by Dan Smith
"This series of State of the World atlases, which was initiated in 1982, and of which this is the eighth edition, has endeavored to present the provisional facts about key world issues in a way that is reliable, digestible for the non-expert, and oriented towards revealing the larger picture. These books do not offer -- and do not claim to offer -- the only definitive world view. They simply offer to help you see the broad outlines, the context for deeper knowledge on specific issues." (The Penguin State of the World Atlas, pg. 13)
For someone like me who is not well-versed in world issues, this was an amazing book! Filled with colorful maps illustrating easily understandable statistics, it includes issues such as military spending, refugees, human rights abuses, malnutrition, biodiversity, waste and many, many more. (If you click through to Amazon, you can use the "Look Inside" feature to see how beautifully the material is depicted.) Each issue is presented at a very high level, but it is unintimidating and enough to open the reader's eyes to problems he or she may or may not have been aware of. I found a number of areas into which I have every intention of delving more deeply and learning more.
If you want to learn about some of the major world issues we are currently facing but you're not sure where to begin, this is a perfect book. There are also others in this series that I intend to look into such as The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World. I'll keep you posted as I find them!
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!