Catalogue


Why geography matters : three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism /
H. J. de Blij.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2007, c2005.
description
xii, 308 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780195315820
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2007, c2005.
isbn
9780195315820
catalogue key
6245697
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 283-286) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Harm de Blij is John A. Hannah Professor of Geography at Michigan State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A provocative, fast-paced book that interprets the world through the dynamic discipline of geography. The remarkable chapter on Africa is at once compelling and tragic, but also cautiously hopeful. If you think that geography makes your eyes glaze over, try this book and you'll discoverinsights you've never encountered before."--David Miller, Senior Editor, National Geographic Maps
"De Blij argues that most people in the United States, including the country's elected officials, are dangerously ignorant of basic geography. The consequence, he writes, is that leaders lack insights to connections in a world facing climate change, overpopulation, and the continuing threat ofterrorism."--Science News
"De Blij writes from a conviction that not only the American public butalso government officials can be dangerously ignorant of basic geography, so toenlighten them he discusses three topics with national security implications.His tour of Islamic radicalism has the most immediate relevance and, buttressedby a profusion of maps, it covers Afghanistan, Iraq, the Islamic 'front' insub-Saharan Africa, and--Paraguay? Learning the significance of that outlier tothe geography of Islamic terrorism (as well as its unappeasable aims) typifiesmany of de Blij's informational surprises, which are arranged clearly and spicedwith the author's allusions to his career and travels."--Booklist
"De Blij writes from a conviction that not only the American public but also government officials can be dangerously ignorant of basic geography, so to enlighten them he discusses three topics with national security implications. His tour of Islamic radicalism has the most immediate relevanceand, buttressed by a profusion of maps, it covers Afghanistan, Iraq, the Islamic 'front' in sub-Saharan Africa, and--Paraguay? Learning the significance of that outlier to the geography of Islamic terrorism (as well as its unappeasable aims) typifies many of de Blij's informational surprises, whichare arranged clearly and spiced with the author's allusions to his career and travels."--Booklist
"Harm de Blij packs so much useful information and so many thoughtful insights into Why Geography Matters that the book is indispensable to those seeking to understand our complex, changing world. The United States State Department would be well served to make this book required reading forall newly recruited foreign service officers and diplomats--and it is strongly recommended for all citizens.... de Blij demonstrates persuasively how the tools and findings of geographers are indispensable in understanding the world today. In its scope, analytical balance, power, originality, andreadability, Why Geography Matters is a matchless book; the riveting chapter on Africa is the best summation of the continent's past and prospects I have ever read."--Willard DePree, Former United States Ambassador to Mocambique and Bangladesh, On Special Assignment to the Department of State
"[Here], de Blij argues that geographic ignorance is a more serious problem than many people think. De Blij, an accomplished academic and regular television geography analyst, writes that by gaining a greater working knowledge of geography, Americans will be better suited to deal with theproblems facing the country and the world. De Blij makes a good case for geography's importance. [His] treatment of this subject is particularly refreshing.--San Francisco Chronicle
"If the author did nothing more than evince the extent to which geographyis political destiny, he would have accomplished a worthwhile objective. But hesucceeds in much more, raising thought-provoking issues on global warming,terrorism, China's ascendancy, Europe's future, Russia's role, and Africa'sprospects, issues our legislative and executive branches of government as wellas members of the media need to consider in geographic perspective. Every personresponsible for making public policy, as well as those who interpret thesecomplex issues for the public, should read this book."--Anthony H. Ewing, formerDirector of the Committee on Research Coordination for the Science Advisor,Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of thePresident
"If the author did nothing more than evince the extent to which geography is political destiny, he would have accomplished a worthwhile objective. But he succeeds in much more, raising thought-provoking issues on global warming, terrorism, China's ascendancy, Europe's future, Russia's role,and Africa's prospects, issues our legislative and executive branches of government as well as members of the media need to consider in geographic perspective. Every person responsible for making public policy, as well as those who interpret these complex issues for the public, should read thisbook."--Anthony H. Ewing, former Director of the Committee on Research Coordination for the Science Advisor, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President
"If we could mandate reading material for our leaders, [this] would be at or near the top of the list. It provides a plethora of insights."--Cape Cod Chronicle
"Illuminating perspective...splendid maps...useful methodology...extremelywell-informed."--Publishers Weekly
"Illuminating perspective...splendid maps...useful methodology...extremely well-informed."--Publishers Weekly
