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The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2003 (World Almanac & Book of Facts) Paperback – 29 Nov 2002

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""The World Almanac" is the most useful reference book known to modern man."--"Los Angeles Times" "Useful to any human being on the planet. "The World Almanac" still reigns as the world's most powerful reference." --"Seattle Times" "Provides brief, accurate information on an endless array of subjects."--"The New York Times" "For the most information in one source, "The World Almanac" remains the champion." --"Booklist"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The standard in almanacs 14 Nov. 2002
By Brian Melendez - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many imitators on the market, some of them quite good, but this almanac has set the standard for more than a century. The New York World newspaper began publishing an almanac in 1868, "a 120-page volume with 12 pages of advertising." The newspaper suspended the almanac's publication in 1876, but publisher Joseph Pulitzer revived it in 1886 as a "compendium of universal knowledge." The almanac has been published annually since, outliving the newspaper whose name it still bears. (The World Almanac is not the oldest almanac in publication, however: that distinction belongs to The Old Farmer's Almanac, which is "North America's oldest continuously published periodical," founded in 1792.)
The World Almanac contains much useful information that belongs in any serious basic-reference set. For the world, the almanac presents basic statistics about each nation, and about the world's major religions; and summarizes the world's history, with more detailed histories of the United States and of the preceding year. For the United States, the almanac reprints the nation's organic documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; lists every community with a population over 5000, with its ZIP code and area code; lists every county (or parish or division) and county seat; contains a directory of the entire Federal government, including Congress and all congressional committees, every executive department, and every court and judge; presents basic statistics about each state and major city, and a short biography of each president; and much more. The almanac also contains bountiful information about education, science, sports, and many other topics. No other single volume offers such a wealth of information on such a variety of subjects.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I Love the World Almanac! 7 Nov. 2002
By LuLu - Published on
Format: Paperback
The World Almanac is still the world�s best-selling almanac by far. I think it is best known and liked for being an inexpensive, compact, reliable fact-filled reference source, where you are most likely to find what you want fast, if you do not get too engrossed in too many other things along the way. There are the usual chapters, with everything from economics to arts and media to states of the U.S., nations of the world, and lots of sports. The new 2003 edition, like every edition, is extensively updated, and also has new features to make it stand out from the one before. The World Almanac 2003 has several feature articles related to terrorism, in the wake of 9-11. One of the new features in the rest of the book is a bunch of World Almanac Quick Quizzes spread around the chapters�you can try thinking up the answer to the question, find it in the chapter, or look it up in the answer key. There are also factoids spread around the book, and the usual familiar features such as Top Ten News Stories and Offbeat News. The new edition has more science coverage than ever before, and the Noted Personalities and Calendar chapters were both expanded. Like last year, readers can also subscribe to a free E-newsletter that provides monthly updates after the book is published. All in all, it is still a big bargain and makes a great gift. It�s a tradition in my family that I give everyone a copy as a Christmas present every year.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Still the best almanac 3 Jan. 2003
By Loring Ivanick - Published on
Format: Paperback
The World Almanac has been around since 1868. It has changed a lot, not necessarily for the better. For example, there used to be a much more comprehensive, day-by-day look at the news of the previous year . Still, this is better than the other five almanacs I just went through at a bookstore and is the only one I plan to buy this year. In particular it has clear and concise info on the states of the U.S.and the countries of the world. It is also still the only almanac to present comprehensive election results of the last two presidential elections. There are more pages yet less to read than 30 years ago, but I can't find a better almanac in English.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
No 2002 World Series or Election Results 1 Nov. 2002
By Steven Kimmelman - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've used the World Almanac for the last 30 years and it has been one of the best books around. I cannot say that about the 2003 edition, which became available in bookstores on Halloween. This is because the 2003 World Almanac does not include two features that have made it an institution: coverage of the most recent World Series and of the November 2002 Congressional and Gubernatorial elections. Having these results in book form shortly after they happen has been one of the World Almanac's greatest strengths until now. Those who want and need this information in book form will have to buy another book. If the publishers could have waited just a couple of weeks and published the book with these results as they have in the past, I would have given the book five stars. Publishing the 2003 World Almanac without the results of the World Series and midterm elections leaves a very big hole in the book. It is sad to see a grand 135 year tradition that I'm sure has been very profitable over the years damaged this way.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By reviewer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As someone who live outside the U.S.A. but has been consistent with the "World Almanac and Book of Facts" for more than ten years now, it is my wish to commend its editors for their efforts.
However,in thanking them, it is also my wish to point out that there is only a marginal difference between this new edition and the ones that were released two and three years ago. Many date-sensitive facts in this new edition are just too old. They are in dire need of updating!
Also, since more than half of its contents are about the U.S., it may not be easy to convince non-Americans of its global outlook. Hence, I feel that the size of this book should be increased in order to accommodate more facts from African, Asian, East European and South American countries, whose individual country facts hardly go more than two-thirds of a page.
This book comes at a reasonable price. But the general perspective will be wonderful if the afore-mentioned 'facts' are taken care of: even if it means increasing the price a little bit.
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