LIBRES: Library and Information Science Research
Electronic Journal ISSN 1058-6768
1998 Volume 8 Issue 1; March 31.
Bi-annual LIBRE8N1 REVIEWS
American First Ladies: Their Lives and Legacy
Reviewed by Margaret Henderson
HIV/AIDS Information for Children: a Guide to Issues and Resources.
Reviewed by Penelope Papangelis
Benjamin Britten: A Guide to Research
Reviewed by Barbara L. Cressman
Spanish Artists From The Fourth To The Twentieth Century: A
Reviewed by Terry Skeats
Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum
Reviewed by Ru Story-Huffman
Native America in the Twentieth Century: an Encyclopedia
Reviewed by John Burch
Immunobiology: the Immune System in Health and Disease
Reviewed by Penny Papangelis
American First Ladies: Their Lives and Legacy. edited
by Lewis L. Gould. NY: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1996 Paperback edition of a 1995 book. 686
p. (ISBN. 0-8153-2585-1)
The stated purpose of this book is "to provide the general reading public, especially students coming initially to First Ladies, with informative entries about each of these women, entries that also indicate the location of primary sources, reliable biographies where available, and topics for further research." (xiii). Each entry has two parts, an account of the life of the First Lady, including before and after her stay in the White House, with a generally bipartisan effort to assess her impact as a First Lady, followed by a bibliographical essay which lists where personal papers and relevant manuscripts can be found, selections of the First Lady's writing where applicable, biographical studies, relevant newspaper stories, scholarly articles, and general surveys. An obituary is listed for deceased First Ladies.
The preface for the 1996 paperback edition updates some of the material, specifically the auction of the possessions of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Sotheby's and the legal problems of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The introductory essay by Gould, 'The First Lady as Symbol and Institution', explains his selection process and what he is trying to accomplish with this book, as well as an exploration of the role of the First Lady through history. The excellent bibliographical essay which follows includes old and new materials on First Ladies. This book also includes results of The First Ladies Polls conducted in 1982 and 1993 by the Siena Research Institute. Even though the polls are eleven years apart, it is interesting that Eleanor Roosevelt is at the top of both polls and Mary Todd Lincoln is at the bottom (Appendix A).
In general this is an excellent book. Gould has chosen some very qualified and knowledgeable people to write the essays. The essays are all clear and concise and try to provide contemporary thought on each woman as well as her place in history. Good and bad comments are included although most essayists are sympathetic to the women. All essays are very readable and appropriate for high-school and college level readers. Through these biographies you can trace the changing role of the First Lady from hostess, and occasionally behind the scenes advisor, through the period where the First Lady promoted a favorite cause, to the current First Lady who plays an active role in policy making with her work on health care.
My main concern is with the bibliographical essays. These essays are a great resource for listings of primary research material as well as biographies of the First Lady and her husband. Most essays seemed complete but in one case, where I have some interest, I found that Phyllis Lee Levin's entry on Abigail Adams includes only one biography, hers. I have three other biographies on my shelf, all of which include references to original letters and manuscripts (1). Two other important books about the Adams family by Paul C. Nagel, THE ADAMS WOMEN (1987) and DESCENT FROM GLORY: FOUR GENERATIONS OF THE JOHN ADAMS FAMILY (1983), are not included.
It is also important for any librarian recommending this book to suggest that the patron look for newer biographies. The field of First Lady research in particular, and women's studies in general is growing quickly. As I was writing this review, a McFarland & Company New Books brochure arrived in the mail with a new book by John R. Bumgarner, M.D., SARA CHILDRESS POLK: A BIOGRAPHY OF A REMARKABLE FIRST LADY and in Gould's bibliographical essay on Edith Wilson, he mentions that Phyllis Lee Levin is writing a new biography of her.
The other item lacking in the bibliographical essays is any reference to Internet resources. I feel that a book written in 1996 documenting all research sources needs to make some mention of internet resources. I have not found any actual documents online YET, but I did come across several finding aids for various collections. As well as getting a sense of what is available, the online sites also give names, and contact information for people who can help researchers. A good access to documents for recent First Ladies, is the Presidential Libraries (2). The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum has a whole section devoted to Eleanor Roosevelt (3). Hillary Rodham Clinton is well represented online by her own home page (4), official documents, including speeches, press releases, daily schedules, etc., in the Virtual Library at the White House WWW site (5), and unofficial documents, commentaries, criticisms, newspaper articles, etc. (6). Other First Ladies can be found with your favorite Web search engine, usually in relation to their husbands or an historic site. The White House WWW site has a list of all First Ladies linked to short biographies (7) .
