(PDF) National Geographic Society, 2010. — 448 p.Многогранный A multifaceted reference book for the 21st century, the Answer Book will fascinate with up-to-date, authoritative, and endlessly interesting information about the world today. From earth sciences to astronomy, from climate and habitats to human arts and cultures, from ancient history to cutting-edge technology, and including brief descriptions, flags, and statistics of all the countries of the world, it delivers exactly the kind of quick-dip information that modern readers crave. Maps, charts, diagrams, graphs, photographs, illustrations—some 600 pictures in all—combine with hundreds of fast facts and short pieces on the people, places, wildlife, weather, history, and current events that matter in our world today. National Geographic Answer Book is a vital reference for school, a handy resource at the office, and a fabulous pick-up-and browse companion at home.
The National Geographic Answer Book is an attempt by the editors of National Geographic to provide the modern reader with a concise and relevant reference book about Planet Earth. In the days before the Internet (pre-1994) was common, encyclopedias and the like were necessary tools for the professional and amateur scholar alike. However, in the age of Wikipedia and Google, reference books have largely been regulated to the dustbins of history. Still, they have their place and The National Geographic Answer Book is a good one.The book is divided into nine chapters and attempts to provide a go-to source for basic questions about geography, geology, astronomy, anthropology, world history, and basic science. The chapters are Maps & Globes, The Universe, Planet Earth, Life on Earth, Climates & Habitats, The Human World, World History, Science & Technology, and Countries of the World. My favorite section of the book is Chapter Nine: Countries of the World. This section provides a profile of all 194 countries of the world. The countries are divided into the six continents they can be found upon. For each country there is a small picture of the nations national flag, the complete name of the country, basic information about the country (land area, population, capital, etc.), and a short paragraph about the country. I also liked how colorful the book is. The National Geographic is known for there breathtaking photos and they don’t disappoint in this book. There are over 500 colored photographs and illustrations as well as more than 100 modern and archival maps.I enjoy The National Geographic Answer Book and believe it will be a reference book I refer to often. However, it’s not flawless. For instance, on page 310 there is a photograph of Charles Lindbergh with the caption “Charles Lindbergh lands at Croydon Airport, London, completing his historic transatlantic one-man flight on April 20, 1927.” Lindbergh completed his solo transatlantic flight on May 20, 1927 in Paris. The picture could be of him flying into Croydon because he visited there shortly after his stop in Paris, but his visit to Croydon wasn’t on April 20, 1927. I understand how such an error could happen, but for a book such as this, there shouldn’t be errors like that and is the reason why I can’t give this book as high a recommendation as I would like. That’s why you shouldn’t use Wikipedia and Google to do your research for a book like this.Kathryn Thornton, who wrote the foreword to this book, was a NASA astronaut from 1985 to 1996, flying four space missions including the first Hubble Space Telescope service mission and logging 21 extravehicular hours and 975 total hours in space. She is now a professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia.
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