Books in the United States

Blue Book

When someone says “The Blue Book,” they can mean:

  • The N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide, which lists the price of used cars. Could also mean one of the other N.A.D.A. guides. See “Automobile Valuation Information” in this legal Encyclopedia; or
  • The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, traditionally the leading legal citation manual. See “Citations” in this legal Encyclopedia; or
  • The California Blue Book, which presents pictures and biographies of California state government officials and legislators, plus descriptions of California government agencies; or
  • The explanation of a tax law written by the staffers on the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. See the entries about “Internal Revenue Code”, IRS Regulations and “Congressional Reports” in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • The Blue Book of questions asked to and answered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation at the annual Enrolled Actuaries Meeting and posted here by the PBGC. See also the Actuarial Information information in the Actuary entry;
  • A book produced by the Federal Reserve staff for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) officially titled, Monetary Policy Alternatives. See “Federal Reserve System” in this Legal Encyclopedia.
  • A desk book officially titled New York Real Property Law (LexisNexis).
  • The Wisconsin Blue Book describes the organization of Wisconsin state government.

Red Book

Advertising: The official title of the “Red Book” for advertising is the Standard Directory of {Domestic/International} Advertisers and the Standard Directory of {Domestic/International} Advertising Agencies. There is an online edition on Lexis (in the MARKET library). See also “Advertising”.

Accounting: The official title of the “Red Book” for accounting is the [Codification of]Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

Automobiles: The official title of the “Red Book for automobile valuation is theAutomobile Red Book. See “Automobile Valuation Information.”

Bonds: The official title of the “Red Book” for bonds is The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (published annually by the Bond Buyer. The Marketplace provides information on “players” in the municipal bond market. An archived 2001 edition is available through Lexis (BANKING;TBONDB).

Drug Prices: See “Pharmaceuticals.”

Employment Law: Volume 3 of the Field Operations Handbook (FOH) published by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is known as “The Red Book”. See “United States Department of Labor.”

Federal Fiscal Law: A multi-volume publication by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) called Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (Red Book).

Health Care: The “Red Book” published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) was “a compendium of significant cost-saving recommendations that have not been fully implemented.” As of 2007, the Red Book was combined with the “Orange Book” into the Compendium of Unimplemented Office of Inspector General Recommendations. The HHS-OIG posts both recent editions of the Compendium and archived editions of the “Red Book.”

Medicine: A treatise by the American Academy of Pediatrics covering the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Available on line at

New York: There’s a New York Red Book with basic information about the state’s executive, legislative and judicial information branches and a Second Circuit Red Book with information on just the Courts in New York City. The New York Redbook is published by in print and online by the New York Legal Publishing Corporation.

Securities Law: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Manual is called the “Red Book.” See “Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Social Security: The Social Security Administration publishes a The Red Book – A Guide to Work Incentives, alternatively subtitled A Summary Guide to Employment Supports for Persons with Disabilities Under the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Programs.

Gray Book

When someone refers to “The Gray Book,” they can can mean:

Green Book

There are several “Green Books,” including:

  • the official directory of New York City agencies and employees, formerly in print, but now available as The Greenbook Online;
  • the explanation of entitlement programs under the jurisdiction of the House Ways and Means Committee (1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004 editions available on the Additional Government Documents page of FDsys (listed as, “Background Material and Data on the Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (Green Book)”);
  • the Treasury Department’s General Explanations of the Administration’s Revenue Proposals;
  • the Texas legal citation manual;
  • the list of companies licensed to sell insurance in Florida, posted at;
  • the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Legislation with Analysis, written by Brown and Ahern, published by West;
  • U.S. EPA Publication 20T-2003, titled “Managing Asbestos in Place: A Building Owners Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs for Asbestos-Containing Materials” (July 1990);
  • the FDA Approved Animal Drug Products list
  • the Federal Reserve Board publication, officially titled Current Economic and Financial Conditions. See “Federal Reserve System” in this legal Encyclopedia
  • a book called New York Surrogate’s Court (LexisNexis) that includes the N.Y. Surrogate’s Court Act and the N.Y. Estate Powers and Trust’s Law with amendment notes, related laws, forms, the Uniform Rules for Surrogate’s Court, etc.
  • a book of questions posed at the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting with answers from the Employee Benefits Security Administration, officially titled “Questions to the Employee Benefits Security Administration and Summary of Their Responses.” (See also “Actuarial Information” in the Actuary entry).

Gold Book

The “Gold Book” can be either:

  • the Commercial Law: 19xx Gold Book, which is Matthew Bender’s annual annotated edition of the New York UCC and General Obligations Law; or
  • a book for valuing automobiles.

The Organge Book

“The Orange Book” can be:

  • The nickname for the Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The print version is sold through the U.S. Government Bookstore; an electronic version is posted free on the FDA Web site; The Mediregs Pharmaceutical Regulation Suite has historical editions back to the 23rd edition, which I believe came out in 2002 (subscription only). Or …
  • A “compendium of significant unimplemented, nonmonetary recommendations for improving departmental operations” published by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As of 2007, the Orange Book was combined with the “Red Book” into the Compendium of Unimplemented Office of Inspector General Recommendations. The HHS-OIG posts both recent editions of theCompendium, and archived editions of the Orange Book and the Red Book.
  • The nickname for a book called Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD-5200.28-STD). The book is the “de facto standard for computer security today.” The book and related information are available on the Dynamoo The Orange Book Site.
  • A technical standard in the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, etc.

Yellow Books

Directories: Leadership Directories, Inc. publishes a series of directories called “Yellow Books.” These include the Federal Yellow Book, the Municipal Yellow Book, the Law Firms Yellow Book, the Corporate Yellow Book, the Associations Yellow Bookand the Government Affairs Yellow Book.

The Yellow Books are published in print as quarterly soft cover books, or you can buyonline subscriptions. You can also buy individual profiles of the people or institutions in the book. A person’s profile generally includes contact and basic biographical information. An institutional profile provides contact information plus the profiles of all the people who work for the institution.

New York State: In New York, the “Yellow Book” is the nickname of:

See Also

Automobile Valuation Information
Federal Reserve System
Internal Revenue Code and Regulations
Federal Reserve System
Department of Health and Human Services
Medical Materials
United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Company Information
Finding People
Law Firms
Nonprofit Organizations






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