I enjoyed this book, it is interesting and easily accessible, it doesn't balther on with complex elaborations on relationships between languages, or the spread of the Phonecian based writing system, or baffle you really.
However it was copyrighterd in 1980, and its discriptions of the USSR and its languages (aswell as Yugoslavia) I for one can't help but feel that for a book that was printed in 1998, a slight update might have been in oreder.
Furthermore although languages and their relationships between each other are complex, I can't help but notice some mistakes when describing languages, for example Japanese is considered to be part of the Japanese-Ryukuan (or Japonic) linguistic family, not the Altaic (and the Japonic language family is in fact a family isolate, and only exists because elements of the Japanese language are now considered seperate languages instead of dialects, warranting the creation of a new language family. Similarly Basque is considered a language isolate, unrelated to any other, and most linguists view ideas of a genetic connection as unreliable at best, and incorrect at worst. Similarly describing French, Italian, Portugee and Spanish as Romance, rather than Italic language is much more useful for means of identification, since Romance is a more commonly used word (and the correctname for the Italic sub-group to which those languages belong).
However these are lesser points, the book is about writing systems afterall, and the book does indeed give concise descriptions and examples of those writing systems, would I recommend the book? Well I will read it, but I would prefer to get a more up-to-date book on the same subject.
That's why I have given this 3 stars...