Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence positions itself well in the midst of other social-science reference titles that deal with modern social issues: abortion, alcoholism, child abuse, controlled substances, etc. Though it is unique as a single-volume subject encyclopedia on the topic, numerous other titles include some coverage of domestic violence. Is there something about this that makes it stand out and, more specifically, makes it worth the purchase price? The 138 AZ entries fall into seven categories, including "Child Abuse and Elder Abuse," "Domestic Violence and the Law," and several others that one might expect from a volume such as this. The category that sets this effort apart from what already exists in the literature is "Cross-Cultural and Religious Perspectives." Not only are there articles on particular American groups (for example, African Americans) and their cultural attitudes with regard to domestic violence but non-American perspectives on domestic violence and its legal implications are presented in several entries on Africa as well as entries on Greece, Spain, and other countries. Also covered are attitudes toward domestic violence from some major religious groups, such as in the entry Qur'anic perspectives on wife abuse. The cross-cultural and multicultural focus of these articles is one of the encyclopedia's strengths. Another category worth noting is "Understudied Areas within Domestic Violence Research," most of which have to do with nontraditional relationships. Examples include Caregiver violence against people with disabilities, Lesbian battering, and Male victims of domestic violence and reasons they stay with their abusers. Each article is several pages long, with cross-references to other articles in the volume and with substantial bibliographies. The majority of contributors have an academic affiliation, some from foreign universities. There is a thorough and comprehensive index. Academic libraries with a focus on social sciences and large public libraries with substantial social-sciences collections will want to give this volume serious consideration. Hoover, Danise
About the Author
Nicky Ali Jackson
is Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University.