Soviet Potentials: A Geographic Appraisal

Soviet Potentials: A Geographic Appraisal

Soviet Potentials: A Geographic Appraisal

Soviet Potentials: A Geographic Appraisal

Excerpt

Does the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have the environmental potentials with which to become the world's greatest state? This volume provides a brief appraisal of material assets and limitations as seen by a geographer.

This book is built around three ideas which relate to the strength of nations. The first concerns the continentality of the Soviet Union, not merely in terms of remoteness from the climatic influence of the ocean but also in its isolation from the stimulus of world commerce and international ideas. The second theme deals with the environmental handicaps of poor terrain, short growing seasons, and limited rainfall, which place restrictions on normal agriculture. The third idea emphasizes the Union's vast mineral resources, among the richest in the world, which give the promise of great industrial and political strength.

In any analysis of Soviet geography, people are the most significant component, always outweighing the environment, and Soviet Potentials attempts to evaluate why they live where they do.

Within a few decades, the Soviet Union has emerged from an undeveloped agrarian country to become a major industrial power. Some areas are congested and well developed, others almost empty and untouched; it is therefore wise to look at the map in regional terms. Geography cannot evaluate all of the potentials but it can inventory the assets and limitations, and locate the areas of major promise or difficulty.

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