18 Booklist December 15, 2015 www.booklistreader.com
deceived have not consistently been realized.
Presidents up to Barack Obama, Greenberg
avers, have learned that public opinion is
harder to mold than image makers, wordsmiths, and focus-group maestros think.
Balanced, interesting, and timely for the
2016 campaign, Greenberg’s work will entice any reader following media and politics.
Wars That Changed History: 50 of the
World’s Greatest Conflicts.
By Spencer C. Tucker.
2015. 655p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $100 (9781610697859).
This concise single-volume historical dictionary describes 50 conflicts that changed
world history, from Thutmose III’s Egyptian
campaigns of 1479–1459 BCE to the modern-day Iraq War. Renowned military historian
Tucker has expertly written another excellent
resource, with thoroughly documented and
indexed chronologically organized entries.
Entries offer a substantial overview and his-
The World of the American Revolution: A
torical analysis of each conflict, including
maps, causes, course, and significance in
addition to individual bibliographies for fur-
ther reading. For example, the 20-page entry
about the American Civil War offers readers
a significant overview of the conflict with re-
markable use of primary sources, historical
maps, and references to other archival docu-
ments in the comprehensive bibliography. At
the end of this work is a 30-page alphabetical
index with names, individual battles, subjects,
and significant events associated with each
of the 50 conflicts. Tucker has authored a
commanding volume of military history that
would be a valuable addition to any library.
Daily Life Encyclopedia.
Ed. by Merril D. Smith.
2v. 2015. 977p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $189 (9781440830273).
This set offers readers a comprehensive
and well-documented study of the American
Revolution and the people who experienced
the conflict. Each volume is organized into
10 broad topical headings, including the
arts, economics and employment, family life
and gender studies, fashion, food, housing
and the community, politics and warfare,
social customs, religion, and science and
technology. The well-written entries are or-
ganized alphabetically, and each entry on a
specific subject contains a historical over-
view and concludes with a bibliography for
further reading. Primary documents include
excerpts from books, correspondence, news-
papers, and more. There is a table of contents
in the front of both volumes and a selected
bibliography and 50-page detailed index at
the end of the second volume.
A great deal of research, sensitivity to
people and subject matter, and thought
went into compiling this encyclopedia.
It not only offers a broad understanding
of daily life in the time period but it also
discusses women and the diverse populations in North America, including Native
Americans and African Americans. This set
is a valuable addition to any library, and it
offers readers an important historical understanding of the everyday lives of people who
lived before, during, and after the American
Revolution. —Harrison Wick
Holiday Symbols and Customs. 5th ed.
Ed. by Keith Jones.
2015. 1,458p. illus. Omnigraphics, $100
What’s the difference between Lupercalia and Valentine’s Day? Which holiday
calls for celebrities to throw dried beans
at a crowd? Who celebrates Hogmanay?
All of these questions—and questions
you didn’t even know you had—are answered in this extensive reference volume
on holidays around the world. This new
edition has been expanded to cover an
additional 42 holidays and 100 symbols
and customs. Also updated is an appendix listing entries by symbol and custom
(which would be more helpful with a following page listing). Entries themselves
are filled with information about the origin
of the holiday, the symbols and customs
associated with it, and contacts for further
information. For an informative, interesting, and exhaustive tome on holidays, this
is a tough one to beat. Recommended
for public and school libraries, especially
those that have an annual cultural assignment. —Erin Linsenmeyer
Oxford Companion to Wine. 4th ed.
Ed. by Jancis Robinson.
2015. 912p. illus. Oxford, $65 (9780198705383).
Robinson has ensured this extensive
encyclopedic reference of more than
4,000 entries reflects the vast changes
the wine world has experienced over the
decade since the last edition was published. Nearly 200 contributors helped
revise more than 2,000 entries and pen
more than 300 new entries on the wide
spectrum of oenology, including historical and scientific influences, winemakers
and vineyards, and the myriad vocabulary
terms used in wine description. In addition
to the detailed text, there are numerous
images, regional maps, and tasting charts.
This valuable resource is recommended
for public as well as academic and special
libraries. —Becca Smith
The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors
Clear the Confusion about Vitamins
and Your Health.
By Romy Block and Arielle Levitan.
2015. 200p. She Writes Press, paper, $17.95
This consumer guide to therapeutic
vitamin use takes a welcoming, conversational approach to a clinical topic.
Doctors Block and Levitan draw on their
experiences with patients and have come
to the conclusion that many common ail-
ments, from depression to sleep problems
to weight issues, can be eased (they are
wisely careful to never say cured) by vi-
tamin supplementation. Sections cover
different health problems and the possible
vitamin solutions. There is a 30-page listing
of vitamins that highlights each individual
vitamin, with easy bullet points of why
one might take it. It bears noting that the
authors sell their own supplements online,
but this is not a sales-pitch book. This ex-
tremely user-friendly volume should find a
home in the circulating health collections
of most libraries. —Rebecca Vnuk
Wild Cats of the World.
By Luke Hunter.
2015. 240p. illus. Bloomsbury, $40 (9781472912190).
Thirty-six wild feline species, many of
them rare, are described and illustrated in
this attractive large-format book. Entries
detail the cat family; its history, evolution,
linkages, and the science of studying cats;
and then each species in turn, from the
small black-footed cat to the large lion.
Most of these cats are small, not much
bigger than domesticated cats, and many
of the pretty full-face portraits have expressions similar to cats that readers will have
met. The authoritative and accessible text
is accompanied by charming drawings and
documentary photographs, including some
showing the capturing and killing of prey.
Location maps, size data, and conservation
status introduce each species’ information.
Relationships among species, detailed
descriptions, habitats, food, reproduction,
social behavior, and threats are included for
each wild cat. —Linda Scarth
REFERENCE BOOKS IN BRIEF