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The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and…

The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization's Rough… (edition 2010)

by Harm de Blij

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834145,226 (3.69)1
Title:The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization's Rough Landscape
Authors:Harm de Blij
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:pb, 2013, geography, nonfiction

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The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization's Rough Landscape by Harm J. De Blij



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I really like the basic premise of this book, that geographical factors of various kinds make the world "rough" rather than "flat" for the vast majority of people. The author provides good examples and the maps really brought the concepts across well. I'm troubled by the author's somewhat sly hostility toward religion. WHile I can agree that violent and/or deeply intolerant religious ideas do much to make the place a more dangerous place, I think the author puts too much emphasis on the problems created by religion while allowing other strong cultural factors a by. Overall, this is a fairly basic geography overview of some of the major factors that lead to inequality in the world. The most important lesson reinforced here is that no one is "self-made" and the poverty and disadvantage are just that, disadvantageous. Worth reading, but when the author strays into philosophy, I got frustrated. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
This book was interesting in a boring way. ( )
  tsubasa7th | Aug 27, 2011 |
Thomas Friedman may have sweepingly said, "the world is flat" to capture the changes that have occurred in the way we live in the 21st century, but De Blij reveals how that is the narrow perspective of those privileged few who live in the "global core". For everyone else (the majority of the world's population) the power of place -- geography/place of birth -- continues to hold billions of people in an unrelenting grasp. ( )
1 vote Lillian3 | Oct 4, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195367707, Hardcover)

The world is not as mobile or as interconnected as we like to think. As Harm de Blij argues in The Power of Place, in crucial ways--from the uneven distribution of natural resources to the unequal availability of opportunity--geography continues to hold billions of people in its grip. We are all born into natural and cultural environments that shape what we become, individually and collectively. From our "mother tongue" to our father's faith, from medical risks to natural hazards, where we start our journey has much to do with our destiny. Hundreds of millions of farmers in the river basins of Asia and Africa, and tens of millions of shepherds in isolated mountain valleys from the Andes to Kashmir, all live their lives much as their distant ancestors did, remote from the forces of globalization. Incorporating a series of persuasive maps, De Blij describes the tremendously varied environments across the planet and shows how migrations between them are comparatively rare. De Blij also looks at the ways we are redefining place so as to make its power even more potent than it has been, with troubling implications.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:15 -0400)

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