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Environmental Literature: An Encyclopedia of Works, Authors, and Themes (ABC-CLIO Literary Companion) Hardcover – December 14, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This unique guide to environmental literature throughout history aims to "encourage an emotional response to the environment." The entries cover such subjects as "environmental fiction" and "waste management," such titles as Silent Spring and The Origin of Species, and such diverse authors as Lucretius, Henry David Thoreau, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Also included are book-length works of environmental fiction and collections of poetry, including Planet of the Apes and Gary Snyder's Turtle Island. There are helpful lists of authors, works, and themes; an excellent index; and a very useful bibliography. Netzley, formerly a writer of children's books, has in recent years published well-received reference works on such diverse topics as special effects in the movies (see the preceding review of Encyclopedia of Movie Special Effects), Japan, and the paranormal. Such far-ranging expertise is hard to come by, so it is not surprising that some topics were missed: pastoral poetry, for example, or even Dickens's Hard Times, with its strong criticism of industry's ruination of the countryside. Even so, this is a useful addition to collections on the environment. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
-Peter A. Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., MI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The far-ranging selection of entries included here makes for interesting browsing as well as reading for specific information. The author selected persons, events, works, and other topics that she feels were designed to influence readers' and thinkers' perceptions of how to view the natural world. Poets, nature writers, novelists, academics, conservationists, explorers, and scientists are represented by their works and brief biographical entries. There are more than 230 persons and approximately 200 works listed in the table of contents. The 35 themes range from agriculture to wildlife conservation. As with any encyclopedic endeavor, there are inclusions and exclusions that will be questioned by individual users.

Entries vary in length from a single paragraph to several pages. Most are two or three paragraphs. The diverse selection of topics, persons, and publications finds Air pollution and Albertus Magnus, Saint as adjacent entries. Environmental groups and Environmental fiction are treated with the same attention to compacting useful information into limited space. Entries for the magazine International Wildlife and the writer Washington Irving are further examples of efforts to be as inclusive as possible in a single volume.

The table of contents is an alphabetical list of all entries. There is also a contents list by category: authors, works, and themes. The six-page bibliography includes some but not all of the works discussed in the encyclopedia, as well as additional titles; an explanatory paragraph for the bibliography would be a desirable addition. The index is well done, with in-context cross-referencing. The author is indicated for each work, and there are page references for related entries when appropriate.

The entries are meant to be starting points, not the end of research. Names, dates, works, research interests, and related topics mentioned in the entries will lead users to go beyond this book. The only concern is that the attractive shiny-paper "bookcloth" binding will not wear well for a much-used reference item. Regardless, most types of libraries will find Environmental Literature a useful addition to literary genre reference and to environmental studies collections.

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