Levinson, David L. 1947-

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LEVINSON, David L. 1947-

PERSONAL: Born 1947. Education: State University of New York at Buffalo, Ph.D. (anthropology), 1980.


ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Berkshire Publishing Group, 314 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230.


CAREER: Editor, author, and cultural anthropologist. Human Relations Area Files, Yale University, New Haven, CT, associate in research, then former vice president.


AWARDS, HONORS: Booklist editor's choice, Choice outstanding academic title, both 2002, and Reference and User Services Association outstanding reference, 2003, all for Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment.


WRITINGS:

(With Martin J. Malone) Toward Explaining HumanCulture: A Critical Review of the Findings of Worldwide Cross-cultural Research, HRAF Press (New Haven, CT), 1980.

(With David Sherwood) The Tribal Living Book, illustrated by Marylou Finch, Johnson Books (Boulder, CO), 1984, revised edition, 1993.

Family Violence in Cross-cultural Perspective, Sage Publications (Newbury Park, CA), 1989.

(With Karen Christensen) The Global Village Companion: An A to Z Guide to Understanding Current World Affairs, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1996.

Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, Oryx Press (Phoenix, AZ), 1998.


"ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE" SERIES

Aggression and Conflict: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1994.

Ethnic Relations: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1994.

Human Environments: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1995.

Religon: A Cross-cultural Dictionary, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1996.

(With Laura Gaccione) Health and Illness: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.


EDITOR

A Guide to Social Theory: Worldwide Cross-culturalTests, Human Relations Area Files (New Haven, CT), 1977.
A Guide to Alcoholism Treatment Research, three volumes, Human Relations Area Files (New Haven, CT), 1981-1983.
Encyclopedia of World Cultures, four volumes, G. K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1991-1996.

Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family, two volumes, Macmillan Reference (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Karen Christensen) Encyclopedia of WorldSport: From Ancient Times to the Present, three volumes, ABC-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1996, published in one volume, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Melvin Ember) Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, four volumes, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Melvin Ember) American Immigrant Cultures:Builders of a Nation, two volumes, Macmillan Reference (New York, NY), 1997.

(With James J. Ponzetti, Jr. and Peter F. Jorgensen) Encyclopedia of Human Emotions, two volumes, Macmillan Reference (New York, NY), 1999.

(And contributor) Wilson Chronology of the World'sReligions, H. W. Wilson (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Peter W. Cookson and Alan R. Sadovnik) Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia, Routledge Falmer (New York, NY), 2002.

Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, four volumes, Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2002.

(With Karen Christensen) Encyclopedia of ModernAsia, six volumes, Scribner (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Karen Christensen) Encyclopedia of Community:From the Village to the Virtual World, four volumes, Sage Publication (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2003.
The Wilson Chronology of Human Rights, H. W. Wilson (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Charles L. Clark, editor, A Guide to Theories of Economic Development: Cross-national Tests, Human Relations Area Files, 1981; The Demjanjuk Trial, Israel Bar Publishing (Tel Aviv, Israel), 1991.


SIDELIGHTS: David L. Levinson is a cultural anthropologist who has devoted much of his time to assembling reference sources that draw on wide-ranging scholarship in presenting detailed information about everything from Asian society to the history of criminal punishment. Affiliated with Yale University's Human Relations Area Files, which collects and catalogues data from field reports from over 300 cultures around the world, Levinson has authored and edited several books that present anthropological data to allow scholars to compare and contrast the world's cultures. Among his work for the Human Relations Area Files are his coeditorship of 1996's Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology and Toward Explaining Human Culture, a volume Levinson coauthored with Martin J. Malone. Praising Levinson's editorship of the Yale-sponsored A Guide to Social Theory, published in 1977, Lilyan A. Brudner-White praised the work in American Anthropologist as "a major contribution to the profession." Levinson's work on the Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology was given high marks in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, P. T. W. Baxter noting that the book's "editors have achieved extremely high general standards of clarity and of objectivity" and praising the four-volume work as "probably the best general anthropological reference source" available.


One of Levinson's most unique projects has been the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, a 2002 book on which he served as project editor. With contributions from 800 scholars solicited from countries around the globe, the six-volume reference work discusses the distinct characteristics and history of Asian societies in Central Asia, the Middle East—Iraq and east—and the Far East, with a concentration on the twentieth century. While questioning the inclusion of lengthy essays on Chinese and Japanese historical periods in light of the book's contemporary focus, Choice contributor K. W. Berger praised Encyclopedia of Modern Asia as "essential" and a "unique resource for most reference collections."


Levinson's four-volume Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, which won several awards, presents an overview of the history of crime, statistics, and a global overview of criminal justice. In Library Journal a contributor praised the work as a "browser's paradise" due to the fact that it is "written in a popular style." Levinson also focuses on human aggression in Family Violence in Cross-cultural Perspective. An in-depth study of the phenomenon of family violence that draws on ninety societies worldwide, the book questions whether such behavior is as a manifestation of specific cultures and looks at prevention programs within a cross-cultural perspective. While noting that Levinson does not undertake new studies but relies on existing data, American Anthropologist contributor Barbara Ayres noted that the book provides "convincing support for at least one important hypothesis, that wife abuse is most likely to occur in the context of sexual inequality and in the absence of institutionalized forms of female solidarity." While noting the same concerns regarding date, Journal of Marriage and the Family reviewer Linda E. Saltzman praised Family Violence in Cross-cultural Perspective for presenting "thought-provoking material about family violence," and commended the work for filling "a critical gap" in scholarship.


