Academic journal article Geography

The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volume 4: Global America, 1915-2000

Academic journal article Geography

The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volume 4: Global America, 1915-2000

Article excerpt

The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volume 4: Global America, 1915-2000 D.W. Meinig London: Yale University Press, 2007 467pp, 17.5x25. 5cm Pb: £18.50, ISBN 978-0-300-11528-4

The final volume of this 20-year, 2060 page, 325 illustration quartet completes what is arguably the most magisterial work written by a geographer in English. Reviewers of the previous three volumes have used the superlatives 'breathtaking', 'dazzling' and 'masterpiece'. The final volume deserves them all and more. With a consistent concern to describe and explain differences from place to place on the earth's surface as the home of man, the focus is certainly that of a geographer but one with a remarkable grasp of an enormous literature (the quartet's bibliographies total 105 pages), an ability to switch scales as appropriate and an understanding of the macro processes that operated, and continue to operate, both through time and across space. And yet this is not a latter-day historical-regional and cultural geography There is very little of what used to be called 'the physical basis'. …

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