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The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2009 (World Almanac & Book of Facts) Paperback – November 25, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Series: World Almanac & Book of Facts
  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: World Almanac (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600571050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600571053
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #852,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...[T]here is still no substitute for the tactile pleasure or serendipitous discovery that comes from turning the pages in a book brimming with knowledge. The example par excellence of such a book is The World Almanac, published annually since 1868 (the ...and Book of Facts was added in 1923). A treasure trove of political, economic, scientific and educational statistics and information, it also offers some delightful surprises, including the most popular baby names in the U.S. (in 2007, as in 2006, they were Jacob and Emily, though Isabella is rising fast) and the winning word in the most recent Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Last year, 13-year-old Evan O'Dorney correctly spelled "serrefine," a small surgical forceps.) In November 1963, during the rushed swearing-in ceremony aboard Air Force One, Lyndon Johnson recited the presidential oath from this invaluable resource."-- Donald Altschiller, Wall Street Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

C. Alan Joyce is the Editorial Director for World Almanac Books, serving as chief editor for the #1 bestselling The World Almanac and Book of Facts and The World Almanac for Kids. He created the new World Almanac blog in 2006, and continues to oversee its daily publishing schedule. Alan was previously a freelance writer and editor, with years of experience in reference publishing—and a lifelong addiction to reference books of all kinds. He is the former Executive Editor of The New York Times Almanac and The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Can look up things while reading in bed!
A reader
The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2009 I buy a new World Almanac every year and keep it within arm's reach of my favorite seat on the couch.
D. Sokolowski
Keep informed in the easiest way by keeping this book of facts at your fingertips.
Bonnie Neely

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By FXO on December 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a purchaser and frequent user of THE WORLD ALMANAC for over thirty years, this is the first time I can recall being so disappointed and annoyed with this wonderful compendium of facts. Following is why.

The 2009 WORLD ALMANAC has made some major changes in the U.S. population, zip codes, area codes and metropolitan area rankings data which are included. This is all information I use frequently and among the first I checked.

1. Previous issues included U.S. population statistics by state for Places 5,000 Population or More (i.e. by town). Last year, data by town included 1990 population, 2006 population estimate, area code and zip code. Instead of updating with 2000 census data compared to the 2007 estimate, the entire section was eliminated.

2. Re zip codes, the only ones included are for Outlying Areas only such as the Northern Marianas and Guam. Useful to be sure, by some, but much more useful to most would be zip codes for the 50 states. Not an unreasonable expectation since most of those purchasing this book live in one of those 50 states.

3. Re area codes, the only ones provided are sorted by the area code itself followed by the state to which it is assigned. Not very useful if one wants to find the area code for a specific city or how many area codes exist for a particular state. One must conduct a time-consuming search through all columns and to find them all, making notes along the way. Area codes were included this was way last year, however it was not such a big deal because they were also available categorized by state and town. It is a big deal now because this is the only area code information provided.

4. U.S. Metropolitan Area population rankings were also eliminated.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Each year, I look forward to this volume. I love the masses of trivia and minutiae contained within the pages of this book. I literally find it fun to rifle through the pages and see what tidbits are there. For those unfamiliar with this publication, it provides facts and figures on all manner of things--from the state of the economy to election results to sports to flags and maps to historical facts (e.g., the roster of American presidents) to science and technology (e.g., disasters) and so on. A cornucopia of facts and factoids.

One things I do when I first receive this is to literally randomly select pages and see what is there. For this review, I'll do something similar. The first page that I came up with was the results of Congressional elections in 2008 (Pages 13 and following). Another page that popped up? Pages 95 and following, speaking of portraits on treasury bills and other products from the government (Did you know that George Washington shows up on $50 savings bonds? I did not.). Or that Abraham Lincoln is on $1,000 treasury notes? Imagine how popular one might be at a cocktail party with such trivia!

Pages 246 and following focuses on "Writers of the past." Of particular interest to me is a family legend. One branch of my family came from Varmland in Sweden and some bore the name Lagerloff. Needless to say, some in my family claimed the Nobel prize winner Selma Lagerloff as a family representative. True? I don't know, but many families enjoy thinking of a luminary in the family tree.

On pages 295 and the following is the category "Awards, Medals, and Prizes," including--oddly enough--Nobel prizes. I get another chance to luxuriate in the family legend, with Selma Lagerloff having been the 1909 literature winner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Melendez on December 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many imitators on the market, some of them quite good, but this almanac has set the standard for more than a century. The New York World newspaper began publishing an almanac in 1868, "a 120-page volume with 12 pages of advertising." The newspaper suspended the almanac's publication in 1876, but publisher Joseph Pulitzer revived it in 1886 as a "compendium of universal knowledge." The almanac has been published annually since, outliving the newspaper whose name it still bears. (The World Almanac is not the oldest almanac in publication, though: that distinction belongs to The Old Farmer's Almanac, which is "North America's oldest continuously published periodical," founded in 1792.)

The World Almanac contains much useful information that belongs in any serious basic-reference set. For the world, the almanac presents basic statistics about each nation, and about the world's major religions; and summarizes the world's history, with more detailed histories of the United States and of the preceding year. For the United States, the almanac reprints the nation's organic documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; lists every county (or parish or division) and county seat, and detailed population statistics; contains a directory of the entire Federal government; presents basic statistics about each state and major city, and a short biography of each president; and much more. The almanac also contains bountiful information about education, science, sports, and many other topics.

The 2009 edition does differ in a few important respects from other recent editions -- sometimes for the better, sometimes not. For the better, the 2009 edition did not go to print until early November, and so contains complete results from the U.S.
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