These two impressive volumes are the first of eight to be published in this series. Originally published 15 to 20 years ago, the entire series is being thoroughly revised and updated. Each of the two volumes under review follows the same format: an introductory essay, brief (10 pages or so) profiles on each nation, approximately 30 thematic essays, and a detailed index. Most of the contributors are scholars based in Great Britain, though the Soviet volume contains a greater diversity of affiliations. The essays are well documented and contain short bibliographies. Some of the essays are brand new to this edition; the rest have been revised by the original contributors. The beginning section (the country profiles) provides valuable reference information and is generally more complete than comparable entries in Europa Yearbook. However, the major portion of each volume is really not ideally suited for a reference collection. The essays are either too long or too specialized for most reference needs. Nonetheless, these volumes belong in all general academic library collections and could also serve well as texts for college-level courses in comparative government. Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.