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World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 911 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, just appeared in paperback, so I had to “read” it. This is a beautiful book, heavy and with many fine photographs. The sites are arranged by date of inscription into the UNESCO list, starting in 1978. This means the first sites listed at the beginning of the book tend to be the most famous and the ones at the end you probably haven’t heard of, but should examine all the same. This is an exhaustive list of the current sites, and it is encyclopedic in nature and because of a standardized format for the entries tends to be repetitive. It is vastly more generalized information than anyone can possibly consume at one sitting, or even a week of hard reading.

The articles are written in an absolutely non-political and non-offensive a style as is possible, while at the same time admitting the function of a military fort with canons was designed to kill people – unwanted people. The historically significant sites like Bikini Atoll, Nuclear Test Site #809, Auschwitz Birkenau, German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945) #40, made for some very careful editorial writing. It is difficult to convey the horror of these sites, while remaining objective and create a heart felt belief – Never will I support such actions!

This is a book which should be on everyone’s shelf, because it puts one in touch with the most valued places on Earth, both natural wonders and human wonders. However, this book lacks the thing which modern readers want and now demand, and that is on-line links. This book studiously avoids any reference to the web and apparently only grudgingly acknowledges that the web even exists – on the credits page there are a few links to credit sources. Those are printed in the smallest type face I have ever seen.

Much more detailed information and links to these sites are on-line at:

World Heritage Sites by country with links – UNESCO

This web-site gives links to all the World Heritage Sites with the essential information for each one including – 1. UNESCOs own description of the site, 2. Flickr photos, 3. YouTube videos, 4. Wikipedia article and 5. The latitude and longitude location so you can go directly to them on Google Earth. On Google Earth there are usually a great number of photos and other items of considerable interest.

I love books, and this book too, but we now live in a web enabled world.