The ultimate geography book and the home reference bargain of the year. There's a chapter (one page for Singapore; twelve for the US, etc.) on every independent country, including the former Soviet republics and the current partitioning of Yugoslavia. These chapters contain geographical, economic, sociological, and historical information, and facts and figures boxes. Heavily illustrated in full-color, this also includes flags and symbols, map and globe locators, photos and drawings (some look as if they're from a 1950s textbook), and pictures of endangered species. In addition, there are chapters on the continents, the planet, and an extensive section on maps, dependent countries, etc. Finally, there is a glossary and an astonishingly thorough index. For reports this is a must-have: It's essentially a one-volume encyclopedia that employs virtually up-to-the-minute information and the latest in graphic design.