Encyclopedia of The Persian Gulf War Mark Grossman is available to download
|Encyclopedia of The Persian Gulf War|
|Type: ||eBook |
|Released: ||1995 |
|Publisher: ||ABC-CLIO |
|Page Count: ||522 |
|Format: ||chm |
|Language: ||English |
|ISBN-10: ||0874366844 |
|ISBN-13: ||9780874366846 |
From Library Journal
Because the 1991 War for Kuwait (erroneously dubbed the Gulf War) ended too quickly, it will probably never receive the scholarly attention that other conflicts garner.Encyclopedia of The Persian ...
Textbook The politics of the Gulf is too complex, perhaps even too foreign, for most observers, and the reasons for our intervention too pragmatic to deserve the kind of attention that ideologically motivated conflicts receive. These two titles provide detailed information on key questions, although Summers's emphasis is on military issues. Their purpose is to encapsulate?in short paragraphs arranged in an A-to-Z format?whatever data are available on the subject. Unfortunately, the results aren't always reliable. Both Grossman (The ABC-Clio Companion to the Environmental Movement, LJ 3/15/95) and military analyst Summers (Korean War Almanac, LJ 2/15/90) provide references, but they rely heavily on nonscholarly sources, and the information they offer is sometimes inaccurate or simplistic. For example, Grossman writes that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was born "to a Christian Chaldean Arab family of the Alawite faith," a statement that simply boggles the mind. Alawi Muslims are in fact part of an offshoot sect of Shia Islam. Although there may be some ties with Christianity, they are cultural, not religious, in nature and substance. Aziz, certainly a key player in the war, receives no entry in Summers. In another example, the controversy over war casualties is not properly covered. Both volumes report official U.S. figures (9000 Iraqi soldiers dead) although Summers's discussion is superior since it provides arguments on both sides. Both volumes provide numerous photographs, even if most are of weapons systems, and there is an abundance of portraits. Even CNN's Christianne (Christine in Grossman!) Amanpour makes it. There are some valuable appendixes?Grossman lists 92 useful documents under one cover, ranging from key executive orders to David Frost's March 27, 1991 interview with General Schwarzkopf, and Summers offers a brief historical background?but even these must be examined with care. Both books include chronologies, but the emphasis is on weapons, the theater of operations, and coalition forces. While both volumes are comprehensive enough and might be useful in public libraries, they offer little more than scripted entries for serious scholars. [For another view of Grossman's book, see "Best Reference Sources of 1995," LJ 4/15/96, p. 38-42.?Ed.]?Joseph A. Kechichian, Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Cal.-?Joseph A. Kechichian, Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Cal.Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grossman, the author of ABC-Clio companions to the civil rights and environmental movements, has compiled a useful encyclopedia, replete with biographies of major figures, a good selection of statistics, relevant documents, military slang, and a glossary of Arabic words. Weapons and weapon systems receive careful attention, accounting for a major share of the alphabetical entries. The biographies of Middle East leaders and background on their political parties and nations are helpful. Maps and hundreds of black-and-white photographs add value to the text. Most entries include a brief bibliography; these are gathered together in a major bibliography with a separate section for official U.S. publications. An appendix includes reprints of statements issued by the U.N., speeches by President Bush and Saddam Hussein, as well as interviews, testimony, and letters. These documents could serve as teaching aids in the use of primary-source materials.
Users will be disappointed not to find an extended essay-length discussion of the air, sea, and land war or of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Grossman's attitude toward the war is presented in an introductory statement: "the United States went to war to smash the death machine that this country and its Western allies had helped Saddam assemble in the first place." Again, various points of view could be handled better in essay-length discussions contained in the body of the work. Persian Gulf War Almanac [RBB My 1 95] does have lengthy topical essays, but it lacks the more than 100 pages of documents found in this new encyclopedia.