Re: Some thoughts on books about Wikileaks

Posting to Autocat

On 26/07/2011 10:31, Moore, Richard wrote:

“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.

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:

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!