Who’s not Who

The International Who’s Who 2012 has been generally acclaimed as one of the most authoritative information sources in the world. This Routledge’s edition boasts of more than 24,000 biographies of famous people as of May 2011. Well, you would reasonably expect accurate data from a book with a price tag of several hundred bucks. But, a meticulous reader is for a disappointment. Let me cite several errors, concerning the former Soviet Union.

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They erroneously indicated that the birth date of a celebrated tenor, Vladimir Atlantov, is 19 February 1933. But, the great singer was born exactly six years later, in 1939. Perhaps, it was just a typo. Anyway, there are many instances of such mistakes in this edition.

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Kazakh mathematician Umirzak Sultangazin (1936-2005) died six years prior to the publication. However, its staff diligently continued to mention him among the living. Once again, they erred considerably in terms of time.

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Kazakh politician Sergei Tereshchenko (1951- ) was also mentioned with a mistake: they indicated the wrong phone number of his home and the wrong email of his. Actually, for many years prior to this edition the phone number had belonged to a Chinese organization.

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