ERIC Number: ED339397
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Adult Biography Reviews in "Booklist": Have the Subjects Changed in Twenty Years?
Diamond, Timothy R.
All adult biographies reviewed in "Booklist" in 1960 through 1964 and 1987 through 1989 were examined to see if the gender, racial or ethnic background, geographic setting, and occupation of the subjects changed over time. A total of 879 reviews from the 1960s and 1,103 reviews from the 1980s were examined. The analysis shows that subjects of biographies published and reviewed in the 1980s were nearly the same as those published and reviewed in the 1960s. In the 1960s, biographical subjects were 80% male, 94% white, and 52% from the United States. In the 1980s, 73% of the subjects were male, 89% were white, and 67% were from the United States. Women, minorities, and foreigners were underrepresented in the 1960s as well as the 1980s. The leading occupations in both decades were politics and writing. The subjects of reviewed biographies in "Booklist" were most likely to be white male politicians or authors living in the United States. Subjects from outside the United States were also likely to be politicians. A female subject was more likely to be the wife or mistress or mother of a famous man than to be involved in politics. African-American subjects were involved primarily in sports and music. Hispanics and Native Americans each made up less than 1% of the total in both decades. These figures will be of concern to librarians who intend to implement the objectives of the American Library Association's Minority Concerns Policy. (30 references; 10 tables) (DB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Research Paper, Kent State University.