Some case studies, like some beauty spots, are over-used and make examiners weary. Smart Year 12 and 13 teachers provide something different from the over-explored problems of coastal erosion in Norfolk and the fate of the Brazilian rainforest.
Michael Hill's new set of 15 studies (evenly balanced between human and physical) is therefore to be welcomed, though the freshness of a selection which covers lesser-used areas (economic change in the Baltic republics, the coastline of Kent and nature tourism in Costa Rica) cannot disguise the fact that 40 per cent are European, and that the whole of mainland Asia and of Oceania is unrepresented.
Each case study is neatly set out and generously illustrated with maps and diagrams. An apposite quotation, a summary and relevant exam questions enhance each, though the impact of the author's original photographs is lost in the black and white reproduction and the decision to restrict many of them to a single-column width.
The current hiatus over A-level exams may have temporarily halted the purchase of full-course textbooks, but this book would be a helpful immediate acquisition for the sixth-form library. Case studies will be needed for the new A-level era, whatever shape it might take.
Rex Walford directs the Land Use-UK project at the School of Education, Cambridge University and is afellow of Wolfson College,Cambridge