Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection

Article excerpt

World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. Edited by Spencer C. Tucker. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015. 5 vols. Acid free. $520 (ISBN: 978-1-85109-964-1). Ebook available (978-1-85109-965-8), call for pricing.

This past summer marked the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. It is likely not a complete coincidence that numerous publishers are taking this opportunity to publish various monographs and reference sets to coincide with this occasion. The boldly titled World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection has recently come to publication and achieves the lofty proclamations of its title.

One of the most obvious features of this set is its impressive size. Spanning five volumes and much more than two thousand pages, the depth of coverage is staggering. Tried as I might, I simply could not stump this reference set. Everything from lesser-known skirmishes, like the Battle of the Drina River, to essential topics, like the Schlieffen Plan, are included. Most entries run two to four pages in length, but entries of particular importance can expound for upwards of ten pages. Each entry features a short bibliography of further readings that can easily connect scholars to additional, relevant sources, which is an always-coveted feature of a quality reference set. Entries are well written, easy to understand, and are often enriched with illuminating black and white images.

The entire fifth volume in this set is made up solely of primary documents related to the conflict. …

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