A few questions about bibliographies

I was reading the encyclopedia today (yes, I know how big of a nerd that makes me :)) and began to notice most entries had their own bibliographies. I’ve taken smaller bibliographies from books on subjects I like and ordered the entire list from the internet. Low and behold, each of these books have their own bibliographies too!

I know this isn’t exactly the discovery of the century, but it did get me thinking: how many factual books are published without bibliographies (other than autobiographies) in a year?

And has anyone ever taken the time to trace a books genealogical tree back until it was all books without bibliographies? It would be a nice resource for reading material on subjects you enjoy.

One last question: if you are writing/compiling a book, and your source material points you to another book which you read, which one do you list in your bibliography? For instance, if I read Cecil’s report about the Alamo, http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_104.html , then went and bought the diary he refered to, which source would I credit in my bibliography?

Your geeky friend,
The MeatBeast

If the later source simply reports and repeats what was said in the earlier one, then you have to go back to the original (otherwise you’re unnecessarily relying on secondhand information). If the second author expands on / examines / critiqes the first, then you need to critically analyse both sources.