Dr. Robert Montgomery's List of Suggested Readings
You may find the following works useful as reliable sources of information on specific cultures, particularly if you are planning to teach social studies or world history.
Blunden, Caroline, and Mark Elvin. Cultural Atlas of China. New York: Facts on File, 1998. Part of Facts on File, Cultural Atlas series, which also includes volumes on Japan, Russia, Mesopotamia, India, Rome etc.
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan. Ed. Richard Bowring and Peter Kornicki. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. See also the Cambridge Encyclopedias of China, Russia, India, the Islamic World, Latin America, etc.
The Cambridge History of China. 15 vols. Ed. Dennis Twitchett et al. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1978-ongoing. Not all volumes have been published yet. Pre-Qin material is covered in a separate Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 B.C. Ed. Michael Loewe and Edward L. Shaughnessy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
The Cambridge History of Japan. 5 vols. Ed. John Whitney Hall et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988-1993.
Channon, John. Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia. New York: Penguin, 1995. The Penguin Historical Atlas series also includes Africa, Greece, Rome, etc.
China: A Cultural and Historical Dictionary. Ed. Michael Dillon. Richmond, U.K.: Curzon, 1998.
Culture Incarnate: Native Anthropology from Russia. Ed. Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1995.
Dupuy, R. Ernest, and Trevor N. Dupuy. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present. 4th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Ed. Norman F. Cantor. New York: Viking, 1999.
Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Ed. James S. Olsen. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1994.
Grant, Michael. A Guide to the Ancient World: A Dictionary of Classical Place Names. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1989.
Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. 9 vols. New York: Kodansha, 1983.
Leick, Gwendolyn. Who's Who in the Ancient Near East. New York: Routledge, 1999. Routledge's Whos's Who series also includes volumes on Greece, Rome, Egypt, World War II, mythology, Jewish history, Russia, literature, etc.
Longley, David. The Longman Companion to Imperial Russia, 1689-1917. New York: Longman, 2000. Part of the Longman Companions to History series, which treats numerous areas of European and American history.
Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary. 3rd ed. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1998. ABSOLUTELY indispensable for the history or social-studies educator.
Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History. 55 vols. Ed. Joseph L. Wieczynski. Gulf Breeze, Fla.: Academic International Press, 1976-present. (See also its Supplement).
The Peoples of Siberia. Ed. M. G. Levin & L. P. Potapov; trans. Stephen Dunn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. An older work that is still quite useful. This work, along with Farley Mowat's journaliitic account The Siberians (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970), first kindled my interest in the Siberian peoples in my undergraduate years.
Viault, Birdsall S. Modern European History. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1990. A reliable outline history. See also Viault's Western Civilization to 1600 and Western Civilization since 1600.
Wetterau, Bruce. World History: A Dictionary of Important People, Places, and Events from Ancient Times to the Present. New York: Henry Holt, 1994.
World History: Selected Course Outlines and Readings Lists from American Colleges and Universities. Ed. Kevin Reilly 3rd ed. New York: Markus Wiener, 1991. The publisher has issued volumes of sample syllabi and reading lists for various instructors; African, American, Asian, European, sports, and women's history classes, which will be helpful in designing new courses.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Living. 4 vols. Ed. Allison McNeill. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997.
Additionally, elementary education majors may find Olive Beaupre Miller's classic nine-volume world history for children, A Picturesque Tale of Progress (Chicago: Book House for Children, 1949), to be of remarkably lasting interest and value.
For bibliographies of individual countries and ethnic groups - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - see ABC-Clio Press; World Bibliographical Series. The paper version is apparently out of print and is absent on the publisher's web page (http://www.abc-clio.com), but many libraries, including Baldwin Wallace University's Ritter Library, have access to the electronic version. The Cleveland Public Library (http://www.cpl.org) has an extensive set of printed volumes of this series in the History Reference section on the sixth floor of the Louis Stokes wing: they cannot be checked out but they can be xeroxed. The printed volumes may be obtained from Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com)
Some of these books are available at BW's Ritter Library. The best other local repositories for historical works are the Cleveland State University Library (http://www.ulib.csuohio.edu); the Case-Western Reserve University Library (http://www.cwru.edu/UL); the John Carroll University Library (http://library.jcu.edu); and the main (downtown) branch of the Cleveland Public Library (http://www.cpl.org), which has a larger collection of historical works in English than many college libraries, and has a respectable foreign-language collection of books in tongues ranging from Arabic to Yiddish. (Be aware that CPL keeps many older works in storage, so if you do not see a book on the shelf, ask a librarian to have it retrieved for you: this takes about fifteen minutes.) Other public libraries that might have some of the books listed above in a pinch are the Cuyahoga County Public Library (http://www1.cuyahoga.lib.oh.us), particularly the Fairview Park branch; the Akron-Summit County Public Library (http://ascpl.lib.oh.us); the Lakewood Public Library (http://www.lkwdpl.org); the Westlake Public Library (http://www.westlakelibrary.org); the Lorain Public Library (http://www.lorain.lib.oh.us); the Medina County District Library (http://www.medina.lib.oh.us); the Geauga Country Public Library (http://www.geauga.lib.oh.us); and the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library (http://www.wepl.lib.oh.us). Finally, many of the books may be purchased from online book dealers.