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Overview

A concise, all-in-one reference on economic, political, social and environmental issues.

More than 250 maps and 250 diagrams, tables, and charts combined with photographs clarify complex and often confusing issues. This detailed, easy-to-find information is organized in the following general categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Resources
  • Children and Education
  • The Human Family
  • Communications and Leisure
  • Conflict (war, terrorism, etc.)
  • Country Data
  • Environment
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Government and Organizations
  • Health
  • Population
  • Trade and Industry
  • Wealth

Guide to the State of the World provides a wealth of the latest statistics and other data for readers of all ages looking for insights in analyzing current affairs and for responding to current events across the world. Some of the subjects covered are:

  • Biodiversity
  • Employment
  • Energy Production
  • Fishing/Forestry
  • Food and Famine
  • Gender Equality
  • Global Warming
  • Globalization
  • Healthcare
  • Languages
  • Literacy and Education
  • Life Expectancy
  • Mineral Resources
  • Migration
  • Pollution
  • Poverty
  • Refugees
  • Religions
  • Standards of
    Living
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Urbanization

Though the extent of information included in Guide to the State of the World seems limitless, its organization enables easy access to specific and often difficult-to-find data, especially when it's needed in a hurry

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Edited by Wright (The Language of the Civil War), this compact atlas provides comparative data on a wide variety of global matters, including life expectancy, women in parliament, prisons, population density, human migration, and water pollution, to name a few. The book is organized into sections by general topic (e.g., "Crime and Punishment," "Conflict"), which are then subdivided into highly illustrated subsections (e.g., prisons, death penalty, size of armies, military budget). Also included are more than 250 photographs, colorful maps with accompanying text, and diagrams. A table summarizing world statistics provides up-to-date information. Bottom Line Easy to browse and graphically pleasing, this work may be useful for some ready reference questions. Michael Kidron and Ronald Segal's The State of the World Atlas, also published by Firefly, has similar content as well as more quirky topics, but the last revised volume was published in 1995. Neither volume contains full bibliographic references, and each has only selective country information, which restricts their usefulness. Nonetheless, this relatively inexpensive work is recommended for all public and secondary school libraries.-Donald Altschiller, Boston Univ. Libs. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554071142
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/3/2005
  • Series: Firefly Pocket Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John D. Wright is a former reporter for Time magazine who has also written extensively for People and had several articles in Reader's Digest and Southern Living. He has contributed to numerous reference works, including Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford Guide to British and American Culture, Collins Cobuild Dictionary, and Reader's Digest Facts at Your Fingertips. His own book, The Language of the Civil War (2001), was published by Oryx and his second book on the war will be published next year by Oxford University Press. He holds the Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Texas and has taught journalism at three universities.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
World Political Map
ISO Country Codes

Environment

  • Biodiversity
  • Overfishing
  • Deforestation and Desertification
  • Global Warming
  • Air Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Natural Disasters
Population
  • Population Distribution
  • Age and Gender
  • Population Growth
  • Urban Population
  • Population Density
The Human Family
  • Language
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Religion
  • Human Migration
Government and
Organizations
  • Government
  • Women in Parliament
  • United Nations Membership
  • United Nations Peacekeeping
  • Organizations
Crime and Punishment
  • Prisons
  • The Death Penalty
  • Murder
  • Crime
  • Drugs
Conflict
  • War since 1945
  • Size of Armies
  • Military Budget
  • Arms
  • Terrorism
  • Refugees
Health
  • Life Expectancy
  • Disease
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Smoking and Alcohol
  • Safe
    Water
  • Food Consumption
Children and Education
  • Quality of Education
  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • Tertiary Education
  • Child Rights
Wealth
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Income and the Wealth Gap
  • Inflation
  • Aid and Debt
Trade and Industry
  • World Trade
  • Industry and Trade
  • Dependence on Trade
  • Exports per Capita
  • Production
  • Freight
  • Finance
  • Foreign Investment
  • Employment
  • Women's Income

Agriculture
  • Land Use
  • Agricultural Population
  • Food Production
  • Staple Crops
Resources
  • Energy Production
  • Energy Consumption
  • Renewable Energy
  • Mineral Sources
  • Metals
Communications and Leisure
  • Telephones
  • Computers and the Internet
  • Radio and Television
  • Books and Newspapers
  • Music
  • Cinema
  • Sport
  • Travel and Tourism

Country Data
Credits
Websites and Photo Credits
Index

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Preface

Introduction

An understanding of the world we live in necessarily involves a spatial mode of thinking. The Guide to the State of the World offers a valuable gateway into important and fascinating aspects of the world today. It undertakes the unenviable task of mapping the contemporary world in an accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible manner without papering over its complexities. States as recognized political entities lies at the core of the state of the world today — it is difficult to imagine a global humanity without taking into consideration the division of people living in separate states. And yet, the condition of what some call 'globalization' offers us an opportunity to move beyond states and look at flows of people, goods, services, and ideas that do not always respect state boundaries. This Guide seeks to provide a glimpse at the interaction between states and highlights the crucial aspects of the world.

