Author: Cambridge International Reference on Current Affairs (Circa)
ISBN: 978-1-84533-523-6
Publisher: Mitchell Beazley

Click Here To Purchase Snapshot: The Visual Almanac for Our World Today

If you are looking for a reference text that makes our complex world easy to comprehend and contributes enormously to answering many of our questions, pick up a copy of Snapshot: The Visual Almanac For Our World Today authored by Circa (Cambridge International Reference on Current Affairs). For over twenty years Circa has specialized in the delivery of global and current affairs content and is considered one of the most reliable and accurate suppliers of global political, economic and geographical statistics and information.

Snapshot is not one of those almanacs that provide you with all the facts you need. Beyond doubt, it does contain a great deal of data, however, according to its introduction, its principal focus is to provoke thought and amaze you with facts in a different and unexpected way. And this is aptly accomplished by the presentation of facts and figures in a lively manner, not just dry boring statistics, but with graphics, tables, and as mentioned: “graphs full of juice just waiting to be squeezed out.” It should be pointed out that the book does not have any kind of agenda where it advocates a particular point of view, except that the issues it does present cannot be ignored, and in order to understand them, you need to possess solid evidence.

The book deals with fifty topics that are each presented on two double-page spreads and are divided into six important areas: the environment, society, the state, finance and commerce, technology, culture. Each section is broken down into sub-sections. Environment, for example, deals with climate change, biodiversity, disasters, water, resources, population, megacities, and built environment. Society covers health, food, sex and society, religion, aging, race, eduction, crime and punishment, drugs and corruption. The State presents information on voting, government, policing freedom, the press, war, refugees, trafficking and terrorism. The section dealing with Finance and Commerce, which I found most informative, includes money, wealth, debt, globalization, work, advertising, fair trade, arms and organized crime. In the section on Technology we learn about energy, communications, the internet, surveillance, transport and new technologies. The last section, Culture, we find out a little about language, television, news, tourism, sports, art, fashion, music and film. The vibrant, colorful illustrations are a feast for the eye and do a wonderful job of bringing the text to life.

What is noteworthy is that Circa weaves well-researched often surprising details into each of the six themes. For example, we learn are that the USA leads in billionaires with 359 followed by Germany and surprisingly Russia that has 32. On the other hand Burundi has the lowest national income where the average income per annum is $110US. In the section dealing with the state, we are informed that the biggest illegal trafficking business today are in people and narcotics. Did you know that 800,000 people a year are taken illegally across national borders by human trafficking industry, and millions more are trafficked within their own countries. Today there are 650 million people over the age of 60 and this is predicted to rise by 2050 to two billion, with two-thirds in developing countries. All of this means that states will have to support pensioners for longer. As a result, many countries are not looking at raising the pensionable age in order to keep the total bill down.

In all, Snapshot provides excellent reading for young and old looking for interesting perspectives concerning a host of topics and also contains a great deal of new information.

Click Here To Purchase Snapshot: The Visual Almanac for Our World Today