I recommend this book to any person or library with an interest in American
history or women's studies.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Walter, V. A., & Gross, M. (1996). HIV/AIDS Information
for Children: a Guide to Issues and Resources. New York: H.W. Wilson Company. ISBN:
This book calls itself a guide, and indeed it is a bibliography listing works, both fiction and nonfiction, on HIV/AIDS as it relates to children. The cutoff date for inclusion of materials is 1995. The authors provide descriptive and critical comments of the resources listed, which are virtually all books; articles, videos, and web sites are not included. Inclusion of a book does not imply recommendation of it; the authors explain that in some of their chapters, all the titles listed are recommended, but that in others, some are not. This is a bit confusing, but the explanation is there (on page xi) for reference if desired.
The authors go beyond merely listing book titles and discuss, as promised in the book's subtitle, "issues" that surround HIV/AIDS. When it comes to bibliographies, there are those that are just lists of books; others, called annotated bibliographies that list books along with descriptive and/or critical comments; and others, like this guide, that go beyond even annotated bibliography to include sections on the subject itself, HIV/AIDS in this case. This the authors do with confidence, but not with arrogance. They put forth very few original ideas, instead quoting numerous researchers in the field and summarizing their ideas. For example, they discuss how the group of children whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS may be conceptualized as an iceberg, the bulk of which lies under the surface. This image is taken from the work of Carol Levine. The authors also bring in Jean Piaget's theory of child development; L.S. Vygotsky's concepts of scaffolding (building learning on previous learning) and a zone of proximal development; James Garbarino's contexts of development; Mary E. Welsh and James Bibace's educational objectives of reducing fear, teaching the cause, and preventing new cases of HIV/AIDS; Jim Zola's distinction between a paternalistic and a neutralistic approach toward selecting HIV/AIDS materials for libraries; and John M. Last's distinctions between the words "illness," "disease," and "sickness."
But the bulk of this book, as would be expected in a work by two librarians, lists resources. The authors have compiled a 100-plus-page "HIV/AIDS Information Web" consisting of 18 sections covering different aspects of HIV/AIDS as they relate to children. This web reflects a commendable holistic approach on the part of the authors in which all aspects of the impact of HIV/AIDS on a child are addressed. The 18 aspects covered are adoption and foster care; compassion; death and dying; emotions; ethics and values; family; friendship; health and nutrition; homelessness and poverty; homosexuality; illness, sickness, and disease; medical care; safety and survival; self-esteem; sex education; sexual abuse; social action; and substance abuse. There are some titles, such as Onion Tears by Diana Kidd, that may not treat of HIV/AIDS specifically, but which are nonetheless useful in understanding an aspect of it (adoption and foster care in the case of Kidd's book). It should be noted, however, that despite its name and despite the existence of many children's literature sites on the Internet, the authors' "HIV/AIDS Information Web" does not include any World Wide Web sites. The authors explain that they have not been able to locate any appropriate sites dealing with HIV/AIDS and children on the Internet.
The intended audience for this book is teachers, librarians, health care professionals, counselors, and parents. It would also be useful in health education courses, such as those taught in American university departments of public health. Very well done and recommended.
Western Kentucky University
Benjamin Britten: A Guide to Research. Peter J.
Hodgson. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996. 244 p. (ISBN:0-8153-1795-6)
We are fortunate indeed to have the Garland Composer Resource Manuals series turn its attention to Benjamin Britten. This series encompasses more than 50 composers representing Western musical tradition from the Renaissance to the present century. Although these manuals are individually unique in presentation, they each display common elements, including lists of writings and works, biographical sketches, as well as guides to library resources, organizations, and specialists.
Benjamin Britten: A Guide to Research is divided into three major parts: I. Notes, II. Music, and III. Bibliography. The Notes are intended as background information for Parts II and III, and contain introductory notes on Benjamin Britten, the Britten-Pears Library and related items of interest.
