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The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2012 (World Almanac & Book of Facts) Paperback – November 22, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Published annually since 1868 and long considered the standard behind-the-desk reference source, the latest version of The World Almanac and Book of Facts is still a great addition to any library collection, even though trivia lovers seem to be fulfilled using Google and Wikipedia. Divided into broad categories—including “Economy, Business, & Energy”; “Personalities, Arts, & Media”; “Sports”; and “U.S. Facts & History”—the skimmable lists showcase trivia and facts.There are also useful segments such as a “Year in Review,” a 2012 election preview, a time capsule, and lists of various award winners. The general index is easy to use. This title is recommended for libraries of all types, but whether to keep it behind the desk for ready reference or circulate it will be the question. For the price, it’s not a bad idea to do both. --Rebecca Vnuk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The World Almanac is the most useful reference book known to modern man." --Los Angeles Times

"My #1 reference work for facts." --Will Shortz, The New York Times Crossword Editor

"For the most information in one source, The World Almanac remains the champion." --American Library Association
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Product Details

  • Series: World Almanac & Book of Facts
  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: World Almanac; 1 edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600571484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600571480
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is about as good as it gets for trivia freaks. All manner of facts and figures. All manner of data. One of the things that I like to do is to simply randomly pick pages and take a look at what shows up.

Here are some examples.

Page 192. Political Leaders. The first few examples from this page: Frances Perkins (first female Cabinet member under FDR); Eva Peron; Juan Peron; Joseph Pilsudski; Charles Pinckney; and so on.

Page 329. Celestial Events, 2012; Astronomical positions and constants (not necessarily a must read for me!).

Page 577. Information about two states--Montana and Nebraska. For these (and other states), we learn about the states' populations, their geography, chief industries, state motto and flower and song (Did you know that the state flower of Montana is the Bitterroot?), tourist attractions, and so on.

Page 665. Here, we see a description of world history from 1950-1959. Among the entries here: Events in Korea, Indochina (early years of the Vietnamese conflict), China (The Great Leap Forward).

Page 786. This is in the midst of a section on countries of the world. This page features Indonesia. We learn of its population, age distribution, geography, finances, economy, important historical events, and so on.

And on it goes. . . .

For people who just want a sense of what information is available across many domains, this is a wonderful volume! I await the publication of each year's volume with considerable anticipation. This year's volume is no disappointment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was happy to get my new Almanac. It has all the latest census data, updated gov't info, and lots of facts for fact freaks. I suppose I'm getting older, but the print size seems to have gotten smaller over the years and I have probems reading it in dim lighting. I feel like every home should have one of these to help in solving questions about almost anything.
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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; 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 2012 edition does differ in a few important respects from other recent editions -- sometimes for the better, sometimes not. For the better, the 2012 edition reinstates the longtime feature (omitted from the 2009 edition) listing every community with a population over 10,000 (raised from 5,000 in older editions), with its ZIP code and area code.
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Format: Paperback
As always, the World Almanac 2012 remains a treasure trove of information, with information on just about any subject you can imagine. Still, in this edition, there are choices that I do find rather odd.

To take an example: Even though the US Census took place in 2010, and the results are in for this edition, the World Almanac still does not have the county-by-county population figures. However the county-by-county election results for the presidential election in 2008 is still in. Why keep the "old news" of a three year old election in, while excluding the current news of the new population?

Generally though, the statistics remain up to date and the book is still highly useful.
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had trouble finding this book in all the stores I went to including book store. No one had it.. They said that people use computers to look up things. I love to have it handy to use on the spur of the moment. Sometimes it takes some time to find particular items on the computer. too many links etc. Thanks amazon for always having what I need.
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I ordered this for my father for a Christmas present. Although he wanted the New York Times Almanac (as he says it is the best format and most comprehensive). I ordered this one too so he would have an Almanac to "fill in the gaps" of anything the NYTimes one missed. He was pleasantly surprised to receive both almanacs right before the holidays. For people who like to look up facts and perhaps have no internet at their fingertips this is the next best thing!
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