Most helpful critical review
178 of 189 people found the following review helpful
Make sure this is what you want
on May 23, 2012
I agree with everyone that this is an exemplary physical book to display, hold and browse through.
Unfortunately, the content is not up to what's advertised.
The articles are short and have a scattershot, unscholarly feel. All entries receive two or four pages. As a result, the most basic, important symbols, e.g., sun, moon, rose, fountain, receive embarrassingly scant coverage. Egg gets two pages. Obviously you can't even scratch the surface of these major symbols in two or three paragraphs.
Other articles such as knee, coyote, bicycle, and kangaroo, get two pages each and are mixed in among the more important ones; so flipping through the book gives no sense of relative weight and hierarchy.
A number of key symbols and terms, such as Trinity, caduceus, tarot, sephiroth, crucible, receive no articles or references. There is no article or index entry for either hero or journey
Each article gets 1-3 illustrations, but few if any have references in the article text and many lack captions altogether.
A closer look at the book shows a complete lack of scholarly credentials. The "About the Authors" page lists only the archives from which the images were taken; no individuals are listed there as editors or authors. The "Contributors" page that follows gives only the contributors' names; there is no mention of anyone having so much as a college degree much less a publication or academic position.
The Bibliography contains fewer than fifteen items, nearly all of which are encyclopedias and archive catalogs. Carl Jung's collected works are mentioned as one citation, but Jung himself is hard to find -- there's no article on him and his name does not even appear in the index.
The book badly needed a critical introduction giving some background, better explaining the criteria for inclusion and presentation of entries, summarizing Jung's work, and much more The Index appears to be more useful to find what is missing from the book than it is to locate anything useful.
I would not recommend this book for any serious scholarly purpose.