Part I provides a personal perspective through the biographical notes describing influences on Britten's childhood and later life. The summary of his education begins with his first music lessons at age five with his mother, while the chronological synopsis commences with the year after he left the Royal College of Music at age twenty.
The "Short Titles" section of Part II features an alphabetically arranged music index, which is cross- referenced and indexed to the "Full Titles" citations in Part II. The "Short Titles" also includes an opus number list and a chronological conspectus (1932-1976.) "The Full Titles" section is arranged by genre, including juvenilia, incidental music, stage music, choral music, solo vocal music, instrumental music, and arrangements/editions.
Part III. Bibliography is structured around six principal groups of citations and focuses on analyses, commentaries, and descriptive writings by authors, critics and scholars of the past half-century. The first of these groups, "Bibliographies and Comprehensive Sources", is thoroughly researched, even to the point of providing a topical guide to an earlier publication, A Britten Source Book (Evans/Reed/Wilson, 1987), by citation and year. Other writings included in Part III are biographical/personal studies, Britten's writings, music studies, university theses/dissertations, as well as histories and dictionaries. An especially useful feature of the bibliography is the author index, which includes authors of principal texts and contributors of articles along with other items noted in a subordinate position to the cited text.
This title is most welcomed as an indispensable member of a small group of definitive works written for scholars of Benjamin Britten and will serve as an essential starting point for further research. Without being redundant to earlier Britten research, this guide stands as an independent reference resource for the literature about the life and music of this prolific British composer. In addition to Britten scholars, anyone who enjoys his music will take pleasure in browsing through this guide.
Further information about the collection in the Britten-Pears Library can be accessed at www.lib.uea.ac.uk/libinfo/localcol/britwelc/britwelc.htm These web pages include information about the catalog (as well as a telnet link to the catalog), and publications of the library. Information for approximately thirty percent of the collection may be accessed through the online catalog.
Barbara L. Cressman
Eastern Illinois University
Spanish Artists From The Fourth To The Twentieth
Century: A Critical Dictionary (New York; G.K. Hall, 1993-96). 4v. (cloth). ISBN
0-8161-0614-2 (v.1); 0-8161-0656-8 (v.2); 0-8161-0657-6 (v.3); 0-8161-8037-5 (v.4).
In part because of its geographical location at the entrance to the Mediterranean, the number of civilizations which have influenced Spanish art over the centuries is significant, and include those of Africa, Greece, Phoenicia, and even some from the East.
The Roman conquest of Spain in 218 B.C., and the resultant domination which lasted five hundred years, brought about the construction of buildings of various types (theaters, temples, aqueducts, bridges) and roads which significantly changed the face of Spain. Invasion by the Visigoths in the 6th century A.D. resulted in some artistic decline, but nevertheless brought Byzantine and Sassanian influences to existing traditions.
In the 8th century, the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula wrought substantial changes in Spanish art and intellectual life, changes which are still felt today. As one writer has stated, "...at a time when the rest of Europe was still seeking its identity, and until the 13th century, southern Spain had the unique privilege of knowing a civilization that was extraordinarily brilliant for its close association of Arabs, Jews, and Andalusians."
The composite culture which flourished during this period changed Spanish art dramatically: the Moors taught the Spanish how to work gold and silver, how to cover walls with ceramic tiles (azulejos), and exercised some influence on wood carvers and manuscript illuminators. The influence of Moslem and Iranian art forms has been documented in the development of the Romanesque style in the north of Spain after the Arabs were expelled. Moorish influence in Spain began to decline around 1000 A.D. due to infighting amongst Moorish groups; by the late 13th century, Muslim territory in Spain comprised only the Kingdom of Granada in the south of the peninsula. But the themes and forms of Eastern architecture migrated northward, eventually influencing the architecture of much of the rest of Europe.
In a review such as this, it is impossible to enumerate all of the influences Spanish art has had on Western art in general. Suffice to say that the richness and depth of Spanish art have been sources from which many have drawn inspiration.