When looking at the world political map, one should not forget that the jigsaw puzzle view of the world (with clearly defined state boundaries and each state color coded differently) does not fully capture the complex reality of people and communities that live in the world. People's sense of unity often does not correspond neatly with state boundaries. Yet, this is the dominant way in which the political map of the world is drawn and hence most issues raised in this Guide make sense if understood in terms of state boundaries. Some such issues include various aspects of governance (at the national and international level), human population (absolute numbers, quality of life, livelihood, diversity), and violence (crime and conflicts). On the other hand, other issues in the world require us to complement state level view with a recognition of its international dimensions (for instance, the problems of environment, global political economy, communications and information technology).

In this Guide the short commentaries accompanied with clear maps and figures make the understanding of the world a lot more interesting. There are five interrelated stories one can draw from the maps and commentaries.

First, the world is immensely diverse and complex. Second, extreme levels of inequality mark contemporary world. This is most clear in the economic sphere. The majority of the world suffers from deprivation and poverty and yet a sizable privileged minority (mostly in the developed countries but also a small powerful elite in the developing countries) live in an abundance of resources. It is this minority that controls the decision-making processes in the world and sets the agenda. Third, diversity and inequality does not undermine the fact that we are living in an interdependent world. Events in one part of the world affect other parts of the world and communication and information technology is playing an increasingly vital role in making us aware of this interdependence. The sooner we realize that the fate of humanity lies not just in the hands of a selected few states, but in the hands of all people living in all states, the better it will be to work together for an international solution to global problems. Fourth, violence against various groups of people is an important feature of the world. States not only face violence from terrorism and war, but they often commit violence with more lethality than nonstate violence. Awareness of the various forms of violence is a good first step toward attempts by individuals to strive for a better, less violent world. Fifth, violence and inequality raise questions about the effectiveness of current political communities. Do we need to imagine a world that moves beyond a state based governmental system? Can we imagine such a world? These are some questions that people need to explore in the future. A
Guide to the State of the World written a few decades later will be different from this one. For the time being, individual readers need to see what different stories they excavate from this lucidly written, clearly presented, painstakingly researched collection of facts about the state of the world today.

Dr Dibyesh Anand
University of Bath, UK

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

An understanding of the world we live in necessarily involves a spatial mode of thinking. The Guide to the State of the World offers a valuable gateway into important and fascinating aspects of the world today. It undertakes the unenviable task of mapping the contemporary world in an accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible manner without papering over its complexities. States as recognized political entities lies at the core of the state of the world today -- it is difficult to imagine a global humanity without taking into consideration the division of people living in separate states. And yet, the condition of what some call 'globalization' offers us an opportunity to move beyond states and look at flows of people, goods, services, and ideas that do not always respect state boundaries. This Guide seeks to provide a glimpse at the interaction between states and highlights the crucial aspects of the world.

When looking at the world political map, one should not forget that the jigsaw puzzle view of the world (with clearly defined state boundaries and each state color coded differently) does not fully capture the complex reality of people and communities that live in the world. People's sense of unity often does not correspond neatly with state boundaries. Yet, this is the dominant way in which the political map of the world is drawn and hence most issues raised in this Guide make sense if understood in terms of state boundaries. Some such issues include various aspects of governance (at the national and international level), human population (absolute numbers, quality of life, livelihood, diversity), and violence (crime and conflicts). Onthe other hand, other issues in the world require us to complement state level view with a recognition of its international dimensions (for instance, the problems of environment, global political economy, communications and information technology).

In this Guide the short commentaries accompanied with clear maps and figures make the understanding of the world a lot more interesting. There are five interrelated stories one can draw from the maps and commentaries.

First, the world is immensely diverse and complex. Second, extreme levels of inequality mark contemporary world. This is most clear in the economic sphere. The majority of the world suffers from deprivation and poverty and yet a sizable privileged minority (mostly in the developed countries but also a small powerful elite in the developing countries) live in an abundance of resources. It is this minority that controls the decision-making processes in the world and sets the agenda. Third, diversity and inequality does not undermine the fact that we are living in an interdependent world. Events in one part of the world affect other parts of the world and communication and information technology is playing an increasingly vital role in making us aware of this interdependence. The sooner we realize that the fate of humanity lies not just in the hands of a selected few states, but in the hands of all people living in all states, the better it will be to work together for an international solution to global problems. Fourth, violence against various groups of people is an important feature of the world. States not only face violence from terrorism and war, but they often commit violence with more lethality than nonstate violence. Awareness of the various forms of violence is a good first step toward attempts by individuals to strive for a better, less violent world. Fifth, violence and inequality raise questions about the effectiveness of current political communities. Do we need to imagine a world that moves beyond a state based governmental system? Can we imagine such a world? These are some questions that people need to explore in the future. A Guide to the State of the World written a few decades later will be different from this one. For the time being, individual readers need to see what different stories they excavate from this lucidly written, clearly presented, painstakingly researched collection of facts about the state of the world today.

Dr Dibyesh Anand
University of Bath, UK

Read More Show Less

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