This second edition of the book, like the first, provides an overview of major issues associated with societal and global aging, paralleling the structure of many introductory social gerontology textbooks. Unlike most existing textbooks in the field, however, the discussion of each topic in this work is explicitly comparative, focusing on similarities and variations in the aging experience across nations, religions, and levels of economic and social development. The comparative perspective is enhanced further by topical essays and country-specific descriptions of aging policies, programs, and experiences. The book also introduces in this edition several important innovations not found in the previous version. First, the authors have dropped two chapters (The Welfare State and Disability and Active Life Expectancy), incorporating their content elsewhere. In addition, they split three earlier chapters (Health and Health Care Systems; Work and Retirement; and Families, Caregiving, and Community Support Systems) into two new chapters each, so now the authors include six separate chapters: Health Beliefs and Behavior, Health Care, Older Workers, Retirement and Pensions, Family Life, and Caregiving. Finally, because the first edition neglected two topics crucial to the lives of older people—physical environments and religion—the authors have added an entirely new chapter devoted to each. As for the first edition, the intended audiences remain students in undergraduate and graduate courses in global aging and their faculty. In addition, many of the topics addressed will also be of interest to faculty and students in undergraduate and graduate courses in the demography of aging and sociology of aging, as well as courses in gerontology taught with a comparative, international focus. The authors hope that it will serve to focus the attention of all gerontologists on the growth and value of the research and teaching going on in countries outside the United States and Europe.