This set of four volumes is derived from information obtained from the Authority File of Artists used as an internal resource at New York's Frick Art Reference Library, and expanded by the addition of data from general histories of Spanish art such as the Ars Hispaniae and Post's 14-volume History of Art in Spain, together with information from such multi-volume dictionaries as those of Benezit and Thieme-Becker.
The Introduction and Guide in v.1 are published in English, Spanish, French and German. The Guide is particularly helpful as a key to the organization of the set. Volume 1 covers artists with last names A-F; v.2 covers G-L; v.3 covers M-Z. Volume 4 contains the general bibliography, and the chronological and comprehensive indexes. The total number of artists listed is close to 7,000.
As a research and reference tool for the history of Spanish art and artists, this is a major work, and should be the standard reference for some time to come. The vast majority of citations in the general bibliography are to works published during this century. However, significant publications dating as far back as the early eighteenth century are also included.
Given the influence of Spanish art on Western art in general, particularly in the past two centuries, this set should be on the shelves of any academic library which supports major art history programs or departments. Highly recommended.
Harms, Jeanne McLain, Ph.D. and Lettow, Lucille. Picture
Books to Enhance the Curriculum New York: H.W. Wilson, Company, 1996. ISBN:
Designed as a tool for the elementary teacher, school library media specialist and children's librarian, Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum is a collection of picture books chosen to expand the curriculum of the elementary classroom. The authors have attempted to include titles which would be found in a typical children's literature collection. In addition, themes have been chosen based on study of elementary curriculum, review of materials, and both author's personal experiences in the classroom.
Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum is designed with two major sections: a) an index of themes with related titles and b) a section providing full bibliographic information, brief synopsis of the book and list of themes for each book. Numerous themes are included in this book, with some themes such as "migrants," "aesthetic appreciation" or "graphic and performing arts" a bit narrow for an elementary classroom. Many of the themes are broken into "subsets" with further identifiers. A good example is the theme "Animals," with 60 sub-themes. These sub-themes identify numerous types of animals and are useful for specific assignments.
The Themes Index provides specific titles used for each theme and is the main resource tool for the user of this volume. Teachers have the opportunity to check their library catalog against the list of titles for a chosen theme. The Themes Index can also aid in the development of a library's children's literature collection. For each theme, picture books have been chosen to represent that theme. The author and title are listed for each book, with full bibliographic information found in the Picture Book Index.
The Themes Index, while a useful tool, can be a bit limited in the number of books chosen for some of the themes. A comparison to the 4th edition of A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books by Carolyn W. Lima and John A. Lima, R. R. Bowker, 1993, showed A to Zoo sometimes providing a more exhaustive listing of titles. A check of the theme "Clothing - shoes" showed 21 books in A to Zoo and 3 books in the Harms and Lettow volume. The check of theme "Weather - snow" showed more titles in the Lima book. In addition, A to Zoo tended to break the themes into "tighter" subcategorizes. Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum provided a theme for "grandparents," while A to Zoo broke the theme into "grandmothers" and "grandfathers." On the other hand, at times Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum offered a wider selection of books for use in the classroom. In addition, some of the books mentioned in Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum are not present in the 4th edition of A to Zoo. Also, Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum provides a short annotation to the content of the book, which A to Zoo does not. The annotation could be a useful tool for a librarian or teacher who is not familiar with a suggested title. A true comparison of both volumes is only as complete as the requirements of the user. A teacher or librarian who wanted an exhaustive list of titles for use in the classroom may find A to Zoo the useful tool. While the educator who did not want a large list of titles, or had a limited collection of books for use, may find Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum the better resource.
Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum has an added bonus of a variety of indexes. This volume contains a Picture Book Index, Title Index, Bibliography and a Key to Themes Index in its table of contents. These added indexes or "chapters" will aid the student, teacher, librarian or researcher in the quest for finding a specific picture book to enhance a chosen theme.
Both Dr. Harms and Ms. Lettow are affiliated with the University of Northern Iowa and are well respected in the field of children's literature. As a native of Iowa, I am well aware of both professors and their reputations. They have presented many workshops throughout the nation, and I had the opportunity to hear Ms. Lettow numerous years ago. The expertise of both authors is an added bonus to their book. They have obviously done extensive research on their subject, and have attempted to choose quality children's literature which would work well in an educational setting.
Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum would be a good tool for the library who does not have a recent copy of A to Zoo. In addition, the price is comparatively less, with A to Zoo priced at $55.00, and Picture Books to Enhance the Curriculum priced at $38.00. Also, this book would be a good book for the smaller library or school system that does not have access to a large core collection.
Native America in the Twentieth Century: an
Encyclopedia. Mary B. Davis, ed. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996. 787 p.
While there are many subject encyclopedias available on the topic of Native Americans, few have provided adequate coverage of Native American society in the twentieth century. This void in the reference literature is admirably filled by this title. This excellent encyclopedia is a paperback reprint of a title that was first published in 1994. Its focus is primarily on Native American issues in the United States since the condition of Native Americans in Canada is superficially acknowledged. It is noted in the preface that there is a definite need for a specialized volume on the complex issues concerning Native Americans in Canada.
113 of the 282 subject specialists that wrote the entries are Native Americans. The tribal affiliations of the Native American contributors are noted. The contributors include such highly respected scholars as Duane Champagne, Helen C. Rountree, Arlene B. Hirschfelder, and Laurence M. Hauptman. Each of the entries is signed and includes a bibliography to facilitate in-depth research on a particular topic.
The volume features superb indexing. There is a topical index at the beginning of the book that lists the articles by subject. This allows the reader to quickly identify a number of different entries on related topics. The encyclopedia concludes with an extremely detailed index that provides access to the text, illustrations, and tabular data.
In the preface, the editor states that more than half of the entries focus on "native nations." The use of "nations" is a question of semantics since these organizations are commonly referred to as tribes or confederations. The editor is not consistent in the use of the term since "tribes" is the term of choice in the section entitled "Articles by Subject". The nations selected for inclusion in the volume tend to be officially recognized by either the federal government or their local state government. One notable omission from this volume is an entry for the Meherrin, who are recognized as a tribe by the state of North Carolina. Unfortunately, this encyclopedia does not cover the plights of those Native American groups who are currently seeking official recognition as tribal units. The entries for each of the nations include a brief historical overview followed by subheadings focusing on issues such as tribal government and land claims. The contributors have made a conscious decision to be apolitical and thus hot-button issues are dealt with carefully. This objectivity is especially evident in the entries for specific nations.
The other entries focus upon general issues such as educational policy, treaties, archaeology, Pan-Indianism, and arts. It was surprising to note that there is not an entry for the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. This act is extremely controversial since it provides a specific definition of who is a Native American artist. The act also touches upon a number of sovereignty issues. In fairness to the editor, this is an extremely large compendium and she obviously included all that she could.
This is simply the finest book currently available on the Native American condition in the twentieth-century. It should be in the reference collection of every library that has patrons researching Native American topics.
Janeway, C.A., & Travers, P. Immunobiology: the
Immune System in Health and Disease (3rd edition). New York: Garland Publishing Inc.,
1997. ISBN: 0-8153-2818-4 $42.95.
Written to serve as an introductory text in immunology courses for medical students, advanced undergraduate biology students, and graduate students, this book is difficult, to be sure. But it is also clear. The authors are to be commended on their writing style. Again and again I noticed that the sentences usually expressed one idea and one idea only. In a book on modern immunobiology, this tendency is most welcome. In addition, Janeway and Travers make good use of visuals and color to achieve clarity, as when they consistently use the same drawing of a B cell, for example, every time a B cell occurs in one of their figures.
The amount of information the reader of this text is asked to assimilate is enormous, but the authors provide many helps along the way. Chapters are broken up into sections, each of which is given a
The heading of section 5-1, for example, is "B-cell development proceeds through several stages," which prepares the reader for a list to come (pro-B cell stage, pre-B cell stage, immature B cell stage, and mature B cell stage). This full sentence is more helpful than a mere noun phrase (such as "B-cell Development") would be. Janeway and Travers knowledge of immunology is impeccable. I do not think this book could have been written better or more sympathetically. Recommended without reservation, especially for medical school courses in immunology. (Note: The material contained in this third edition is also available as part of a CD-ROM, Immunobiology 3 Bookshelf: The Comprehensive Resource by Charles Janeway (Garland, 1997, $66.00)).
Western Kentucky University
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