Cover image for Encyclopedia of modern Asia
Encyclopedia of modern Asia
Levinson, David, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons ; Farmington Hills, MI : Thomson/Gale, [2002]

Physical Description:
6 volumes : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Abacus to China -- China-Ind to Hyogo -- Iaido to Malay -- Malaysia to Portuguese -- Possession to Turkey -- Turkic to Zuo ; Index.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS4 .L48 2002 V. 5 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
DS4 .L48 2002 V. 6 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
DS4 .L48 2002 V. 3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
DS4 .L48 2002 V. 4 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
DS4 .L48 2002 V. 2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
DS4 .L48 2002 V. 1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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This encyclopedia is an overview of American law covering historical and modern terms, concepts, events, movements, cases and persons significant to US law. Entries range from brief definitions of legal jargon to examinations of courtroom procedure, from explanations of complex topics such as civil rights to biographies of standout attorneys, from analyses of controversial issues such as gun control to transcripts of crucial Supreme Court decisions.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The goal of the editors was to make this hefty set "the standard reference work on Asia," intended not only for scholars and students but for a broader audience of "journalists, tourists, government officials, writers, teachers, and the general reading public." More than 2,600 accessible entries ranging from 200 to 4,000 words from hundreds of contributors have achieved a further editorial goal of expressing the diversity of modern Asia from a variety of Asian perspectives while also indicating Western viewpoints. The focus is on twentieth-century Asia and on earlier people and events whose impact is still felt. Thus, there are entries on Basho, the seventeenth-century Japanese poet, and on Confucius (as well as separate entries on Confucianism in China, Japan, and Korea). The editors define Asia as extending from Japan in the east to Turkey in the west, and from Kazakhstan in the north to Indonesia in the south. Thirty-three nations are covered in depth, while other regions and countries that might have received greater coverage are treated in less depth: the Caucasus, Siberia, Australia, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and the Arabian peninsula nations. The editors note extensive treatment of the latter five in Macmillan's Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East0 (1996) as well as in other works. Some countries, such as Australia, were felt to be culturally and politically closer to Europe. Among the subjects of entries are countries, cities, regions, natural features, religions, social issues, languages, people, events, customs, and grown and manufactured products. Primary coverage of countries and regions is broken down into consecutive entries. Bangladesh, to take one example, is treated in a four-page profile, followed by entries on its economic system, education system, history, and political system and on the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Bangladesh-India, and Bangladesh-Pakistan relations. The numerous entries on regional relations and, in many cases, relations with the U.S. are a valuable feature of the encyclopedia. For a nation like China, there are hundreds of relevant entries scattered throughout the set. These can be located using the "Reader's Guide," a table of contents organized first by five major subregions of Asia, then by topic, then by country. Under the topic "Arts, Literature, and Recreation" alone are almost 80 entries for China, among them Ang Lee, Architecture--China, Beijing Opera, Birds and birdcages,0 Ginseng, Hungry Ghost Festival, and Lacquerware.0 Repeated at the front of every volume, the "Reader's Guide" is a useful finding aid. Each entry is followed by a list for further reading. Supplementing the entries are some 1,300 black-and-white illustrations, sidebars, and tables; 90 maps; regional and topical outlines; and, in volume 6, a 230-page index. Sidebars add an interesting mix of content, including excerpts from primary source documents such as literary or religious texts, preambles to national constitutions, and travelers' accounts. Cross-references between entries are infrequent. Coverage is up-to-date enough to cover the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan. One misses more extensive coverage of Russia, covering as it does northern Asia from Europe to the Pacific, though there is nearly a page of index entries under the heading Russia.0 The only resource providing such comprehensive and diverse treatment of the topic, Encyclopedia of Modern Asia 0 is highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Its accessible style makes it worth considering for high-school libraries as well. