Anyone who has ever wondered about the differences between conservatism, paleoconservatism and neoconservatism can now look no further than  ‘Isms and ‘Ologies.

This encyclopedia-type book is a handy reference guide and a great read for anyone interested in the ins and outs of human belief. Filled with hundreds of entries, from abolitionism to Zoroastrianism (The eighteenth and nineteenth-century movement to ban the institution of slavery and the ancient religion founded by Zarathustra, respectively), Arthur Goldwag’s collection is the answer to any burgeoning intellectual’s wishes.

Describing well-known movements such as Marxism and capitalism, intriguing entries such as Dadaism and anarchism, and even the barely believable Swedenborgianism,  ‘Isms and ‘Ologies covers the entire spectrum of these obscure and familiar movements. Here is the definitive guide to more than 450 of the most noteworthy intellectual terms, movements, and religions that help shape the society we live in, improving the insatiable desire of knowledge one page at a time.

Impress your friends with an explanation of string theory, then top it off with a view on Platonism. Learn why Republicans can claim Democrats subscribe to the tenets of locofocoism, and identify and explore many other ‘Isms and ‘Ologies to sprinkle into your daily conversations.

Ever had a professor talk about postmodernism and post-structuralism, but didn’t grasp where the former stops and latter begins? Wouldn’t you like to know? Longing to know why we are in Iraq (interventionism)?  ‘Isms and ‘Ologies provides the answers to these inquiries and more.

Meticulously cross-referenced and carefully divided into categories including religion, politics, science, history, philosophy and the arts, economics, and medicine, ‘Isms and ‘Ologies makes learning insightful and enlightening.

This is a must-have reference book for general readers who have ever been stumped by questions about subjects they thought they knew. Many books of this type are a bit dull, but Goldwag writes about complex topics clearly, with style, grace and wit.