DG-95-3 -- EUROPE


What's What and Who's Who in Europe / Harry Drost. - London : Cassell, 1995. - X, 646 p. ; 24 cm. - ISBN 0-304-34117-7 (hb.) : £40.00 - ISBN 0-304-34115-0 (pb.) : £16.99

An alphabetically organized reference work attempting to cover current and historical Europe, especially the UK, France, Germany, and Italy, with particular emphasis on politics and areas in crisis (e.g., the former Yugoslavia and Ireland). Eastern European states, except the members of the former USSR, are included. Entries vary from several lines to 10 pages, including cross-references and all spellings and abbreviations. The work contains a brief foreword but does not include an index or bibliographical references. Numerous mistakes in the information supplied as well as the banality of some of the reports and an arbitrary selection of keywords make this work inappropriate for both European and American libraries. [ab/mm]


Historical Dictionary of Germany / by Wayne C. Thompson ; Susan L. Thompson ; Juliet S. Thompson. - Metuchen, NJ ; London : Scarecrow Press, 1994. - XV, 637 p. ; 23 cm. - (European historical dictionaries ; 4). - ISBN 0-8108-2869-3 : $ 62.50

A general, descriptive reference work with a distinctly American orientation. Includes chronological (86 p.), encyclopedic, and bibliographic sections, covering concepts, events, organizations, time periods, and people. Some coverage of art, literature, and culture is present. Maps are included. More attention is paid to periods and events in which the U.S. played a role. Particular German concepts are covered well, though with somewhat arbitrary emphasis and superficial and sometimes inaccurate treatment. Negative presentations of some movements and groups (e.g., the peace movement, conscientious objectors) constitute another drawback, perhaps explained by the employment of its author (Virginia Military Institute, and in charge of that school's exchange program with the educational arm of the German army.) This work would only be passable as a general introduction for American German studies undergraduates. A better choice, at least for readers of German, would be the Lexikon der deutschen Geschichte. [kuw/mm]


Nachrichtenbrief / Gesellschaft fur Exilforschung : 1984 bis 1993 ; mit Gesamtregister = Newsletter / Society for Exile Studies / Ed.: Ernst Loewy. - Repr. of Frankfurt am Main ed. - München [etc.] : Saur, 1995. - v. 1 - 3 ; 18 cm. - ISBN 3-598-11243-2 : DM 498.00

A welcome reprint of the Society for Exile Studies' Newsletter 1/2 (1984) - 13 (1991), consisting in large part of a particularly useful annual bibliography and an index to film, radio, and television productions, and, starting with 9/10 (1988), reviews. Issue 14/15 1992/1993 (1995), compiled for the reprint and comprised of only the bibliographical section and an accumulated index to personal names and subject terms (indexes for the individual issues were excluded from the reprint), makes this work even more useful. In addition, an alphabetical index to the reports and reviews is included (by author and/or reviewer). The Newsletter is appearing in a new format, unfortunately lacking the bibliographical section. [sh/mm]


Stadtlexikon Babenhausen [Encyclopedia of Babenhausen] / ed. Georg Wittenberger. - Babenhausen : Stadtverwaltung, 1995. - 152 p. ; 24 cm. - DM 19.95. - (Stadtverwaltung Babenhausen, Sport- und Kulturamt, Marktplatz 2, 64832 Babenhausen)

This encyclopedia is devoted to the modest-sized city of Babenhausen (pop. 16,000) which lies between Darmstadt and Aschaffenburg. It was published in conjunction with the celebration of the city's 700 year anniversary. The articles are typical for this sort of reference work, although clubs and small-scale industry seem to be especially well represented. It contains numerous illustrations, including some in color, and concludes with a bibliography. [sh/bw]


Handbuch der historischen Stätten Deutschlands [Handbook of German Historical Sites]. - Stuttgart : Kröner. - 18 cm. - (Kröners Taschenausgabe ; ... )

10. Berlin und Brandenburg : mit Neumark und Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen / ed. Gerd Heinrich. - 3rd, enl. and rev. ed. - 1995. - CVI, 612 p. - (... ; 311). - ISBN 3-520-31103-8 : DM 38.00

