Harm de Blij's Geography Book: A Leading Geographer's Fresh Look at Our Changing World

Harm J. De Blij, Author John Wiley & Sons $22.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-471-11687-5
De Blij, geography editor for Good Morning America, argues that ``there's almost nothing in this wide, wonderful world of ours that can't be studied geographically.'' He then goes on to demonstrate the breadth of his beloved discipline. The book's first half is devoted to an explanation of some of the basics of physical geography (meteorology, geology) and cultural geography (location and layout of cities, the nature of international borders), while the second half focuses largely on political geography. Particular attention is paid to the influence of geographical factors on the shifting fortunes of Europe, Russia and China. Sprinkled with many personal anecdotes, the book is accessible and enjoyable, even though somewhat disjointed. Each chapter is broken up by numerous subheadings into fairly superficial snippets not always tied together. De Blij's views on two of the most pressing environmental challenges--global warming (``the fad of the 1990s'') and depletion of the ozone layer (``variations in ozone may have natural as well as anthropogenic causes'')--are so extreme and Pollyanna-ish that he loses credibility with them. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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