Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
History's deadliest war continues to interest researchers and casual readers alike. Axelrod (Encyclopedia of the American Armed Forces), along with retired U.S. Army Col. Jack A. Kingston as consulting editor, selected for this two-volume set topics he believes most likely to be addressed in classrooms and of interest to general readers. Each of the more than 700 A-to-Z cross-referenced entries-some less than a page, some many pages long-concludes with a list of recommended books for further reading. Controversies such as the firebombing of Dresden and Japanese Emperor Hirohito's culpability in wartime atrocities are objectively addressed. The entry on Hitler does not bother with possible psychological explanations for his actions, while entries on Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh, figures we tend to associate with later events, explain what they had to do with this war. Black-and-white photographs and clear, informative maps round out the work. BOTTOM LINE While one could quibble over the depth of coverage allotted any particular topic, the overall package appears well balanced and comprehensive, and the subject index is useful in locating topics addressed within broader entries. Still, while the Oxford Companion to World War II (2005) has no index, it has many more entries, a useful chronology of the war, and a stable of international contributors. For libraries lacking the Oxford title.-Teresa R. Faust, Vermont Dept. of Libs., Jericho (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-This set offers the same extensive research and attention to detail that were so evident in Axelrod's Patton (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). The more than 600 alphabetically organized entries use straightforward language and are supported by maps, black-and-white photographs, cross-references, and further-reading suggestions. Excellent use is made of subtitles (particularly in the entries involving weaponry specifications). Coverage is international. For example, the subject of aircraft is broken down into separate entries for British, French, German, Italian, Polish, Soviet, and American machines. There are the inevitable omissions that are inherent in a work that claims to be comprehensive but not exhaustive. For example, there is no separate entry for the British Special Operations Executive (though information on that topic can be accessed through the index), and the entry on Japanese atrocities omits mention of the massacre of prisoners of war at the Palawan prison camp. Overall, however, this relevant and informative introductory resource provides exemplary general coverage that can hold its own against other works on the subject.-Robyn Walker, Elgin Court Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Inconsistency, incompleteness, and even inaccuracy are hallmarks of Encyclopedia of World War II (not to be confused with ABC-CLIO's larger and far superior five-volume set of the same title, CH, Sep'05, 43-0063). The campaigns, armed forces, major issues, people, weapons, aircraft, armor, and warships are covered in short entries, followed by short "further reading" lists. Many of the sources are more suitable for hobbyists than for serious researchers, though hobbyists will be disappointed by the few small photographs overall. The work of one nonspecialist author, rather than expert contributors, this small two-volume set emphasizes some topics at the expense of others, e.g., lists of artillery pieces with technical specifications cover 27 pages (but with no photographs); submachine guns are not included at all, yet very obscure weapons are. Inaccuracies include a photograph of RAF P-51 Mustangs labeled as Spitfires, and references to the V-1 buzz-bomb missile as a "rocket" rather than being jet-powered. Maps appear throughout; two have part of the German border wrongly placed. The Oxford Companion to World War II, ed. by I. Dear and M. Foot (CH, Dec'95, 33-1904), is more thorough, better researched, and well illustrated--at half the price. Summing Up: Not recommended. E. F. Konerding Wesleyan University
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Alan Axelrod was born on August 25, 1952, in New York. He was educated at Northeastern Illinois University and University of Iowa. He is a leading writer about American history, and is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History. In his books, Axelrod presents the facts, details, and faces that have helped shape the history of the United States. <p> Axelrod has served as a consultant to several museums and institutions. He has received numerous honors, including a National Cowboy Hall of Fame Award in 1991. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)