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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.
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