From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This rigorous A-Z set will be valuable for defining vocabulary such as “friendly fire” or “leaflet bombing,” and identifying people, places, tactics, and campaigns. Included are numerous Russian, Japanese, and German terms such as “Wunderwaffen” (wonder weapons), and “Kotel” (a battle of encirclement). Entries vary in length, from mere definitions to 17 pages (on Adolf Hitler), and are often followed up with “see” or “see-also” references and additional reading suggestions. Appended is an extensive bibliography and a general index with careful cross-referencing and bold main entry notations. There are no illustrations. A first stop for researchers.–Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia Jr. Sr. High School, NY. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This “concise” work seeks to provide a synthesis one of the most complex and expansive subjects of the twentieth century and possibly human history into a usable reference tool. In addition to focusing on significant battles, leaders, politics, and diplomacy, author Nolan (International History Institute) devotes considerable attention to issues on the eastern front as well as the effects of the war on peripheral participants and neutrals. Although there is some discussion of related facts, this is not an encyclopedia of the home front, social movements, or the Holocaust. For the most part, this is a work dedicated to the operations, campaigns, battles, and principal political and military actors in what was the most destructive total war to date. Each volume begins with a comprehensive list of entries and 20 black-and-white maps representing engagements in all theaters of the war, for example, the Battle of the Bulge and Leyte Gulf. The alphabetically arranged entries range in length from single lines (Command post, Dime Force, Interdiction, S-phone) to up to several pages for key individuals (Hermann Goring, Henri Pétain), battles, campaigns, and operations (Ardennes Offensive, Philippines, TORCH) as well as general terms (Aircraft carriers, Fascism, Rations). Other examples of entries include Blockade running, Eastern front, Imperial Japanese Navy, RADAR, U-boats, and Yalta Conference. Most of the larger entries include a suggested reading. Numerous see and see also references aid in navigation. Volume 2 concludes with a comprehensive index and a 32-page categorized, select bibliography for further research. Although any work attempting to cover such a huge topic concisely faces the twin pitfalls of selection and exclusion, Nolan has brought his considerable talents and flair for economic and engaging writing to the task and produced what is certainly an impressive reference work, recommended for larger public libraries and undergraduate collections. It may not be a necessary purchase for libraries that already own the five-volume Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social, and Military History (2005), which has numerous black-and-white photographs and several hundred documents in addition to many more entries. Also available as an e-book. --Brian Odom