French (author of the groundbreaking novel The Women's Room , LJ 11/15/77) states what she is about in her title. This exhausting, horrifying, and deeply saddening compendium catalogs religious, sociological, institutional, and physical oppression of women throughout the world. While it is extensively footnoted, French's essays are focused toward raising readers' consciousness of legal and political strictures; statistics on rape, incest, female infanticide, and clitoridectomy; and male obsession with controlling female reproduction. Little of what is contained here will be news to any conscientious reader of Ms . magazine. One wonders who French perceives as her audience, as most feminists are probably aware of the global difficulites faced by women, and those who would not take on the feminist designation may simply dismiss her arguments. Although much shorter than Susan Faludi's extraordinary Backlash ( LJ 9/15/91; an LJ ``Best Book of 1991''), which took aim primarily at media manipulation, French's book is less accessible and more demanding of readers. For academic collections, and public libraries where interest warrants. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/91.-- GraceAnne A. DeCandido, ``School Library Journal''