CH -- Business and Economics

Lexikon Soziale Marktwirtschaft: Wirtschaftspolitik von A bis Z [Encyclopedia of Social Market Economics: Economic Policy from A to Z]. Ed. Rolf H. Hasse, Hermann Schneider, and Klaus Weigelt. Paderborn: Schöningh, 2002. 527 p. ill. 22 cm. (UTB, 2325). ISBN 3-506-97018-6 (Schöningh), ISBN 3-8252-2325-6 (UTB): EUR 18.90 [03-1-230]

The editors note in the foreword that “social market economy” has become an empty phrase, not often understood in its original meaning. Part of this publication’s thrust is to counteract that tendency and to guide users toward social market economic thinking. Biographical and topical articles appear in two separate alphabetical sections. Thirty-two economists or practitioners are covered in the first section, while the much larger topical area offers 166 articles. The latter are distinguished between (1) bases of the social market economy and (2) economic policy in the social market economy. Within the economic policy section are comprehensive articles about the European Union and German reunification, about social policies, competition, currency, labor market, etc. This section is what makes the encyclopedia a rich source for recent German and European economic history. Most entries include bibliographic notes and refer the reader to related articles. A glossary of specialized terms adds to the value, as do indexes to abbreviations, illustrations, and to the individuals and topics themselves. Naturally, the user should remain aware of the political motives behind the content and distinguish this encyclopedia from reference works that have no preset agenda. [lf/rdh]

Knapps enzyklopädisches Lexikon des Geld-, Bank- und Börsenwesens [Knapp’s Encyclopedia of Finance, Banking, and the Stock Market]. Frankfurt am Main: Knapp, 2002. 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 3-8314-0738-X: EUR 49 [03-1-231]

The print edition of this standard work (1999) was reviewed in RREA 6:237. In general, it is welcome when publishers also offer printed works in digital form, especially when these are much less expensive—in this case about one-tenth of the price of the print edition. However, this CD-ROM does not offer the ease of retrieval of other dictionaries. This is due to the choice of the PDF format, which doesn’t have the functions of a database system with indexing and links between entries. The system requirements are PC with at least a 166 processor, 32 MB RAM, CD-ROM 4X, and a Netscape 4.X-compatible browser with JavaScript and Acrobat Reader. The main screen offers three search possibilities: alphabetical A–Z, keyword search, and full-text search. For the fulltext search, all 2,213 pages have to be loaded first. Keyword searches include only the entry headings, and they only bring up an alphabetical list with the first letter. Th us, the information retrieval is very awkward. In comparison with the book edition, the CD-ROM allows easy copying and saving of articles. Another advantage is that words or parts of words in articles can be found—even more important because the book does not have a subject index or a bibliography. Disadvantages are that it is less comfortable to read long texts on a monitor and that the CD-ROM lacks the prefaces, author list, and systematic overview of the articles. Thus the CD-ROM edition cannot completely substitute for the paper edition, although it is a useful supplement to it. [lf/gh]

Bibliographie der österreichischen Eisenbahnliteratur: von den Anfängen bis 1918 [Bibliography of Austrian Railway Literature, from Its Beginnings to 1918]. Bernhard Neuner. 3 vols. Wien: Drews, 2002. 1,599 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-901949-00-3: EUR 398 (Walter Drews, Alois-Czednik-Gasse 1/12, A-1140 Wien, fax [43 1] 5771412, wdrews@wdrews.com) [03-1-232]

The author, a mechanical engineer who filled several professional positions in the Austrian Railway Administration, took 10 years to produce this comprehensive bibliography of the Austro-Hungarian railway system up to the end of the Hapsburg Monarchy. Each of the literally countless titles is bibliographically described in detail, often including an abstract and where possible a notation of the holding library (often the Austrian National Library), with call number.

In the first two volumes the entries are arranged chronologically, except for periodical titles, which are arranged alphabetically. Within volume 1, which covers general literature, chapter 12 covers works about foreign railways, and chapter 14 is devoted to musical compositions, beginning with Josef Lanner’s Ankunfts-Walzer [The On-Time Waltz] (1829) and Johann Strauss, Sr.’s Eisenbahn-Lust-Walzer [The Joys of Railroading] (1836). Volume 2 deals mainly with individual railways. A long initial chapter contains 322 entries ranging from the Abbazia Electricity and Small Railway Co. to the Zvoleň-Smečno Railway, Inc. The documentation on the Austrian National Railway (ÖNB) is exceptionally detailed. The chapter on railway atlases and maps is likewise impressive.

Within volume 3, the section on biographical notes is of particular interest, containing brief biographical descriptions along with references to secondary literature. A section on illustrations includes title pages, technical drawings, maps, buildings, and personal portraits. An index of authors and works closes the volume.

This typographically excellent work should be an example for all other such bibliographies. It is one of the most welcome bibliographies of this kind in many years and belongs in all large libraries with an interest in economic, social, and cultural history, as well as in technical libraries. [sh/ga]

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Last update: March 6, 2006 [BG]
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