In This Review

International Military and Defense Encyclopedia, 6 vols
International Military and Defense Encyclopedia, 6 vols
Edited by Trevor N. Dupuy
Brassey's, 1993, 2132 pp

Unless you are independently wealthy or have an unusually generous expense account, the question here is whether or not to lobby your librarian to acquire this mammoth and too expensive work. The answer is yes, with only a few qualifications. The great strength of this encyclopedia is its clear exposition of technical issues: the articles on such subjects (chemical weapons, fuzes, radar, and the like) are excellent. The authors (selected by the self-consciously multicultural editors from an international pool of experts) explain these matters clearly, concisely and with the aid of fine drawings and illustrations. Yet too much space goes to articles of general political or historical interest that are covered in non-specialized encyclopedias. Many such articles try to cover too much in too little space, and many will soon become painfully dated. Still, the breadth and lucidity of the technical articles carry these handsomely printed volumes along, making the encyclopedia an outstanding resource for students of military affairs.