From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This encyclopedia opens with six lengthy essays covering the history of the church from before its founding in 1830 to the present. The essays are followed by more than 100 shorter articles under the separate headings of "Events," "People," and "Issues." Both the essays and articles are well researched and fully referenced and, on the whole, either favorable or neutral in their opinions of the church. (They are also signed, and most of the contributors are prominent Mormon historians.) Controversial issues, such as polygamy, are handled objectively and explored more extensively than other topics. "Non-Mormon Views of Mormonism" and "Mormonism and Other Faiths" are also considered. Occasional use of church-specific jargon occurs without explanation. The volume concludes with a detailed chronology; a lengthy, "selected" bibliography; a list of contributors; and a thorough index. A few photocopy-quality black-and-white photographs and captioned maps illustrate the volume. A useful resource.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This concise encyclopedia is one of several Mormon reference works published since 2000. Most resemble Scarecrow’s Historical Dictionary of Mormonism (3d ed., 2008) itsA–Z approach. This volume charts a different path, and it is one that researchers may enjoy. In fact, they might actually read it from cover to cover. The organizing principle involves four large categories: “Eras,” “Events,” “People,” and “Issues.” Within each category are encyclopedia-like articles—each one signed by its contributor and including recommended resources. For example, there are six articles in the “Eras” section, beginning with “Foundation (1820–1830)” and ending with “Expansion (1941–Present).” In section 2, “Events,” the list of entries is selective. Approximately 30 of the church’s most noteworthy happenings receive attention, including events like Joseph Smith’s First Vision in 1820 and his martyrdom in 1844. Similarly, the “People” section profiles the most notable members of the LDS Church, only two of whom are still living (and excluding Mitt Romney). The “Issues” section is the longest—not necessarily because of the number of entries but because of the more substantive treatment each one receives. Readers will find here subjects that demand inclusion, such as Mormon missiology, Mormonism and race, and Polygamy. Overall, the volume is tailor-made for those wanting information on the most prominent figures, the most influential moments, and the hottest topics. In other words, it has little in common with Daniel Ludlow’s massive four-volume Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1992). Also worth mentioning are the 16-page chronology and 14-page bibliography that conclude the work. A very nice addition for libraries with little need for a multivolume set on Mormonism. Also available as an e-book. --Wade Osburn