Search Tripod to locate books or articles on your topic. Books will often cover much broader topics than a research article, so you may need to adjust your search terms accordingly.
Some popular science magazines may provide a good overview of a topic.
Not to be confused with peer review, Review Articles are an attempt by one or more writers to summarize and analyze the research on a particular topic. They are a good place to learn about the major people and ideas within a topic.
You can find review articles in the following databases. See the descriptions for tips on how to limit your results to only review articles.