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Four years in the making, this comprehensive, multidisciplinary encyclopedia of modern Asia uses a broad definition of the continent, offering in-depth coverage of 33 Asian nations as well as the Caucasus and Siberia. Although it focuses on the period from 1850 to the present, it also includes movements and historical figures, e.g., Zhu Xi, the 12th-century synthesizer of Confucianism. About 800 academics contributed the 2600 signed articles, which range from a half-page to two or three pages in length and cover a variety of topics (e.g., history, politics, geography, religion, technology, education, science, and the relations of Asian countries with the United States). The articles are peppered with photographs, maps, and tables. Other convenient features include sidebars that present extracts from historical documents, literature, poetry, and drama and the "Reader's Guide" at the beginning of each volume, which indicates the range of subjects covered. The result is accessible to everyone: students will find the lists for further readings particularly useful, and nonspecialists will appreciate the consistent clarity and the absence of heavy jargon. The sweeping index takes up nearly half of the final volume and is easy to use. Filling a gap in the literature, this work should be a mainstay in academic, high school, and public libraries. [This book was an LJ Best Reference of 2002.-Ed.]-Ravi Shenoy, Naperville P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-This set aims "to provide readers with information and knowledge about modern Asia from an Asian perspective" and, as such, includes articles written by more than 800 specialists from some 60 countries. It includes only minimal coverage of Siberia, the Caucasus, and the nations of western Asia, the three exceptions being Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Country entries begin with a paragraph about location and population, followed by generally lengthy articles that include a fact box. Broad topics, such as literature, the arts, clothing, cuisine, religions, and international relations, are identified by country or region. There are also entries on individuals, geographical areas, tribes, etc. The sum is a comprehensive look at 20th-century Asia. Many articles are well written and informative; others offer such detail that high school students may feel lost. There are numerous inconsistencies and errors, as well as mistakes in grammar and spelling. Dates are frequently incorrect. The 1964 date following Indira Gandhi's name puts her death 20 years too early, although the following article gives a correct account. The dates 1924-1988 accompany the name of Pakistani leader Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq (under the entry for "Pakistan-History"), yet the same paragraph mentions (incorrectly) his death in a 1987 plane crash. Japan's Onin War (1467-1477) is erroneously dated 1467-1600 in several places. Spellings of names need to be standardized. Maps, tables, and sidebars, many of which feature primary-source material, are scattered throughout. Black-and-white photographs add interest but on occasion lay victim to poor layout and inadequate captions. The encyclopedia is off to an impressive start, but it needs a stronger editorial hand.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In more than 2,600 articles, this encyclopedia covers the breadth of Asia, largely during the 20th century, from Turkey to Southeast Asia. Omitted are West Asian countries commonly associated with the Middle East (i.e., west of Iraq) and the countries of the former Soviet Union, because of differing regional concerns, adequate coverage in other regional encyclopedias, or cultural relationships that associate them with other regions. Articles about countries typically include an overall "profile" (geography, the people, language, history, politics, economy) and more focused topical articles (economic system, education system, history, political system), giving readers the option of a summary approach or more detailed coverage. Many other topics appear by subject, with separate articles by country or region (e.g., "Literature-Central Asia," "Literature-China"). Given the varying ways in which topics are presented, effective use of the encyclopedia is greatly enhanced by a lengthy "Reader's Guide," repeated in each volume, and a subject index. Typical of good encyclopedias, all the articles are signed (the preface notes the participation of "more than eight hundred scholars and experts from around the world"), include references to related articles, and conclude with "Further Reading" bibliographies. Other features include nearly 1,400 black-and-white maps (a section of regional maps is repeated in each volume), photographs, tables, chronologies, sidebars (many quoting source documents), and a roster of contributors.There are some curious and problematical situations. For example, the article on Japanese-Korean relations has no cross-reference to the Korea-Japan Treaty of 1965, nor does the treaty appear under "Japan-Korea relations" in the index (which also has no "Korea-Japan relations" heading). Few of the articles under "Myanmar" headings cross-reference articles under "Burma" headings. The charts for "China-Historical Periods" and "Japan-Historical Periods" are repeated with articles on specific dynasties and periods (there are no general history articles for these countries), but there is no similar chart for Indian history. The subject index entry for "China, historical periods in" refers to a page with the chart for Japan, and a similar entry for Japan cites none of its numerous charts. Some important battles are indexed (e.g., Tsushima), others are not (e.g., Leyte Gulf); some are ignored altogether (e.g., Nomonhan). There are some errors in fact: the Flying Tigers (not indexed) were formed, commissioned, and became operational in 1941, not 1944. One could question the editorial decision to include long articles on early Chinese dynasties (Zhou and Qin), Japanese historical periods (Jomon and Yayoi), and Indian empires (Gupta and Mauryan), as well as other premodern topics. Articles vary in depth, with many too superficial for more than quick reference or undergraduate background information. Nevertheless, the encyclopedia will be a unique resource appropriate for most reference collections. ^BSumming Up: Essential. General and academic collections. K. W. Berger Duke University