Australia remains singular in its existence as the only individual nation that also stands alone as a continent. Among the driest places in the world, much of Australia sprawls out in what locals refer to as "The Outback." Nevertheless, along its coastal plain Australia possess some of the most advanced urban centers in the world. Spreading out for thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean lie other nations, such as New Zealand and the manifold Pacific Islands. It is this remote portion of the globe that Elizabeth J. Leppman turns her literary and research attention in this chapter of the illustrated "Modern World Cultures" series. As is the case with other books in this series, the author does a fine job of detailing keynote historical, cultural, and geographic aspects of this part of the Earth. A particular emphasis is made on the explorations that led to the initial and ongoing clash of western and Asian cultures in this region. This is a well thought out book and one that does not dodge difficult issues, such as cultural chauvinism, racism, and social inequities. Taken as a whole, Australia and the Pacific is a fine tool designed to increase the understanding of youngsters interested in or studying this part of the world.