Clearly the volumes in this useful and respected series most in need of revision are the ones covering the newly constituted states of the former German Democratic Republic. This volume covering Berlin and environs falls into this group. The revision, however, is a major disappointment: it reprints unchanged the text of the first edition (1973) and the small supplement from the second edition (1985) and adds a second small supplement to produce this third edition. Both supplements together constitute a mere four additional pages. [sh/bw]


Ein halbes Jahrhundert Forschung zur neueren Geschichte Sachsen-Anhalts (1940 - 1992/3) [Half a Century of Research in the Recent History of Saxony-Anhalt] : eine Bestandsaufnahme / Thomas Klein. // In: Sachsen und Anhalt : Jahrbuch der Historischen Kommission für Sachsen-Anhalt. - Weimar : Böhlau. - ISSN 0945-2842 - 18 (1994), pp. 141-338

Vol. 18 (1994) of this Yearbook of the Historical Commission of Saxony-Anhalt follows vol. 17 (1943) after a gap of over 50 years. (Saxony-Anhalt is one of the "new German federal states," until 1991 a part of the German Democratic Republic.) Hence the inclusion of an extensive bibliography that covers the history of modern Saxony-Anhalt (ca. 1500 to 1945/52). It is a very awkward bibliography to use, especially since there is no index. The annual Sachsen-Anhalt (1969-) is an excellent comprehensive bibliography for the region. The more welcome, then, a selective historical bibliography; would that this one were more user- friendly. [sh/sl]


Die Publikationen der Historischen Kommission für die Provinz Sachsen und für Anhalt [Publications of the Historical Commission for the Province of Saxony and for Anhalt] / Josef Hartmann. // In: Sachsen und Anhalt : Jahrbuch der Historischen Kommission für Sachsen-Anhalt. - Weimar : Böhlau. - ISSN 0945-2842 - 18 (1994), p. 83 - 125.

This bibliography lists publications of the Historical Commission for Saxony-Anhalt, which, along with its journal, was reinstated in 1991 after a hiatus of over fifty years. It includes a bibliography from 1935 until the dissolution of the Commission in 1940. Publications from 1954 on appear only when they are continuations of editions begun by the Commission. Sections are: historical sources, bibliographies, index of persons whose biographies appeared in the commission's Mitteldeutsche Lebensbilder series, yearly reports, architectural and artistic landmarks of Saxony, yearbooks of Saxony and Anhalt, and a final list of minor publications. The sections vary in the kind of access they provide. Though most of the bibliography simply lists citations, the content of certain publications is described, and an author and keyword index appears at the end of the book . On the whole, this work is a valuable bibliography of the organization whose publications it documents and can serve to stimulate similar bibliographical projects by other German historical commissions. [sh/cmc]


Italy / Lucio Sponza and Diego Zancani, compilers. - Oxford [etc.] : Clio Press, 1995. - XXXI, 417 p. ; 22 cm. - (World Bibliographical Series ; 30). - ISBN 0-903450-44-5 : £67.50, £60.75 (series price)

The publications of the World Bibliographical Series are separate bibliographies for each country of the world aimed at "scholars and informed readers, or ... the more general reader", and focus on English language publications. This work is divided into subject chapters and describes 1,076 titles. Several flaws are apparent in the structure and content of the bibliography. Not only is the scholar shortchanged by the emphasis on English language works, but there is an imbalance in the number and quality of titles selected for each area. While politics, civics and economics receive satisfactory treatment, the categories of arts and music contain only 31 and 36 titles respectively, and the selection seems absolutely arbitrary. In the music section few general works are cited and monographs on individual musicians predominate. The maps chapter omits the most well known and useful Italian maps and atlases. The bibliography chapter is a conglomeration of titles including an outdated bibliography. In addition, the organization of book titles within chapters is awkward for the reader. Titles and authors are in an alphabetical sequence without any topical subdivision. Readers are better served by F. S. Sytch's How to Find Out About Italy (1970), in spite of its age. [sh/cmc]