"Nobody knows how to explain the importance of geographic literacy tocitizens and leaders of the United States better than Harm de Blij. As the NBCNews "geography analyst" explains in his 30th book, "Why Geography Matters,"geography is much more than memorizing mountain ranges andestuaries."--Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"Nobody knows how to explain the importance of geographic literacy to citizens and leaders of the United States better than Harm de Blij. As the NBC News "geography analyst" explains in his 30th book, "Why Geography Matters," geography is much more than memorizing mountain ranges andestuaries."--Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"Remarkable.... A friendly and accessible reader for those who have abasic grasp of some of the concepts of geography and who want to understandwhere the world is headed. It is also an urgent call to educators across theUnited States to restore the study of geography to the nation's schools.... Apowerful and deeply personal writer, de Blij discusses his own background indetail and fills the book with anecdotes from his experience. This makes for anentertaining and enlightening trek."--David J. Smith, Christian ScienceMonitor
"Remarkable.... A friendly and accessible reader for those who have a basic grasp of some of the concepts of geography and who want to understand where the world is headed. It is also an urgent call to educators across the United States to restore the study of geography to the nation'sschools.... A powerful and deeply personal writer, de Blij discusses his own background in detail and fills the book with anecdotes from his experience. This makes for an entertaining and enlightening trek."--David J. Smith, Christian Science Monitor
"Remarkable.... A friendly and accessible reader for those who have a basic grasp of some of the concepts of geography and who want to understand where the world is headed. It is also an urgent call to educators across the United States to restore the study of geography to the nation's schools.... A powerful and deeply personal writer, de Blij discusses his own background in detail and fills the book with anecdotes from his experience. This makes for an entertaining and enlightening trek."--David J. Smith, Christian Science Monitor "A provocative, fast-paced book that interprets the world through the dynamic discipline of geography. The remarkable chapter on Africa is at once compelling and tragic, but also cautiously hopeful. If you think that geography makes your eyes glaze over, try this book and you'll discover insights you've never encountered before."--David Miller, Senior Editor, National Geographic Maps "Harm de Blij packs so much useful information and so many thoughtful insights into Why Geography Matters that the book is indispensable to those seeking to understand our complex, changing world. The United States State Department would be well served to make this book required reading for all newly recruited foreign service officers and diplomats--and it is strongly recommended for all citizens.... de Blij demonstrates persuasively how the tools and findings of geographers are indispensable in understanding the world today. In its scope, analytical balance, power, originality, and readability, Why Geography Matters is a matchless book; the riveting chapter on Africa is the best summation of the continent's past andprospects I have ever read." --Willard DePree, Former United States Ambassador to Mocambique and Bangladesh, On Special Assignment to the Department of State "De Blij writes from a conviction that not only the American public but also government officials can be dangerously ignorant of basic geography, so to enlighten them he discusses three topics with national security implications. His tour of Islamic radicalism has the most immediate relevance and, buttressed by a profusion of maps, it covers Afghanistan, Iraq, the Islamic "front" in sub-Saharan Africa, and--Paraguay? Learning the significance of that outlier to the geography of Islamic terrorism (as well as its unappeasable aims) typifies many of de Blij's informational surprises, which are arranged clearly and spiced with the author's allusions to his career and travels."--Booklist
"Remarkable.... A friendly and accessible reader for those who have a basic grasp of some of the concepts of geography and who want to understand where the world is headed. It is also an urgent call to educators across the United States to restore the study of geography to the nation's schools.... A powerful and deeply personal writer, de Blij discusses his own background in detail and fills the book with anecdotes from his experience. This makes for an entertaining and enlightening trek."--David J. Smith,Christian Science Monitor "A provocative, fast-paced book that interprets the world through the dynamic discipline of geography. The remarkable chapter on Africa is at once compelling and tragic, but also cautiously hopeful. If you think that geography makes your eyes glaze over, try this book and you'll discover insights you've never encountered before."