Education: Race of the Gazetteers

About the rarest of current reference books is a gazetteer—the vast descriptive index of towns, cities, counties, countries, mountains, valleys and rivers all over the world. Not since the Lippincott volume of 1905 has the U.S. had a really comprehensive one, and the information in that is obviously long out of date. Last week the Columbia University Press announced that it has something new at last. For $50, curiosos can now get the fattest U.S. compilation ever—the Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World.

It has taken almost six years and $400,000-plus to put it...

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