The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology

Rowman & Littlefield. Oct. 2022. 366p. ISBN 9781538155455. $149. REF
Superbly organized and researched, this book by Block (reference, instruction, and user engagement librarian, Indiana Univ. Southeast; Researching the Paranormal) provides a comprehensive presentation about parapsychology. This field includes the study of extra-sensory perception, precognition, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, mediumship, and ghosts, hauntings and poltergeists. Block acknowledges the ongoing challenge to the legitimacy of methodologies and measurements of parapsychology research, yet she champions the persistence and accomplishments of researchers and scientists who continue to explore phenomena that are experienced but unexplained. International in scope, the initial chapter covers biographies (background, field of study, affiliations, outcomes) of figures in the field, from pioneers through modern investigators, and concludes with a fascinating section on mediums, seers, psychometrists, and more. Other chapters include the history of psychic organizations and groups intent on exposing fraud, an annotated bibliography of parapsychology resources, and criticisms of the field. Each entry ends with suggested reading, and chapters conclude with extensive references. The marvelous appendixes point to topics, academic journals, and research organizations. The foot-noted glossary has its own bibliography.
VERDICT An exceptional first-step resource for the inquisitive reader or scholar seeking substantiated information about the history and status of current parapsychology research.
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