853) Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant & Refugee Cultures Around World

Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World 2 vols. Springer 2005. 1242p. ed. by Melvin Ember & others. index. ISBN 0-306-48321-1 . $475. REF

Diasporas and emigration lie at the heart of many vital world issues past and present and therefore figure heavily in high school and undergraduate research. While there are other reference works on the topic, this two-volume work is unique in that it provides a worldwide, comparative perspective on forced and voluntary mass migrations and the refugee cultures they engender. Thirty-one diasporas, both well known (e.g., Jewish, African, Palestinian, Armenian) and lesser known (e.g., Chilean, British, Tuareg), are covered in Volume 1, as well as 28 relevant topics (e.g., arts in diasporas, diaspora politics and identity, and types of diaspora). . .

Volume 2 provides sociocultural descriptions of 58 diaspora communities. Entries are authored by a team of international academics and researchers and compiled and edited under the auspices of Yale's Human Relations Area Files, the preeminent international research organization in the field of cultural anthropology. Given the massive scope of the topic, this work is admirably wide-ranging and inclusive. Diasporas that do not appear in section titles can almost invariably be found in the index. Bottom Line One can always quibble over the amount of attention given to specific topics (e.g., pogroms are only fleetingly mentioned in the chapter on the European Jewish diaspora, and the term does not rate an entry in the glossary, yet "horticulture" does), but this does not detract from the overall quality of the work. While the majority of entries are written for the general reader, a few of the topical entries may be a bit heavy going for high school students. Nevertheless, this is highly recommended for high school, college, and public libraries.- Nadine Cohen-Baker, Univ. of Georgia, Athens

Library Journal Reviews July 15, 2006

by Nadine Cohen-Baker


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