Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Re: Some thoughts on books about Wikileaks

Posting to Autocat

On 26/07/2011 10:31, Moore, Richard wrote:
<snip>
"Extremism" is one of those things for which an objective definition is elusive; however, I think the LCSH "Extremist Web sites" is appropriate for works that purport to be about sites the author considers extreme.

Cf. the LCSH "Demoniac possession" and "Demonomania". A rational cataloguer might consider that a work purporting to deal with the former was in fact concerned with the latter, but it's the author's intended subject that should count.
</snip>
The idea that a resource should be presented as the author intended it is correct. I saw this a lot when I would have to assign some Soviet books the subject heading "Anti-Soviet propaganda" when they were clearly Anti-American propaganda, but they presented themselves as Anti-Soviet propaganda. Otherwise I would have been giving my own interpretation.

But we still make certain exceptions. Here is an example I found at random in Worldcat. As a deference to others, I prefer not to include the title of the book here but only give the link: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/68694413

The subjects assigned:
Television personalities -- United States -- Biography.
Radio personalities -- United States -- Biography.
Television talk shows -- United States.
Radio talk shows -- United States.
Conservatism -- United States.
Hate -- Political aspects -- United States.
Bullying -- Political aspects -- United States.
Propaganda, American.
Mass media -- Political aspects -- United States.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-
I don't know if the author would agree that this covers his intended subject, and I cannot tell if the cataloger is conservative, centrist or leftist.

Well done!

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