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The World Almanac and Book of Facts [Paperback]

Sarah Janssen

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  83 reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't live without it! Nov. 20 2011
By Magellan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was happy to get my new Almanac. It has all the latest census data, updated gov't info, and lots of facts for fact freaks. I suppose I'm getting older, but the print size seems to have gotten smaller over the years and I have probems reading it in dim lighting. I feel like every home should have one of these to help in solving questions about almost anything.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this treasure trove for trivia freaks! Dec 10 2011
By Steven A. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is about as good as it gets for trivia freaks. All manner of facts and figures. All manner of data. One of the things that I like to do is to simply randomly pick pages and take a look at what shows up.

Here are some examples.

Page 192. Political Leaders. The first few examples from this page: Frances Perkins (first female Cabinet member under FDR); Eva Peron; Juan Peron; Joseph Pilsudski; Charles Pinckney; and so on.

Page 329. Celestial Events, 2012; Astronomical positions and constants (not necessarily a must read for me!).

Page 577. Information about two states--Montana and Nebraska. For these (and other states), we learn about the states' populations, their geography, chief industries, state motto and flower and song (Did you know that the state flower of Montana is the Bitterroot?), tourist attractions, and so on.

Page 665. Here, we see a description of world history from 1950-1959. Among the entries here: Events in Korea, Indochina (early years of the Vietnamese conflict), China (The Great Leap Forward).

Page 786. This is in the midst of a section on countries of the world. This page features Indonesia. We learn of its population, age distribution, geography, finances, economy, important historical events, and so on.

And on it goes. . . .

For people who just want a sense of what information is available across many domains, this is a wonderful volume! I await the publication of each year's volume with considerable anticipation. This year's volume is no disappointment.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The standard in almanacs Nov. 20 2011
By Brian Melendez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are many imitators on the market, some of them quite good, but this almanac has set the standard for more than a century. The New York World newspaper began publishing an almanac in 1868, "a 120-page volume with 12 pages of advertising." The newspaper suspended the almanac's publication in 1876, but publisher Joseph Pulitzer revived it in 1886 as a "compendium of universal knowledge." The almanac has been published annually since, outliving the newspaper whose name it still bears. (The World Almanac is not the oldest almanac in publication, though: that distinction belongs to The Old Farmer's Almanac, which is "North America's oldest continuously published periodical," founded in 1792.)

The World Almanac contains much useful information that belongs in any serious basic-reference set. For the world, the almanac presents basic statistics about each nation, and about the world's major religions; and summarizes the world's history, with more detailed histories of the United States and of the preceding year. For the United States, the almanac reprints the nation's organic documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; contains a directory of the entire Federal government; presents basic statistics about each state and major city, and a short biography of each president; and much more. The almanac also contains bountiful information about education, science, sports, and many other topics.

The 2012 edition does differ in a few important respects from other recent editions -- sometimes for the better, sometimes not. For the better, the 2012 edition reinstates the longtime feature (omitted from the 2009 edition) listing every community with a population over 10,000 (raised from 5,000 in older editions), with its ZIP code and area code. But on the downside, evidently the tradeoff for reinstating that listing was dropping the listing of counties and county seats. On the upside, not only is the 2012 edition out two full weeks earlier than the last few editions (which sometimes didn't appear until December), but its coverage of 2011 news goes all the way through October 2011, hopefully reversing the recent trend of ending coverage earllier and getting the almanac out later. (The preceding year's news had been ending earlier and earlier in recent editions: in the 1999 edition the last entry was 3 November 1998, in the 2004 edition it was 16 October 2003, and in the 2008 edition it was 12 October 2007.)

Overall, the 2012 World Almanac continues to set the standard, and is well worth the price. No other single volume offers such a wealth of information on such a variety of subjects.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but some choices are a little strange Dec 28 2011
By Sigvat Stensholt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As always, the World Almanac 2012 remains a treasure trove of information, with information on just about any subject you can imagine. Still, in this edition, there are choices that I do find rather odd.

To take an example: Even though the US Census took place in 2010, and the results are in for this edition, the World Almanac still does not have the county-by-county population figures. However the county-by-county election results for the presidential election in 2008 is still in. Why keep the "old news" of a three year old election in, while excluding the current news of the new population?

Generally though, the statistics remain up to date and the book is still highly useful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference Book for Your Home Library Dec 27 2011
By Erica Steinberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We have a tradition in our household, every year we get the new World Almanac & Book of Facts. This is a "must have" book for our home library and comes in very handy during the year. It is a great tool to learn about all kinds of interesting facts.
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