From Library Journal
Roth, an Oregon park ranger, has distilled data on more than 3000 supernatural "little people," spirits found in 380 cultures within 49 linguistic divisions in the Western Hemisphere. This material was originally gleaned from a vast archive published over the past centuries by government agencies, anthropology museums, university research centers, scholarly professions, and other learned bodies throughout the Americas. Arranged within geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries, Roth's brief discussion attempts to clarify the multiple and conflicting nomenclature of Native groups. Longer articles briefly discuss social organization (tribal hierarchy), presence (elf, dwarf, pygmy, shape-shifter), power (magic, spiritual), habitat (location preferences), and beliefs. Each major entry is followed by brief bibliographical references, with a 120-page bibliography at the end. Alas, the thorough body of anthropological, ethnic, and linguistic information implied by the title is, regrettably, not realized. With the exception of a few passing references to European American and African American cultures, the coverage is largely limited to Indian settlements and languages. The information provided appears dated and allows only a marginal glimpse at the ethnic and linguistic topics covered. The confusing arrangement and absence of an index assures that a search for specific information can be a many-step process. The lack of standard organization and the coverage flaws noted render this encyclopedia unsuitable for general reference usage.?Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"should serve for many years to come as the standard guide to the little people of the Western Hemisphere...fascinating and valuable...excellent...a careful job of condensing more than 3,000 stories from 380 cultures" -- ARBA