Encyclopedia of India

Corporate Author: Thomson Gale (Firm)
Other Authors: Wolpert, Stanley A., 1927-, Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Detroit, Mich. : Charles Scribner's Sons : 2006.
Online Access: Search online version
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Review by Choice Review

India is one of the oldest countries and greatest civilizations of the world. It is the birthplace of four major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. At present, over 20 percent of the world's population lives in India, and it is the largest democracy on Earth. India is certainly a major player in the modern world, and Wolpert (history, UCLA) has edited an important work that will further educate people about India and its contributions. This encyclopedia includes 580 articles written by 200 scholars, selected from many countries. The subjects include art, contemporary facts, culture, history, geography, economics, defense, human rights, industrial growth, the judicial system, education, medical science, nuclear programs, politics, religion, secularism, theater, trade, and women. All articles are signed, and they present accurate information with bibliographies. This work includes sections on primary source documents, a selected annotated bibliography, a glossary of terms, and a comprehensive index. More than 300 illustrations, charts, beautiful maps, photographs, and sidebars, along with a thematic outline of the text and chronologies of all major South Asian countries, augment the work. The entries are arranged alphabetically. This very useful educational resource will enhance readers' knowledge of the great civilization of India. It is an excellent addition to the growing literature on the subject. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All libraries; all levels. R. N. Sharma Monmouth University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

As stated in the preface, there are "at least as many reasons for wanting to learn more about India as there are articles, nearly 600, and pages, some 1,400, in this new encyclopedia." A welcome contribution to Southeast Asian studies, Encyclopedia of India 0 provides a comprehensive overview of the country's history, geography, ethnography, art, religion, language, economics, law, education, science, politics, medicine, and more. Editor-in-chief Wolpert is a distinguished professor emeritus of history at UCLA; under his leadership, a team of board members and 200 experts have written articles spanning 4,000 years of Indian civilization. The A-Z0 essays are signed, and each contains a bibliography (in some cases annotated) and cross-references. Nearly 150 entries are biographical and treat mostly political figures. More than 50 entries cover cities and provinces or states. Coverage of the arts is especially strong, with more than 120 entries on fabrics, film, music, painting, sculpture, monuments, and more. In some cases, the treatment is quite specific. For example, Dance forms0 has subentries on nine particular forms of dance, and Miniatures0 discusses seven distinct styles of painting. Also notable is the amount of space devoted to economic and religious topics. The encyclopedia is lavishly illustrated with 300 black-and-white images and contains maps and 4 stunning color inserts, one per volume, highlighting Indian art, architecture, and sculpture; contemporary life; handicrafts; and the physical environment. Excellent finding aids include a comprehensive index and a thematic list of contents. Other features are an annotated general bibliography; a glossary; chronologies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; and a fascinating selection of texts taken from primary source materials like the sacred Hindu texts the Rig Veda and Bhagavad Gita, the edicts of King Ashoka (268-231 BC), the autobiography of Mahatma M. K. Gandhi, Nehru's speech on Gandhi's assassination, and excerpts from the philosophic teachings of Upanishadic philosophy. Although many fine dictionaries and encyclopedias delve into more specific topics--for example, Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema0 (Oxford, 1994) or Historical and Cultural Dictionary of India0 (Scarecrow, 1976)--no other reference work rivals this one in scope, depth, and treatment. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. --Diana Kirby Copyright 2006 Booklist

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

This four-volume encyclopedia edited by Wolpert (emeritus, history, UCLA; A New History of India, Shameful Flight: Last Years of the British Empire) and a three-member editorial board aims to be comprehensive and indeed covers a wide range of subjects such as art, biography, issues, historical events, politics, economics, geography, religion, and more. Some 115 experts from government and academia contribute approximately 600 signed entries. The focus is stronger in some areas (e.g., economy, finance) than others (e.g., literature, cinema), with articles varying in length from seven pages to half a page. Each alphabetically arranged entry includes a brief bibliography and See also references and is frequently illustrated with photographs, maps, and charts. Volume 4 contains primary documents and a general bibliography. Chronologies of events for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka from early history to 2005 are also included. India's strategic importance and economic prosperity since the 1990s makes this encyclopedia both topical and timely. The only amusing drawback is found in one essay where the author extols his own contribution to the field over that of others ("Scientists of Indian Origin and their Contribution"). Bottom Line Barring some quibbles, the encyclopedia is well organized, authoritative, clearly written, and clearly needed given the absence of any other current encyclopedia on India. Written on a level suitable for the educated lay reader, this title is recommended for academic, high school, and public libraries as well as collections specializing in the subcontinent.-Ravi Shenoy, Naperville P.L., IL (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.