Research Tools - Spring 2001

New Reference Books

Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings. 3rd ed. J. Michael Sharp. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2000. [Ref JK 1051 .S555 2000 v. 1 & 2]
A useful compendium of information, this work contains the voting scores and ratings for all members of Congress since 1947, the first year that a special interest group, the ADA, rated them. The ratings include those of 10 special interest groups: ADA (Americans for Democratic Action), ACU (American Conservative Union), ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), ASC (American Security Council), CCUS (Chamber of Commerce of the United States), CFA (Consumer Federation of America), COPE (Committee on Political Education of the AFL-CIO), LCV (League of Conservation Voters), NEA (National Education Association), and NTU (National Taxpayers Union). The directory also provides some limited biographical information on members of Congress, including birth date, religion, education, occupation, military services, political background, and election record.
Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior. Edited by Clifton D. Bryant. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge, 2001. 4 volumes. [Ref HV 6017 .E53 2001 v. 1-4]
A first of its kind, this encyclopedia will be of greatest value to researchers in criminal justice and sociology, but also of interest to those in other disciplines. For example, articles on alcohol and drug abuse are published in the fourth volume, as would be expected, but so are articles on the social implications of handicaps and disabilities (including ADHD, paraplegia, and speech impairments), which are of interest to those in the education and health care fields. Over 500 entries are arranged in four volumes: Volume 1, "Historical, Conceptual, and Theoretical Issues;" Volume 2, "Crime and Juvenile Delinquency;" Volume 3, "Sexual Deviance;" and Volume 4, "Self-Destructive Behavior and Disvalued Identity." Volume 3 contains brief author biographies for all contributors, and Volume 4 contains a subject index and author index to the entire set. Each volume contains a table of contents plus a subject guide to the volume, and each article lists references for further reading, including web sites where appropriate.
Encyclopedia of the Irish in America. Edited by Michael Glazier. Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame Press, 1999. [Ref E184.I6 E53 1999]
Who better than the U of Notre Dame Press to publish an encyclopedia of the Irish in America? This handsome volume, bound in green with gold lettering and a harp stamped on the cover, is edited by Michael Glazier, the editor of Encyclopedia of American Catholic History [Ref BX1406.2 .E53 1997]. In it, he has compiled articles by almost 250 contributors on persons, places, and things Irish in America. Entries are arranged alphabetically and include articles on the Irish in each of the 50 states, an unusual feature. In addition to entries on emigration and the famine, the work also contains articles on the Scotch-Irish Protestant immigrants. A bibliography and relevant "see" references follow each article. There is also a helpful "Descriptive List of Entries" at the front of the volume.
From Suffrage to the Senate: An Encyclopedia of American Women in Politics. Suzanne O'Dea Schenken. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999. [Ref HQ 1236.5 .U6 S32 1999 v. 1-2]
This two-volume work provides an overview of the political history of women in the U.S. over a 400-year period. Most of the brief, alphabetically arranged articles focus on individuals, legislation, and organizations, although some issues and movements are covered as well.
There are numerous black-and-white photos throughout, and each article refers the reader to additional entries and includes a list of references (including web pages) for further reading. Two appendices, one containing significant documents of the women's movement and one consisting of facts and statistics pertaining to women in political office, appear at the end of volume two, as does a chronology, a bibliography, and an index.
Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999. [Ref RM666.H33 F48 1999].
Written by two professors of pharmacy, this reference book offers detailed information about more than 300 of the most commonly used herbal medicines. Intended for use by health professionals, it will be of interest to anyone wanting scientific and clinical data on the selected herbal agents. Arranged alphabetically by agent, each entry has information on the agent's common names, chemical components, uses, adverse reactions and interactions, contraindications and precautions, and additional references. Several appendices provide information on additional herbal agents for which there is little or no scientific or clinical data, lists of herbal agents listed as unsafe by the FDA, and a graph showing potential drug-herbal agent interactions. Index.
Religion and the Law: A Dictionary. Christopher Thomas Anglim. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999. [KF4865 .A68 A54 1999]
Attempting to "show the complexity of the intersection between law and religion in our Constitutional democracy," this work examines the issues surrounding the separation of church and state in America. Entries are arranged alphabetically, and cover anything that involves the jurisprudence of religion, including: all major legal decisions touching on religion, past and present; the treatment of certain faiths and sects by the American legal system; various legal theories and historical developments of the law of church and state; and the adoption of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Articles range from "Abortion," to "Catholics," from the "First Amendment" to "Public schools," and from "Tax laws and religion" to the "Unification Church." A brief bibliography and a listing of "Cases Cited" follow each signed article. At the back of the volume, there is also a helpful subject index and an index of court cases.
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Edited by Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 5 volumes. [Ref E 169.1 .S764 2000 v. 1-5]
This highly readable collection of essays examines the popular culture of the United States in the twentieth century. Containing over 2,700 essays from nearly 450 contributors and arranged alphabetically, the encyclopedia covers the major areas of pop culture: film, music, print culture, social life, sports, television and radio, and art and performance (including theater, dance, and stand-up comedy). It's a fascinating browse as well as a useful starting point for research into pop culture. Articles range from "Academy Awards," to "Eco-Terrorism," to "Muzak," to "Yuppies." Coverage focuses primarily on the second half of the century. Each article analyzes its topic's significance to pop culture, placing it in context, and provides a brief bibliography for further reading. In addition to a general index, Volume 5 contains two other useful indexes: the "Time-Frame Index," which lists events and people by the decade in which they occurred, and the "Category Index," which groups articles under broad subject headings (e.g., actors, pop music, social groups, etc.). There are numerous black-and-white photographs throughout.
Woody, From Antz to Zelig: A Reference Guide to Woody Allen's Creative Work, 1964-1998. Richard A. Schwartz. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000. [Ref PN 1998.3 .A455 S38 2000]
For those interested in the work of Woody Allen, this is an essential reference tool, doing double duty as both biography and criticism. The highly readable entries are arranged alphabetically, and cover his films and published writings, the major themes in his work, various topics of interest to Allen as well as people important to him, such as the Marx Brothers. Allen's filmography and bibliography follow the entries, and there is a 20-page index.
Linda Neyer