Gr 6-8-These series titles focus on nations around the world that are involved in recent or past conflicts within or beyond their borders. Each volume presents a historical perspective that identifies the problems then proceeds somewhat chronologically to address specific concerns, leadership, turning points, and prospects for the future. Africa covers only those states that lie between the Sahara and South Africa (which is covered in a separate volume) from the end of colonial rule in the 1960s. The Cold War, ethnic problems, and economic inheritance are blamed for the success of many brutal dictators. Conflict explains the hostility between Pakistan and India in terms of volatile Muslim-Hindu relations, specifically the control of Kashmir and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Iraq is current to May 2003, when Saddam Hussein was removed from power. Earlier chapters cover the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, and the importance of oil. All three titles have lots of fact boxes, maps, and a color or black-and-white photo on nearly every page. Additional color insets explain pertinent terms and concepts and set off quotes. Information presented here provides valuable background material even in view of rapidly changing events.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.