Review by Choice Review
This multivolume set provides a rich source of information on social issues in American society; its definition of social issues is broad, including diseases such as cancer and autism as well as the more political issues of terrorism, defense spending, and gun control. The contributing authors of the individual articles are drawn from faculty and scholars across the US. Each signed article provides historical context, background, a summary of the issue, and a discussion of the various viewpoints and controversies. Every article provides references, a glossary, and an excerpt from a primary document. Most articles provide chronology, charts, graphs, and other data. The entries are clear and well written, treating each topic succinctly and at the same time giving full attention to the central concepts of the issue. The final volume is a very thorough index to the entire encyclopedia. This set makes an excellent starting point for undergraduates searching for information on social issues; they will find not only succinct summaries of the concepts, but also some important data and references to pursue for more depth. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers. G. Wood SUNY College at Cortland
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
The format of this new reference source makes it especially useful for working with groups who are studying current social problems. It is divided into eight slender volumes--so that one student can read about Animal rights0 while others, for example, pay attention to Capital punishment, Euthanasia0 , Hate crimes0 , Obesity0 , Stem cell research0 , Urban sprawl0 , or any of the many other topics considered to be the major social concerns in the U.S. today. More than 160 entries are between 6 and 16 pages long. Each includes historical background on the issue; a discussion of current problems, debates, and possible future developments; a chronology; fairly extensive lists of references and Web sites to consult for further information; a glossary; and, in most cases, one or more selected primary documents. The chronology for Air pollution 0 begins with 1306, when Edward I of England banned the burning of sea coal; describes Los Angeles' first "smog attack," in 1943; and traces the efforts of the American Lung Association and others to clean up the air. The article concludes with the need for basic awareness, ongoing education, and a global effort to address this problem. Volumes 1-7 include the "Topic Finder," enabling the reader to find all of the A-Z0 entries that fall under such broad subjects as "Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Issues," "Economic and Class Issues," "Education Issues," and more. A "Cross Reference Index," also helpfully repeated in the first seven volumes, points students interested in, say, racial profiling to the specific entries Civil rights; Criminal rights; 0 and Redlining, loan discrimination0 , and predatory lending0 , among others; it takes the place of see also0 references within entries. A comprehensive set index is found in volume 8. Most of the contributors are from academia, but the articles are written for a wider audience. Anyone who wants to know more about the problems the world faces and, in particular, any student who has an assignment to learn about a particular social issue will find this set useful. The combination of convenient format and historical perspective, thought-provoking questions, and direction to sources of additional information makes this a recommended resource for high-school and public libraries. --Sally Jane Copyright 2006 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
More than 150 key social issues confronting the United States today are covered in this reasonably priced eight-volume set: from abortion and adoption to capital punishment and corporate crime; from obesity and organized crime to sweatshops and xenophobia. Meant to serve as a one-stop resource for the researcher, the set covers each topic in impressive detail, enriching the already lengthy entries with tables, figures, chronologies, glossaries, and primary source documents. A good buy for libraries catering to students of history and social science.-Mirela Roncevic (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.