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Library JournalA revised and updated version of the 2002 edition, also edited by Kurian (The Illustrated Book of World Rankings), this four-volume encyclopedia surveys 193 countries, three more than its predecessor. The entries, each ranging in length from a few sentences to a few paragraphs, are arranged alphabetically by country and have expanded to provide information in 40 categories, including climate and weather, flora and fauna, etiquette, family life, economy, and status of women. Each entry, presented in an easy-to-read typeface, features black-and-white maps; useful contact, address, and web site information; a brief chronology; and a selective bibliography. There is no shortage of such encyclopedias—The Europa World Year Book(Routledge, 2006) and the Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations(Thomson Gale, 2006. 12th ed.) are two recent ones that come to mind.