Learning About the Holocaust: A Student's Guide by Ronald M. Smelser

Learning About the Holocaust: A Student's Guide

Download Learning About the Holocaust: A Student's Guide

Learning About the Holocaust: A Student's Guide Ronald M. Smelser
Language: English
Page: 827
Format: pdf
ISBN: 0028655362, 9780028655369
Publisher: Gacl

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-Up This masterfully amended resource based on Israel Gutman's Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Macmillan, 1989) contains more than 300 entries. One-third of the authoritative, alphabetical articles are biographical in nature; others cover laws, countries, concepts, sites, etc. Political, sociological, psychological, religious, and economic factors that impacted upon the people and events involved are factored into the entries, which all conclude with a bibliography. Throughout, new and updated information and lists have been added, including a six-page bibliography of works published since 1990. The first volume begins with a detailed time line; the fourth has an especially valuable glossary and selection of primary documents. (The latter was included in the original set, but the small print made it less accessible.) The attractive layout contains plenty of white space and ample margins; headings and marginal notes are in blue. Some photographs will be familiar; a number are new. Robert Rozett's and Shmuel Spector's Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Facts On File, 2000) is both an insightful history of the Holocaust and a solid reference work. However, Learning has more of a narrative flow in its writing style. Most libraries will probably want to own both of these resources. Marcia W. Posner, Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


*Starred Review* Based on Macmillan's 1990 Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, this set, which has been revised for the school market, has updated material and new entries and resource lists. In his introductory essay to the set, Smelser explains his criteria for adapting content from the original volumes. The nearly 300 alphabetically arranged entries cover countries most affected by the Holocaust and the primary concentration and extermination camps. Thematic articles cover political, moral, and ethical issues that might arise from a classroom study of the Holocaust. More than 100 of the entries are biographical and treat famous, infamous, and lesser-known victims, perpetrators, and rescuers.

Each volume contains a comprehensive table of contents and a time line, "The Holocaust in the Context of World Events," which encompasses 1918-1960. Volume 1 includes a list of contributors, the preface and introduction, and a narrative essay surveying recent publications and issues. All titles listed in this essay have been published since 1990 and are suitable for adults or upper-level high-school students. Volume 4 houses the appendixes, which include an extensive glossary, primary source documents, and a list of resources. The primary source documents include diary entries and testimony, Nazi laws, memos, and proclamations. The resources list is divided into three sections--"Overview of the Holocaust," "Life Under the Nazis," and "Perspectives on the Holocaust"--which are then divided into sections on books and multimedia (CD-ROM and videos). There is also an extensive set index.

The format of the encyclopedia portion of the set makes the information accessible to student researchers, and the abundance of white space makes it easy to read. The wide outside margin offers space for quotes, definition of terms, and sidebars with additional information. Defined terms are printed in blue text within the body of the article and the margin. Because the definition appears in the margin directly across from the term's location in the text, a reader's flow is not broken. Sidebars that include personal testimony, poetry, or explanatory material appear at the top of the page within the main margin. Cross-references are easily identifiable.

Articles contain captioned black-and-white photos and maps. "Suggested Resources" at the ends of all articles include classics of Holocaust literature, Web sites, videos, and audio recordings. Notes indicate that all Web sites were last accessed in August or September 2000.

No matter the age of the user, this easy-to-use set will attract researchers. The entries are clearly written, using vocabulary accessible to students and giving enough background information without being patronizing to the reader. Middle-school students will find the information contained within these volumes to be more than adequate for their needs. Because of the large number of titles offered as additional resources throughout the set, and the supplementary material appended to the articles themselves, high-school students and adults using these volumes for research will find them to be an informative starting point. REVWRCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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