* Hardcover: 3578 pages
* Publisher: Columbia University Press; 2nd edition (June 15, 1998)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0231110405
* ISBN-13: 978-0231110402
* Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.7 x 9.5 inches
* Shipping Weight: 23.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Saul Cohen, a specialist in political geography, University Professor Emeritus at Hunter College, former director of the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, and a past president of the Association of American Geographers, is the man who headed the project, overseeing a team of 150 geographers in their task to recatalog the world, surpassing any other such reference in both authority and scope.
The Gazetteer does more the merely define and identify. For major locations, it provides history and context, data regarding modes of transportation, a report on current levels of economy, education, and medicine, and anything else of import. In Beijing, for example, the entry ends with the Beijing Zoo and its pandas, the Workers' Stadium and the Pan-China games held every four years, the Great Wall, Ming tombs, and the fossil bones of Sinanthropus pekinensis (a.k.a. Peking man) found nearby at Zhoukoudian. From A (a fishing village in Norway on East Moskeusoya of Lofoten Islands) to Zywiec (a Polish town on the Sola River, 40 miles southwest of Cracow, with a castle, hydroelectric plant, and brewery) the entries include information of political, physical, and cultural relevance, with latitude, longitude, and elevation, plus pronunciations and variant names and spellings.
With a total of 165,000 entries, separated into three sizable volumes, this revision was in dire need, considering the last edition was done in 1952, and a few things have changed in the world since then. Countries have collapsed and been reborn. There are new names for old entities. Economies, noteworthy structures, and political systems have altered. It was a mind-boggling task, and it's a boon to the world that it was undertaken, and with such professional standards. To say it's a remarkably fine and comprehensive compilation is like saying that ice can be chilly, or gorgonzola cheese tends toward the flavorful. After four years of research, culminating in 33,000 new entries and a revision of the rest, this ultimate reference of the places of the world is up to date, representing the world as it is at the end of the 20th century. --Stephanie Gold