Not for would-be voyagers but for shanghaied scholars is this static account of the physical geography and the socio-economic ramifications of rivers. Brief sections on the water cycle, deltas, river systems, flow and slope, etc. follow each other in frequently arbitrary fashion. Somewhat more cohesively handled are the effects of rivers, including floods and flood control; the efforts of hydraulic engineering to control and harness streams -- harbors, hydraulic power, different kinds of dams; current problems --pollution water supply, purification -- and possible solutions. Seven important rivers are spotlighted briefly. Altogether, the most rudimentary sort of adjunct to assignments, without intellectual or stylistic merit.