Mr. Welles believes that the American people cannot fulfill their responsibilities in the society of nations unless they know the basic geographical, historical, economic and political facts of life in the rest of the world. With the assistance of a staff of competent experts, therefore, he has assembled this valuable compendium of information, covering not only the independent states but a number of the major dependent areas. The countries are taken up in alphabetical order and their affairs are discussed under four headings: the land and the people, the nation's economy, its history 1919-44, and its stake in the peace. The material is well organized, succinctly and clearly presented, and on the whole accurate. The compilers have also felt free to insert judgments on conditions, trends and men, and this lifts the volume above the level of a mere factual compendium of unarticulated data. In the introduction Mr. Welles takes occasion to restate the principles and program which guided him in his post as Under Secretary of State and more lately in his educational work in the press and over the radio.