Cover image for Encyclopedia of heads of states and governments, 1900 through 1945
Encyclopedia of heads of states and governments, 1900 through 1945
Lentz, Harris M., III.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 508 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A companion volume to the author's 1994 volume Heads of states and governments : a worldwide encyclopedia of over 2,300 leaders, 1945 through 1992."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D412 .L45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The first half of the 20th century was perhaps the most turbulent in history. Two world wars and numerous smaller conflicts significantly changed the geopolitical map, resulting in an unprecedented number of changes throughout the world. Some of the leaders in the period made an indelible mark on their nation and, in some cases, the world; others are scarcely remembered even in their own homeland.Nearly 1,200 emperors, kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, premiers, emirs, and other heads of state or government served from 1900 through 1945, and all are included in this comprehensive reference work. Each biographical profile first gives birth and death dates, then gives an account of how the leader came to power and an overview of his or her term in office. The profiles are packed with data.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Author Lentz has carved himself a niche in the biographical research department. In addition to the companion to this latest work, Heads of States and Governments: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Over 2,300 Leaders, 1945 through 1992 [RBB Mr 15 1995], he produced Assassinations and Executions: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence, 1865^-1986 (McFarland, 1988), and several annual compilations of Obituaries in the Performing Arts (McFarland, 1994^-1998), among other titles. This new volume covers an unsettled period in world history, one that saw two world wars and nearly 1,200 leaders in the independent countries. Using a variety of books and periodicals, Lentz has written biographical sketches of all elected, appointed, hereditary, or proclaimed heads of state and heads of government. Interim presidents are included, but few "acting presidents," because "these individuals have virtually no impact on government." Countries are listed alphabetically, using the English-language name. Within countries, biographical entries of heads of state (monarchs, presidents, military junta leaders) are followed by those for heads of government (prime ministers, premiers, grand viziers); both lists are arranged chronologically. A seven-page bibliography precedes the dictionary itself. The biographical sketches are spare, stressing details about political careers and events and frequently giving no information about family or education. They are also uneven in length and scope, but that is to be expected, given the relative obscurity of some of the characters. Writing is choppy. For example, the entry for Woodrow Wilson consists of 18 sentences, 14 of which begin with "He." Nevertheless, this is a valuable resource for those who need to survey world leadership during the first half of this century and for those who need to know anything about some of the less-famous persons. Recommended for public and academic libraries, especially those that have found the companion volume useful.

Choice Review

A retrospective sequel to Lentz's Heads of States and Government: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Over 2,300 Leaders, 1945 through 1992 (CH, Mar'95), this companion volume focuses on elected, appointed, hereditary, or proclaimed leaders and interim presidents of countries with independent governments from the beginning of the 20th century until the end of WW II. It is structured like its predecessor: for each country (they are arranged alphabetically) a terse geographical description precedes a chronologically arranged series of concise, carefully researched biographies highlighting their subjects' political careers. Finding comparable information elsewhere could prove time-consuming and piecemeal, making this convenient and authoritative compilation, drawn from an impressive list of scholarly sources noted in the bibliography, all the more noteworthy and commendable. The index allows users to associate major subjects with the entries in which they are mentioned. The only work of its kind, its utility and appeal are clear. An obvious purchase for academic libraries that hold the previous volume or those supporting collections on foreign governments. D. Ettinger; George Washington University