An all purpose survey of world deserts, well and generously illustrated with both black-and-white and color photos. Watson reviews desert geology, plants, animals, and people, then turns to the problem of desertification and possible solutions. Unfortunately her analysis does not go beyond the observation that people have over-populated, over-grazed, and over-picked threatened areas. Cited solutions are large, technological, capital-intensive projects, which presumably could save us if the backward ""people"" could be persuaded to let the experts run things. How large enterprise and experts have contributed to the people's present plight is not considered. The earlier chapters may fill a niche, though they haven't the life and thrust of Pringle's younger Gentle Desert (1977, on the American desert); but the text neither engages nor enlightens.