Written with journalist Karen Christensen, Levinson's The Global Village Companion: An A-to-Z Guide to Understanding Current World Affairs was created to contribute to a greater understanding of the changing world landscape, and it does so by organizing information topically and through 400 concepts, events, organizations, and terms: entries included "Jihad" and "Road Warriors" to "AIDS" and "Kinship." While Library Journal contributor Dave Ettinger maintained that "the serious student of world affairs will find its perfunctory approach only superficially appealing," American Reference Book Annual reviewer Constance Hardesty praised The Global Village Companion, noting: "If one is looking for a cross between a dictionary and an encyclopedia to explain selected terms that recur in news stories from around the globe, this is the book."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Anthropologist, December, 1981, Lilyan A. Brudner-White, review of A Guide to Social Theory: Worldwide Cross-cultural Tests, pp. 952-954; March, 1983, Carol R. Ember, review of Toward Explaining Human Culture: A Critical Review of the Findings of Worldwide Cross-cultural Research, pp. 188-189; June, 1990, Barbara Ayres, review of Family Violence in Cross-cultural Perspective, pp. 508-509.

American Libraries, May, 2000, p. 64.

American Reference Book Annual, Volume 27, 1996, review of Ethnic Relations: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, p. 154, Agression and Conflict: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, p. 338, and Human Environments: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, pp. 756-757; 1997, review of The Global Village Companion: An A to Z Guide to Understanding Current World Affairs, p. 213, and Religion: A Cross-cultural Dictionary, p. 536; 1998, review of Health and Illness: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, p. 661; 1999, review of American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation, p. 146, and Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, pp. 147-148.

Booklist, April 15, 1995, review of Ethnic Relations, p. 1523; February 1, 1996, review of Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family, p. 954; June 1, 1996, review of Encyclopedia of World Cultures and Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, p. 1760; May 1, 1997, review of Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present, p. 1526, and The Global Village Companion, p. 1530; January 1, 1998, review of Health and Illness, p. 862; July, 1998, review of Ethnic Groups Worldwide, p. 1905; October, 1999, review of Religion, p. 472; February 1, 2000, review of Encyclopedia of Human Emotions, p. 1042; July, 2002, review of Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, p. 1874.

Choice, November, 1981, p. 413; June, 1995, p. 1576; April, 1996, p. 1284; September, 1996, p. 96; May, 1998, p. 1564; July-August, 1998, p. 1834; December, 1998, p. 670; April, 2000, p. 1444; September, 2001, p. 86; May, 2003, K. W. Berger, review of Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, pp. 1528-1529.

Contemporary Psychology, June, 1979, pp. 494-495; July, 1982, pp. 512-516.

Contemporary Sociology, May, 1980, Guy E. Swanson, review of A Guide to Social Theory, pp. 376-380.

Family Relations, October, 1996, review of Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family, pp. 478-479.

Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, December, 1992, pp. 535-536.

Journal of Marriage and the Family, February, 1990, Linda E. Saltzman, review of Family Violence in Cross-cultural Perspective, p. 280.

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, September, 1997, P. T. W. Baxter, review of Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, p. 614.

Kliatt, May, 1999, review of Religion, p. 39.

Library Journal, July, 1984, Christine Bagley, review of The Tribal Living Book, p. 1317; April 15, 1997, David Ettinger, review of The Global Village Companion, p. 70; October 1, 1997, Rebecca Cress-Ingebo, review of Health and Illness, p. 70; March 1, 2000, p. 74; May, 2002, review of Encylopedia of Crime and Punishment, p. 82; May, 2003, Ravi Shenoy, review of Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, p. 104.

Man, June, 1990, Dorothy Ayers Counts, review of Family Violence in Cross-cultural Perspective, pp. 365-366.

Reviews in American History, June, 1999, Elliot Robert Barkan, review of American Immigrant Cultures, pp. 318-333.

RQ, spring, 1996, Diane Zabel, review of Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family, p. 409.

School Library Journal, February, 1994, p. 138; May, 1995, Sarah Hayne Fitzsimmons, review of Aggression and Conflict, p. 133; June, 1996, Judy R. Johnston, review of Human Environments, p. 160; May, 1997, Herman Sutter, review of The Global Village Companion, p. 160; August, 1997, Danita Nichols, review of Religion, p. 185; August, 1998, Marsha S. Holden, review of Ethnic Groups Worldwide, p. 194.

Social Anthropology, October, 1997, p. 323.

Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1995, review of Encyclopedia of World Cultures, p. 268; August, 1997, Mary B. McCarthy, review of Encyclopedia of World Sport, p. 212.*