Italien [Italy] / Carmine Chiellino ; Fernando Marchio ; Giocondo Rongoni. - 3rd, rev. ed. - München : Beck, 1995. - 430 p. ; 18 cm. (Beck'sche Reihe ; 821 : Länder). - ISBN 3-406-39351-9 : DM 26.00

First published in 1981, then revised in 1989, a new edition of this guide to contemporary Italian society and politics was made necessary by recent changes in Italian public life. Chapters include, for example, "Population: Developement and Structure," "Economy and Society," "Politics, Society and Culture." Useful for understanding life in Italy today, this work can be augmented by four other titles: Kleines Italien-Lexikon (Beck, 1989), Italien : eine geographische Landeskunde (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1985), Italia : geografia, storia, economia ... (Istituto Geografico de Agostini, 1988), and Italian-Lexikon (E. Schmidt, 1995). [sh/sl]


Historisches Lexikon der Sowjetunion [Historical Encyclopedia of the Soviet Union] : 1917/22 bis 1991 / ed. by Hans-Joachim Torke. - München : Beck, 1993. - 401 p. ; 23 cm. - ISBN 3-406-36771-2 : DM 78.00

This encyclopedia continues the Lexikon der Geschichte Rußlands [Encyclopedia of Russian History] (1985). Subject specialists provide thorough articles on topics on politics, social life, nationality studies, economics, religion, education and literature, discussing, when appropriate, relevant trends in scholarship. Bibliographical citations are predominately to Russian-language sources. A good encyclopedic work such as this inevitably suffers from the rapidity of historical change, however. One finds thorough articles concerning the former Soviet republics or autonomous areas, but no entry for Chechnya. On other hand, interesting discoveries can be made in articles pertaining to social history, e.g., alcoholism, hooliganism, prostitution, death penalty, etc. The system of references is occasionally cumbersome and indirect. For quick, reliable information Torke's Historisches Lexikon der Sowjetunion will be more useful than the massive, still incomplete Handbuch der Geschichte Rußlands [Handbook of Russian History] (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1981-) . [kuw/sbd]


Politisches Lexikon GUS [Political Encyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Independent States] / Roland Götz ; Uwe Halbach. - 2nd revised ed. - München : Beck, 1993. - 310 p. ; 18 cm. - (Beck'sche Reihe ; 852 : Länder). - ISBN 3-406-35173-5 : DM 22.00


Politisches Lexikon Rußland [Political Encyclopedia of Russia] : die nationalen Republiken und Gebietseinheiten der Rußländischen Föderation / Roland Götz ; Uwe Halbach. - 1st ed. - München : Beck, 1994. - 399 p. ; 18 cm. - (Beck'sche Reihe ; 856 : Länder). - ISBN 3-406-35177-8 : DM 28.00

The Politisches Lexikon GUS covers almost the entire region of the former Soviet Union. In light of the autonomous nature of the Commonwealth, the editors present separate chapters concerning the eleven member states and Georgia, and avoid taking a summarizing approach. The chapters contain short summaries of each region's history, and its political and economic situation, living standards and ecological conditions. Each chapter includes several bibliographical references. The second edition updates and expands the 1992 edition slightly. It provides good basic knowledge despite occasional carelessness. The separate chapters make comparison of data difficult -- comparative tables, or at least an index to tables would have helped -- and the work suffers from the lack of a general index. There is also considerable inconsistency in the geographic names: names in the text often do not correspond to names found on maps.

The Politisches Lexikon Rußland provides a more detailed discussion of the Russian Federation than the single chapter in the work discussed above. The same organizational structure is used in this encyclopedia, but the structure proves inadequate for a thorough discussion of the 21 republics and 11 autonomous areas of the Federation. Most readers will find the entries too brief. However, the introductory sections do provide a useful discussion of the current political situation in the Russian Federation. The deficiencies in the organization of the Politisches Lexikon GUS are magnified in the Politisches Lexikon Rußland with its 89 geographical entities, and detract significantly from the considerable amount of information included in this work. [ab/sbd]

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