Cover image for The encyclopedia of the Second World
The encyclopedia of the Second World
Kurian, George Thomas.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [1991]

Physical Description:
x, 614 pages ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D847 .K82 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



A companion reference to the Encyclopedia of the Third World (fourth ed., 1991) and the Encyclopedia of the First World (1990), the three together profiling all independent nations of the world. Objectively describes the dominant political, economic, and social systems of the 11 countries that, until recently, made up the Communist world: China, Poland, Soviet Union, Hungary, East Germany, Mongolia, Albania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

YA-- Identical in format to Encyclopedia of the Third World (Facts on File, 1981), this title profiles 11 countries that formerly made up the communist bloc--Albania, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Kurian includes a fact sheet for each country, followed by standard encyclopedic information such as geography, history, economy, and government. Each country's legal system, culture, health services, and human rights policies are also outlined. A bibliography follows each section. Copyrights for the books on Czechoslovakia range from 1954 to 1985, which is hardly current information. The articles vary in length; 149 pages are devoted to Czechoslovakia, while the now - nonexistent East Germany warrants 45 pages of coverage. Much of the information can be found in general encyclopedias and world almanacs. The strength of this volume is in the scope of information presented on some of the countries and the fact that only one source need be consulted for reports. The overviews are clear and concise , with maps, charts, and statistical data to clarify and expand the text.-- Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

A companion to Kurian's Encyclopedia of the First World (CH, Mar'91) and Encyclopedia of the Third World (3rd ed., 1987 1st ed., CH, Jun'79), this volume covers 11 socialist countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, the rapid changes in Eastern Europe have outdated this book even before publication, most notably in the 46-page section on East Germany. It might be argued that the information is at least of historical interest, and Kurian does so (p. vi), but this is not the only source to provide it, and there are other problems with the book. A map of the entire region would have been useful. Few of the statistical tables list sources. The briefness of the citations to "Official Publications," given at the end of each country's chapter, makes them almost unusable: no issuing bodies are given, nor is it clear whether English or non-English versions were used. Also confusing is the "Physical Quality of Life Index," featured prominently at the beginning of each country's chapter, but never further explained. Wait for an edition with reasonably current information and complete citations. -C. Teague, University of Vermont