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Library Journal Review
Based on the author's Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations, published in a fourth edition in 1997 and now out of print, this one-volume encyclopedia provides authoritative information on a wide variety of aspects of race and ethnicity. The encyclopedia is nearly 100 pages longer than the dictionary (which was, however, in smaller type); 43 entries were added, and other entries were revised and expanded. Cashmore (culture, media, & sport, Sch. of Health, Staffordshire Univ.) wrote most of the entries, but he also called on 80 contributors, mainly from the United Kingdom and the United States, making the coverage international if perhaps Anglocentric. The entries, which range from concise 400-word annotations to comprehensive 2000-word essays, are scholarly enough for faculty seeking brief treatment of a topic but also accessible to upper-level undergraduates as well as graduate students. In addition, most entries include See Also references and a short list of readings. The issues addressed include the Holocaust, the Ku Klux Klan, 9/11, welfare, Zionism, and much more, and Cashmore made an attempt to address criticism of his dictionary by adding entries for terms and legal cases having importance in the United States, e.g., "O.J. Simpson." The introduction provides an excellent overview but doesn't offer much detail on the criteria for inclusion, the choice of contributors, any differences from the dictionary, or even whether the "Reading" sections were used to prepare the entries or are merely suggestions for further reading. Because this work is pricey, librarians may want to consider alternatives like Guido Bolaffi's Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. Still, the coverage does not significantly overlap with more general dictionaries of sociology, not even with Susan Auerbach's lengthier Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism. Recommended for academic libraries supporting programs in the sociology of race that found the dictionary useful.-Rosanne M. Cordell, Indiana Univ. Lib., South Bend (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A revision of Cashmore's Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations (1996), this version is physically larger and provides more entries. The number of additions is not revealed; a sampling finds some new entries but several unchanged. Entries range widely (e.g., "ethnic cleansing," "reggae") and vary in quality and reference value. Some British topics are especially useful--e.g., the Stephen Lawrence case, a pivotal incident in English race relations--but several entries ("Ebonics," "nationalism") provide little useful information. The entry for the widely discussed issue of reparations barely mentions German compensation to Jews following WW II. There are other problems: the entry on former DC Mayor Marion Barry contains some facile editorializing; major civil rights figures such as James Farmer, A. Phillip Randolph, and Bayard Rustin are omitted but not sports star Michael Jordan, nor pop icon Michael Jackson. Although the work claims it includes "many of the world's leading academic writers," it has no essays by such major scholars as Nathan Glazer, Lawrence Fuchs, Mary C. Waters, Donald Horowitz, or Stephan Thernstrom. Contributors are chiefly postmodern academics--postcolonialists, critical race theorists, and younger leftist social scientists whose prose is pompous and packed with jargon. Although Dictionary of Race, Ethnicity and Culture, ed. by Guido Bolaffi et al. (CH, Jun'03), offers conceptual essays and no biographical material, it provides better-written, more authoritative entries. ^BSumming Up: Optional. General readers. D. Altschiller Boston University