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A new series included within the "Garland Reference Library of the Humanities" addresses the need for source material in the growing field of multicultural studies. Editor-in-chief Leonard, a professor of interdisciplinary humanities at San Francisco State University, predicts that "[i]n the next few years reference librarians will be besieged by people seeking answers to new questions" on this subject. He offers an eclectic mix of formal analyses and personal essays by well-credentialed scholars and artists who often share the ethnic heritage they discuss. Each piece concludes with a list of material for further reading, and each volume includes a lexicon of commonly used terms and a descriptive chronology with statistics documenting the culture's contributions to American society. Some essays describe the complex immigrant experience and the evolving influence of the country of origin through succeeding generations. Others discuss musicians, filmmakers, writers, and other creative artists in relation to their ethnic backgrounds. The volume on Asian Pacific Americans also has short articles on practical subjects like Asian naming systems and regional cuisines. Given the tremendous range of topics covered, both volumes are highly readable and informative. The detailed indexes, which oddly do not analyze the descriptive chronologies, make the books somewhat useful as ready-reference sources. However, their best application would be as introductory anthologies or even textbooks. Recommended for libraries at universities with multicultural studies programs.AVivian Reed, Long Beach P.L., CA Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"It's official; the vacuum at the heart of Asian American studies has finally been eliminated with a credible sourcebook.Essential reading in Asian Pacific 'new world' culturual studies. All collections."-Choice