Cover image for The Oxford desk dictionary of people and places
The Oxford desk dictionary of people and places
Abate, Frank R.
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xv, 879 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G103.5 .O92 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



In The Oxford Desk Dictionary of People and Places, readers will find a depth of information and a range of coverage that surpasses even unabridged dictionaries. The biographical section covers more than 7,500 individuals, from earliest recorded history right through to the present. Each entry includes pronunciation, the date of birth and death, nationality, and significant achievements. We learn, for instance, that Chinua Achebe was born in 1930, is aNigerian novelist, poet, short-story writer, and essayist, wrote Things Fall Apart (1958) and Anthills of the Savanna (1987). The next entry tells us the Dean Acheson was U.S. secretary of state who urged international control of nuclear power, was instrumental in the formation of NATO, andimplemented the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. Major historical figures, such as U.S. presidents, have boxed entries that include a wealth of information about their private lives and public careers. The geographical section covers some 10,000 places of all kinds. Coverage includes all thenations of the world (with helpful locator maps), capitals, major or historic cities and towns, important regions, notable geographic features (such as mountain ranges and ocean currents), and places that have played a part in world history or culture (such as Agincourt or the Acropolis). With fascinating appendixes that cover everything from Academy Award winners to the major volcanoes of the world, The Oxford Desk Dictionary of People and Places offers a wealth of reliable information in a handy, affordable format.

Author Notes

Frank Abate is the Editor in Chief of the Connecticut-based Oxford U.S. Dictionaries Program. He is a lexicographer whose credits include more than 20 different dictionaries. Most recently, he edited The Oxford American Dictionary and Language Guide and The Oxford American Dictionary ofCurrent English.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A ready-reference resource with brief entries for more than 7,500 individuals, followed by entries for some 10,000 geographic locations. There are expanded entries for U.S. presidents and states and locator maps for countries, as well as appendixes listing Academy Award winners, Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, major mountains of the world, and more.

Choice Review

A hybrid reference book intended for a general audience, this inexpensive volume combines a biographical dictionary (p.3-418) with a gazetteer (p.445-869). Abate (an editor for Oxford and Omnigraphics) emphasizes in the introduction that the 7,500 biographical entries provide extensive coverage of popular culture and of historical figures. He also confesses a North American bias in the gazetteer (one-third of 10,000 place-names). Accuracy is good, though not perfect: the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890) is listed as a "notable event" of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency (1901-09); the Polish city Lodz lacks a needed pronunciation. Though brief, place-name identifications compare favorably with The Oxford Dictionary of the World (CH, Nov'96). Population figures are given, but their source date (1990) only appears in two of the appendixes. Binding, typography, and paper quality are excellent, important because of the volume's thickness. An ideal choice for those starting a reference collection from scratch, thanks to its dual utility. Otherwise, for academic libraries, a supplemental purchase for the general reference collection or a worthy title for the ready reference shelf. T. R. Zogg; University of Minnesota--Duluth

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
How to Use This Bookp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Pronunciation Keyp. xiv
Dictionary of Peoplep. 1
Appendixesp. 419
Presidents of the United States of Americap. 421
Monarchs of England and Britainp. 422
Prime Ministers of Great Britain and the United Kingdomp. 424
Academy Award Winnersp. 426
Baseball Hall of Fame Inducteesp. 433
Pro Football Hall of Fame Inducteesp. 436
Basketball Hall of Fame Inducteesp. 438
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducteesp. 440
Dictionary of Placesp. 443
Appendixesp. 871
Oceans and Seas of the Worldp. 873
World Land Area by Continentp. 874
World Population by Continentp. 874
Major Mountains of the Worldp. 875
Major Volcanoes of the Worldp. 876
Major Natural Lakes of the Worldp. 877
Major Rivers of the Worldp. 878
Largest Metropolitan Areas of the Worldp. 879