Countries, Peoples & Cultures Salem Press 9v. 2015 $895
(Note: would duplicate same print title in Reference Collection)
Similar titles in e-Reference Collection
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life 3rd ed. 5v 2017 (GVRL)
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations 14th ed. 5v 2017 (GVRL)
Ethnic Groups of ... (Africa and the Middle East; Asia; Americas; Europe) 4v. 2011-14 (from publisher)
Title overview (from publisher)
The Countries, Peoples & Cultures series is complete with specific information on over 200 countries and self-governing territories, as well as separate appendices profiling 21 types of governments currently in power and 10 major world religions. Useful for students, educators, academic researchers, and other professionals in their fields, this encyclopedia is a must-have for community, academic, and specialized libraries across the nation.
Reference Reviews (2016): A marriage of two similar antecedent works, Countries and Their Cultures (Ember and Ember, 2001) and the second edition of Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (Gall and Hobby, 2009), at more than 5,000 pages, is a nine-volume tour de force.
A mélange of demographic, ethnological, political, sociological and economic information, the book's more than 200 individually authored and identically structured entries provide a multi-page profile of each country including general information about it, its environment and geography, customs and courtesies, lifestyle, cultural history, culture, society, social development, government and economy, followed by a bibliography. (The absence of a section on the country's history is a curious omission, presumably deliberate.)
Subsumed under each of these rubrics are a variety of related subtopics (e.g. demography, topography, the arts, politics, food, literature). Two appendices, one on world governments and the other on world religions, reproduced in each volume, typologize the entries by regime types and prominent religious observance. Each volume has its own index and begins with a brief introductory essay on the region. Embellished by colorful maps, pictures of flags and occasional photographs, the layout is visually appealing.
Edited by a cultural anthropologist, this book is essentially an ethnological encyclopedia. Although useful to a diverse readership, the writing level and style suggest that, as a reference tool, the primary audience is high school students. Intended to be acquired as a set, the individual standalone volumes devoted to specific regions (Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Central, South and Southeast Asia; East Asia and The Pacific; Western and Central Africa; Eastern and Southern Africa; Middle East and North Africa; North America and The Caribbean; and Central and South America) may also be purchased separately. As online versions of reference works have become increasingly de rigueur , purchasers have complimentary access to a website which contains the full text.
A handsome and convenient compilation, the book's daunting price tag may limit its appeal to budget-conscious libraries. Those able to afford it but are strapped for shelf space might consider acquiring only the electronic version, which is the same price as the print. Given the myriad of alternative sources available, however, it may prove hard to justify the expense, making it an optional purchase for libraries, especially those which already have the above-mentioned titles.