--David Miller, Senior Editor,National Geographic Maps "Harm de Blij packs so much useful information and so many thoughtful insights intoWhy Geography Mattersthat the book is indispensable to those seeking to understand our complex, changing world. The United States State Department would be well served to make this book required reading for all newly recruited foreign service officers and diplomats--and it is strongly recommended for all citizens.... de Blij demonstrates persuasively how the tools and findings of geographers are indispensable in understanding the world today. In its scope, analytical balance, power, originality, and readability,Why Geography Mattersis a matchless book; the riveting chapter on Africa is the best summation of the continent's past and prospects I have ever read." --Willard DePree, Former United States Ambassador to Mocambique and Bangladesh, On Special Assignment to the Department of State "De Blij writes from a conviction that not only the American public but also government officials can be dangerously ignorant of basic geography, so to enlighten them he discusses three topics with national security implications. His tour of Islamic radicalism has the most immediate relevance and, buttressed by a profusion of maps, it covers Afghanistan, Iraq, the Islamic "front" in sub-Saharan Africa, and--Paraguay? Learning the significance of that outlier to the geography of Islamic terrorism (as well as its unappeasable aims) typifies many of de Blij's informational surprises, which are arranged clearly and spiced with the author's allusions to his career and travels."--Booklist
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2007
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Summaries
Main Description
Over the next half century, the human population, divided by culture and economics and armed with weapons of mass destruction, will expand to nearly 9 billion people. Abrupt climate change may throw the global system into chaos; China will emerge as a superpower; and Islamic terrorism and insurgency will threaten vital American interests. How can we understand these and other global challenges? Harm de Blij has a simple answer: by improving our understanding of the world's geography. In Why Geography Matters, de Blij demonstrates how geography's perspectives yield unique and penetrating insights into the interconnections that mark our shrinking world. Preparing for climate change, averting a cold war with China, defeating terrorism: all of this requires geographic knowledge. De Blij also makes an urgent call to restore geography to America's educational curriculum. He shows how and why the U.S. has become the world's most geographically illiterate society of consequence, and demonstrates the great risk this poses to America's national security. Peppering his writing with anecdotes from his own professional travels, de Blij provides an original treatise that is as engaging as it is eye opening. Casual or professional readers in areas such as education, politics, or national security will find themselves with a stimulating new perspective on geography as it continues to affect our world.
Main Description
Over the next half century, the human population, divided by culture and economics and armed with weapons of mass destruction, will expand to nearly 9 billion people. Abrupt climate change may throw the global system into chaos; China will emerge as a superpower; and Islamic terrorism and insurgency will threaten vital American interests. How can we understand these and other global challenges? Harm de Blij has a simple answer: by improving our understanding of the world's geography. InWhy Geography Matters, de Blij demonstrates how geography's perspectives yield unique and penetrating insights into the interconnections that mark our shrinking world. Preparing for climate change, averting a cold war with China, defeating terrorism: all of this requires geographic knowledge. De Blij also makes an urgent call to restore geography to America's educational curriculum. He shows how and why the U.S. has become the world's most geographically illiterate society of consequence, and demonstrates the great risk this poses to America's national security. Peppering his writing with anecdotes from his own professional travels, de Blij provides an original treatise that is as engaging as it is eye opening. Casual or professional readers in areas such as education, politics, or national security will find themselves with a stimulating new perspective on geography as it continues to affect our world.
Main Description
Over the next half century, the human population, divided by culture and economics and armed with weapons of mass destruction, will expand to nearly 9 billion people. Abrupt climate change may throw the global system into chaos; China will emerge as a superpower; and Islamic terrorism andinsurgency will threaten vital American interests. How can we understand these and other global challenges? Harm de Blij has a simple answer: by improving our understanding of the world's geography. In Why Geography Matters, de Blij demonstrates how geography's perspectives yield unique and penetrating insights into the interconnections that mark our shrinking world. Preparing for climate change, averting a cold war with China, defeating terrorism: all of this requires geographic knowledge.De Blij also makes an urgent call to restore geography to America's educational curriculum. He shows how and why the U.S. has become the world's most geographically illiterate society of consequence, and demonstrates the great risk this poses to America's national security. Peppering his writing with anecdotes from his own professional travels, de Blij provides an original treatise that is as engaging as it is eye opening. Casual or professional readers in areas such as education, politics, or national security will find themselves with a stimulating newperspective on geography as it continues to affect our world.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Why Geography Mattersp. 3
Reading Maps and Facing Threatsp. 23
Earth's Changeable Environmentsp. 52
Climate and Civilizationp. 74
A Future Geography of Human Populationp. 91
The Mesh of Civilizationsp. 108
Red Star Rising: China's Geopolitical Gauntletp. 125
Terrorism's Widening Circlep. 150
From Terrorism to Insurgencyp. 174
European Superpower?p. 197
Russia: Trouble on the Eastern Frontp. 231
Hope for Africa?p. 255
Epiloguep. 275
Works Citedp. 283
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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