Stromberg's Poultry of the World
Book Review: Poultry of the World by Loyl Stromberg
Well folks, I've just had an opportunity to go through Loyl Stromberg's book Poultry of the World. I have never found such a collection of bad grammar, typos, misidentified and confusing illustrations, and misinformation gathered together in any book I've ever encountered. Consider this a brief book review. A long one would drive me up the wall. As a fairly knowledgable poultry person, I get chills when I think of the "facts" now being distributed to the unaware public. Lots of photos, tho', if you want to guess what they are. I'm willing to admit that more than half are probably correctly identified, but when the description of the breed includes a single comb and the photo has a crested bird with no comb visible at all it sure does make you wonder. And there's a really nice photo of a Grey (Sonnerat's) Jungle Fowl--as long as you don't mind that it's labeled Green Jungle Fowl (a different species). In one case there's a crested bird labeled as an Araucana (true to the British standard, but not the American). And in many cases a breed will be mentioned but won't be described in any useful way at all. A very frustrating experience, this book was!
The worst thing for me is that I don't feel that I can trust anything in this book. There are so many inaccuracies, in both text and pictures, that if I'm not sure of something I certainly wouldn't look here to get the answer. And I can't even recommend spending $80 on the book for the pictures. As a coffee table book it is sorely lacking also, the volume being only 6 inches by 9 1/2 inches. The majority of the illustrations are neither very clear nor large enough to be interesting to people who don't already know poultry fairly well. I fear that I can't find any good reason to suggest buying this book, and can find a fair number of reasons to go spend your money elsewhere--maybe buy that expensive trio of Buff Cochins you decided you really couldn't afford. It'll make you much happier.
Stromberg admits that he is neither a breeder, nor exhibitor, nor back-yarder, yet here he has written a book on all of these areas. He doesn't have anyone edit his material, neither an editor who knows the language nor an editor who knows poultry. And he publishes through a publisher who clearly doesn't use either an editor, a designer, or a proofreader. I have a bunch of his earlier books, mostly gotten when I was a beginner. I find that they all fit the pattern of being both moderately misinformative and unindexed, so that when you do want to use them you can't find the information anyway. It seems to me that the areas in which he has more solid info are the areas leaning towards commercial poultry, not in the areas of breeds or raising poultry. But I'm not trying to flame him, just giving a book review, which happens to be mostly a negative one. I know the man does good things for the poultry fancy, such as the Poultry Museum and his yearly poultry trips abroad. I just wish he'd let other people write the books.
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