Postcard pageantry color photographs and a text whose content most resembles that of the Epsteins' 1957 All About the Desert, although this one is a production that's geared higher and reads deeper. A chapter is devoted to each of the continental regions--Africa, Arabia, Asia, Australia (""home of some fascinating Aborigines""), and the Americas--discussing concomitantly the nature of the land and the character of the people. ""What is a desert?"" ""What you see depends on the things for which you are looking"": underground oil, the absence or potential presence (irrigation outlets) of water, biological adaptations, or gorgeous sunsets, as per Alonzo Pond's similar admonition in Survival in Sun and Sand (p. 944, J-358). At the end a detailed glance at the Sahara, ""Desert of Yesterday and Tomorrow,"" a look at the melange of old and new--not the least of that new being the praised efforts of American oil companies. As a geographical survey the book is fine, as an anthropology it's simplistic.