Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

A valuable update to the first edition (1988), Evans and Farberow's source provides a wealth of information about suicide. Farberow writes frequently on suicide and is cofounder of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center; Evans is a freelance writer. Introductory sections correctly identify suicide as a major public health problem. Statistics and facts abound, although not always documented, among more than 500 alphabetical entries that follow a history of suicide. The encyclopedia cites suicides of recent celebrities (e.g., Kurt Cobain). It covers contemporary research and development: the possible link between suicide and drugs (Prozac, Reserpine), physician-assisted suicide, murder-suicides, recent global suicide rates by nation, and suicidal terrorist attacks. The book discusses prevailing myths, such as the alleged higher suicide rate among dentists. Appendixes list related national organizations and suicide prevention or crisis intervention agencies in the US (listed state by state) and Canada (the latter quickly outdated). A good overview for high school or undergraduate research and a worthwhile fact book for graduate students. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All public, high school, and academic libraries. M. K. Hartung Florida Gulf Coast University

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In the decade from 1990 to 1999 more than 300,000 people in the U.S and 8 million people worldwide died by their own hands. The second edition of The Encyclopedia of Suicide is a comprehensive A-Z introduction to suicide from ancient times to the present. It is a heavily expanded, updated, and revised edition of the 1988 encyclopedia, reflecting the most current data available. Among the compilers are a former member of the American Association of Suicidology and the director of the L.A. Suicide Prevention Center. The entries deal with a wide range of issues, such as causes, history, and psychology of suicide. Length varies from a short paragraph to as much as a page. Entries cover such individuals as Herbert Hendin, the medical director of the American Suicide Foundation, and Herodotus, the Greek historian who describes the custom of institutional suicide in which a man's widows vie for the honor of being the deceased's most loved. Also included are organizations such as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and Survivors of Loved Ones Suicide, plus topics like survivor guilt and biblical suicides. New entries cover topics such as gender differences, suicide bombers, school violence and suicide, and ethnicity and suicide. Appendixes provide a listing of associations, government agencies, suicide prevention agencies, and crisis hotlines in the U.S. plus a table showing international suicide rates. The short bibliography mostly references materials that are new since the previous edition. The index is detailed. This revision is recommended for academic, high-school, and public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist