Geography in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Growth, Fields, Techniques, Aims, and Trends

Geography in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Growth, Fields, Techniques, Aims, and Trends

Geography in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Growth, Fields, Techniques, Aims, and Trends

Geography in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Growth, Fields, Techniques, Aims, and Trends

Excerpt

It is gratifying that the demand for this book -- which appeals primarily to mature students of geography -- should warrant a second edition within little over a year of first publication. I am taking this opportunity to discuss some of the criticisms of the volume which I have noted.

Every critic finds some aspect omitted which, in his opinion, should have been included in a study of the trends of geography. They do not recognize that space-limits forbid the inclusion of many worthy topics. 'If French and German geographers are discussed,' say they, 'why not American and British geographers?' The answer seems fairly obvious. There are seven representative American contributors and eleven British; so that most of the characterisitic features of the geographies of these two nations might be expected to be presented adequately.

Geography might be described as the discussion of the causes of patterns of distribution. If economic problems are involved, we obtain Economic Geography; if historical problems, we get Historical Geography. However, the borders between Sociology and Geography are so indefinite, that a chapter (by J. W. Watson) was included to exemplify the general problem. Further illustration concerning Economic and Historical Geography did not seem necessary.

Two further branches of geography seemed to need inclusion, if the publisher would agree to a somewhat larger volume. These are Cartography and Aerial Geography; and I am glad to say that they will be found in the present enlarged second edition.

One rather amusing feature of the reviews is that almost all the chapters were praised as particularly useful by one or other of the critics; while it is also true that most of them objected to the insertion of one or more chapters. An editor comes to the conclusion that such opinions tend to cancel each other. However, there was a quite general objection to the Editor's attitude to the Possibilism-Determinism controversy. Perhaps a word or two on this topic may be allowed.

Many years ago the early Determinism of Buckle, Demolins . . .

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