This Very Short Introduction answers four basic questions: what is Geography, how do geographers work, why is Geography important, and where is the discipline of Geography heading? Geography has always been important, though it has had only a short history as an academic discipline and is much misunderstood. Modern Geography has come a long way from its historical roots in exploring foreign lands, in mapping the world and in describing the physical and human features of the Earth's surface. There are two parts to the discipline: Physical Geography, which covers natural environments and landscapes; and Human Geography, which investigates people and the cultural landscape. Physical and human geographers commonly do not agree with each other. But there are also common elements and Geography as a whole has an important role as a bridge between the sciences and the humanities. Using wide-ranging examples, the book paints a broad picture of the current state of Geography, its subject matter, concepts and methods, how it developed, and its strengths and weaknesses. The book's conclusion is no less than a manifesto for Geography's future.
Matthews and Herbert's book is written- as befits the VSI series- in an accessible prose style and is peppered with attractive and understandable images, graphs and tables. geographical. The authors make an honest effort to represent the wide and diverse range of proffesional geographers' interests. Geographical,
1: Geography: the World is our stage
2: The physical dimension: our natural environments
3: The human dimension: people in their places
4: Geography as a whole: the common ground
5: How geographers work
6: Geography's present and future