Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

RCL Career Resources Human Services: General, Reference, and Career

RCL General, Reference, and Career + Choice Titles

A plethora of reference books has been published on alcohol, drugs, and their use and abuse. This two-volume set is different; it fills a real need by concentrating on the history of alcohol and drug use and abuse. Editors Fahey and Miller offer here a revised update, featuring 250-plus entries, of Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia, edited by Jack Blocker, Fahey, and Ian Tyrrell (CH, Sep'04, 42-0001). In focusing on the historical aspects of drug use, this expanded version emphasizes the North American continent, including Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. The alphabetically arranged, signed entries are well written and include references. Volume 1 has a valuable time line/chronology of alcohol- and drug-related events and laws from 1765 to the present. Included are useful appendixes of relevant historical documents and current Internet resources. This set compares favorably with encyclopedias such as Mark Gold and Christine Adamec's The Encyclopedia of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (CH, Jan'11, 48-2431), and Pamela Korsmeyer and Henry Kransler's Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behavior (3rd ed., CH, Jun'09, 46-5377). As previously mentioned, its advantages include its focus on drugs as well as alcohol, and on the historical aspects of drug and alcohol use in North America. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.

--L. M. McMain, Sam Houston State University

Using more than 250 case studies focusing on a variety of health issues and ethnic cultures, Galanti (anthropology, California State Univ., Los Angeles) illustrates the complexity of providing health care to patients from different cultures. The fourth edition (1st ed., CH, Dec'91, 29-2134) will help students and practitioners better understand cultural differences that may arise in health care settings when working with diverse patients. The volume is composed of 13 chapters organized by topic rather than ethnic group. The first chapter provides an overview of anthropological concepts for those who want to better understand and work with people from different cultures. The subsequent 12 chapters are titled "Communication and Time Orientation," "Pain," "Religion and Spirituality," "Activities of Daily Living and the Body," "Family," "Men and Women," "Staff Relations," "Birth," "The End of Life," "Mental Health," "Traditional Medicine," and "Making a Difference." The cultural stories presented in this work are fascinating and illustrate the variety of interactions that can occur among patients and providers from different backgrounds, representing both cultural misunderstandings and culturally competent health care. This informative resource will be useful for students and health professionals interested in improving their cultural competency skills. Up-to-date appendixes; excellent bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; two-year technical program students. This review refers to an earlier edition.

--D. E. Bill, West Chester University

The second edition of this excellent reference book, an updated version of the first edition by the same editors (CH, Sep'92), will be useful for both general readers and adoption professionals. It was compiled with advice from professionals in social work, law, and medicine who deal with adoption every day. No other encyclopedia on adoption brings together equivalent interdisciplinary research and knowledge. It is extremely well organized, well written, and thorough, and includes an extensive bibliography, ten appendixes, and an index. Adoption is a practice unique to the US, where 400,000 adoptions have taken place over the last 40 years. About 15 percent of the population is directly or indirectly touched by adoption. This book contains valuable information on such topics as sealed records, varying state laws, ethical issues, birth fathers, abandonment, biracial adoption, searches, and sibling rivalry. Essential for all library collections. This review refers to an earlier edition.

--M. E. Leverence, Governors State University

Gotlib and Hammen have done an excellent job of putting together the most comprehensive and informative resource on depression this reader has ever encountered. The chapters are up-to-date, well written, and informative. The blend of chapters focusing on research and application is particularly worthy of note. The editors and contributors do not shy away from discussing gender, age, and other potentially controversial issues in depression. The emphasis on biological, social, cultural, and individual influences on depression is also refreshing. Although the book goes into scientific detail, the writing is still accessible. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates through researchers and practitioners, this handbook will also greatly benefit individuals suffering from depression and family members affected by such suffering. This review refers to an earlier edition.

--R. E. Osborne, Southwest Texas State University

Gehlert (Washington Univ., St. Louis) and Browne (Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia) have edited a hefty and extensive revision of Handbook of Health Social Work. Although it comes only a few years after their first edition (2005), the book is thoroughly updated with valuable additions and rewritings addressing current health policies and issues. The book is targeted toward health social work students but would serve as an excellent resource for faculty and clinicians in other health disciplines who teach, practice, or conduct research in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary contexts. The volume is well organized into sections on foundations, critical considerations in practice, and targeted areas of practice. Given its length of well over 600 pages and a subject index of 25 pages, this reviewer was disappointed to find the index frustratingly difficult to use. There is little distinction between formats for major and minor headings, and some minor headings run on for several columns. On the other hand, central aspects of health social work such as cultural sensitivity are given short shrift in the index, and the reader has to search individual chapters such as the one on communication to find much of the excellent content. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.

--M. D. Lagerwey, Western Michigan University

Aimed at lay and scholarly audiences, this encyclopedia edited by Martin (Bowling Green State Univ.) examines the complex culture history and place of alcohol in society, rendering a comprehensive temporal (from ancient to contemporary times) and geographic overview of alcohol and drinking in different world regions.  Alongside information on alcohol-recovery groups, contributors also cover alcohol reform movements and the use or prohibition of alcohol by religious groups.  Articles address drinking in popular versus high culture and the significance of beverages and brands that have acquired cultural distinction.  The closest recent work of similar scope is possibly Alcohol in Popular Culture: An Encyclopedia (CH, Apr'11, 48-4229), edited by Rachel Black, although that work focuses exclusively on the US and neglects the historical depth offered by Martin.  Alcohol and Drugs in North America: A Historical Encyclopedia (CH, Feb'14, 51-2997), edited by David Fahey and Jon Miller, also confines itself to North America.

The encyclopedia comprises approximately 550 articles by nearly 200 contributors, punctuated with black-and-white historical or modern photographs and illustrations.  Volume 1 features an alphabetized article list and a "Reader's Guide" that categorizes articles by topical theme (e.g., "Business of Alcohol," "Wines and Viniculture").  A time line of significant events ranges from Neolithic brewing activities c. 5400–5000 BCE to events in 2014.  Articles are typically two to five pages long, concluding with lists of related topics and further readings.  Volume 3 offers appendixes (one, an interesting "Toasts around the World"), a glossary, and a "Resource Guide" with five additional pages of references.  With its broad and thorough coverage of the history of alcohol making and consumption, myriad beverage types, and cultural uses, this encyclopedia will support culinary, hospitality, and restaurant management programs and will also aid inquiry in a variety of academic fields, notably history, sociology, addictions counseling, and social work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic audiences; students enrolled in technical programs; general readers; professionals/practitioners.

--J. M. Enomoto, Florida Gulf Coast University