggested readings, some of which may be available in a large public library. Each country has its own entry. Also covered are topics in food and drink (Cacao, Eating out, Maize), cultural institutions and phenomena (Beauty pageants, Libraries, Pan American Union), intellectual life (Chemistry, Historiography), performing arts (Alonso, Alicia; Carnival; Teatro Libre), and sport (Clemente, Roberto; Tennis). Popular culture is as richly represented as are high culture and political and historical matters. Significant movies, plays, and television programs have a place, as do musical forms. Items in bold type within entries have their own articles elsewhere in the text. There are no illustrations or maps, an omission in a work that might be used by general readers whose geographical knowledge may be shaky. A "Thematic Entry List" groups articles by countries, from Antigua to Virgin Islands, and categories, from "Architecture" to "Writers." This is supplemented by a more expansive general index. With its emphasis on contemporary culture, the set complements Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture (Scribner, 1996). For ready-reference and introductory information, it should be considered by larger public libraries, community college libraries, and academic libraries with introductory courses on Latin America.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Diverging from other Routledge encyclopedias of contemporary culture, which have focused on specific countries, this one crams all of Latin America and the Caribbean into three volumes. Like the others, it attempts to include all aspects of culture, spanning politics, the arts, social developments, and institutions, among other topics. Articles range from brief definitions to longer entries, such as "Architecture," "Indigenous Movements," and "Sport in Latin America." In addition, overview articles on the decades beginning with the 1920s and on the individual countries seek to lend cohesion to the formidable diversity of material, as does the thematic listing of the alphabetical entries at the beginning of the book. Considering its incredibly wide scope, this resource could have benefited from more extensive, consistent, and relevant bibliographies. As much of the same information can be found in the more historically inclusive Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture (LJ 7/96) or in more specialized reference works (e.g., Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature, LJ 6/1/97, and Latin American Writers, 1989), the greatest advantage of this encyclopedia will be in offering limited information on lesser-known contemporary individuals not covered by these other sources. A useful but not essential resource; recommended for larger academic libraries or those with significant emphasis on modern Latin American studies. Anna Youssefi, Rice Univ., Houston, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.