Penn, James R. 1949-

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PENN, James R. 1949-

PERSONAL: Born May 26, 1949, in Madison, WI; married Laura de Andrade, November 27, 1985; children: April Marie, Eric Raymond. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Wisconsin—Madison, B.S., 1974, M.D., 1977, Ph.D., 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting books, coins, and stamps.

ADDRESSES: Home—106 Sherry Dr., Hammond, LA 70401. Office—Department of Sociology, SLU 10572, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA 70402. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, assistant professor of geography and anthropology, 1989—. Columbia Players, member.

MEMBER: Association of American Geographers, American Numismatic Association.

WRITINGS:

(With Peter M. Ross) The Economic Geography of the Northern Lakes Region, Lake Superior Project, University of Wisconsin—Madison (Madison, WI), 1978.

Encyclopedia of Geographical Features in World History: Europe and the Americas, American Bibliographical Center-Clio Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.

Rivers of the World: A Social, Geographical, and Environmental Sourcebook, American Bibliographical Center-Clio Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: Professor of geography James R. Penn is the author of Encyclopedia of Geographical Features in World History: Europe and the Americas, a study called "fascinating" by a Booklist reviewer. The volume covers the geography of North, South, and Central America, and all of Europe, including parts of Russia. The alphabetical entries include locations both mythological, such as the imaginary island Hy-Brazil; and manmade, including Hadrian's Wall and the Mason-Dixon Line. The author concentrates on the general geological characteristics of each region and so does not list towns, cities, principalities, or states; but does note battlefields where "water or terrain was significant to the outcome of the battle," according to the Booklist contributor.

Penn turned his attention to a specific kind of geographical feature in his 2001 book Rivers of the World: A Social, Geographical, and Environmental Sourcebook. The Amazon, Nile, Mississippi, Yangtze, and Wei are just a few of the two hundred rivers examined in detail. The author lists the characteristics of the rivers with their lengths, major tributaries, and outlets. To another Booklist critic, the entries "feature geographical information but, much like a river, often gently meander into historical and environmental discussions." Comparing Rivers of the World with similar reference works, Library Journal reviewer Eva Lautemann found Penn's book "more in-depth" than the better known Rand McNally Encyclopedia of World Rivers.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 1998, review of Encyclopedia of Geographical Features in World History: Europe and the Americas, p. 1658; May 15, 2002, review of Rivers of the World: A Social, Geographical, and Environmental Sourcebook, p. 1636.

Library Journal, March 15, 2002, Eva Lautemann, review of Rivers of the World, p. 74.*

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