Another fine survey-in-depth in this useful, newly reconstituted series. Meek, a Scottish newspaperman, is well acquainted with his subject. His portrait of Scotland today comes with interesting, concrete detail on subjects as diverse as wildlife and language, and with a welcome discussion of the contrast between the stereotypical Scotsman and the real one. The historical portion of the book (more than half) is more difficult reading; though Meek's generalizations are well founded, there is so much to cover in Scotland's eventful past that 100 pages afford room for little more than a fact-filled, outline-like account, despite frequent links to the more familiar English history. Returning to the present, Meek surveys the arts. When it comes to literature, he provides the enthusiasms of a devotee for Burns; gives a good discussion of current adult authors; and makes no mention of Scotland's rich store of folk tales or of such fine contemporary authors for children as Mollie Hunter, whose books would be appropriate for his readers. On the other hand, he gives illuminating brief analyses of such current issues as North Sea oil, nuclear power, Scotland's continuing lean to the political left, and the possibility of Scotland as a separate nation--or as a model for other semi-independent states in a united Europe. An excellent resource. Good annotated bibliography/discography/filmography; to be illustrated and indexed.