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The Geographical Tradition : Episodes in the History of a Contested Enterprise - David Livingstone

The Geographical Tradition

Episodes in the History of a Contested Enterprise


Published: 4th January 1993
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RRP $73.95

"The Geographical Tradition" presents the history of an essentially contested tradition. By examining a series of key episodes in geography's history since 1400, Livingstone argues that the messy contingencies of history are to be preferred to the manufactured idealizations of the standard chronicles. Throughout, the development of geographical thought and practice is portrayed against the background of the broader social and intellectual contexts of the times. Among the topics investigated are geography during the Age of Reconnaissance, the Scientific Revolution and The Englightenment; subsequently geography's relationships with Darwinism, imperialism, regionalism, and quantification are elaborated.

"A major piece of work. Not since reading Glacken's Traces onthe Rhodian Shore have I read a book on the history ofgeography that was equally bold in its ambition and erudite insupporting its claims." John A. Agnew, Syracuse University

"He approaches five centuries of geographical work with zest, sympathy, catholicity and (not infrequently) irreverence in an easystyle that grinds no particular axe. The reader is shown akaleidoscope of the different motives, contexts and spirit of thosewho have taken part in this wide-ranging quest for knowledge.Highly readable, and recommended to all students of the history ofgeography and of science in general." David Hooson, Universityof California at Berkeley

"Superb ... a real winner. A fine and well-written book thatwill become the core of all courses and seminars in the history andphilosophy of our field." Peter R. Gould, Pennsylvania StateUniversity

"It is clear that The Geographical Tradition is atour-de-force. I congratulate you on a major achievement ... thebest thing to come through my in-tray for many months." PeterHaggett, University of Bristol

"Livingstone ... writes in a lively style, through which thedepth of his scholarship shines brightly ... Each chapter ... is agem: well-written, based on wide reading, and informative aboutboth the particular subject-matter and the book's general theme. Anexcellent book ... which will surely stand the test of time as amajor contribution to the history and historiography of geography."The Times Higher Education Supplement

"David Livingstone's book is an outstanding achievement, ascholarly tour de force unmatched in previous writing on thehistory and philosophy of geography as a distinct form ofknowledge. The scope of his project is so vast that no reviewer cando justice to the complexity of its argumentation and the wealth ofits exemplification." Progress in Human Geography

"This arresting book is easily the best intellectual history ofgeography since Clarence Clacken's Traces on the RhodianShore." Australian Geographical Studies

"A fine example of intellectual history. Illuminating andconvincing." Nature

"This intellectual roller coaster has a superabundance ofmemorable statements." Geographical Review

"A most interesting book concerning the history of geography, with special reference to European and North American theatressince the Middle Ages. Well written and contributes to anunderstanding of the history of science in general and the historyof geography in particular. Helpful illustrations and a thoroughbibliography add to this well-produced work." Choice

"Elegant and eloquent." Times Literary Supplement

"Geographers, historians of geography, historians of scienceand religion, and historians in general, take heed! This book isone of the few discussions of the history of geography truly worthreading and owning ... This is the work of a widely read, imaginative, and gifted scholar who makes full use of the sourcesavailable within the Anglo-Saxon world, dips periodically into thenon-Anglo-Saxon literature, and adds a good deal of his own insightand perspective ... this is a marvellous book. Unapologeticallyintellectual and rigorous, it is also engagingly and beautifullywritten. It is a delight to read. It will prove an invaluablesource of ideas and further reading. It is also a book to show tonon-geographers with pride. Indeed, I suppose that it is part of ageographic tradition." The Canadian Geographer


1. Should the History of Geography be X-Rated? Telling Geography's Story.

2. Of Myths and Maps: Geography in the Age of Reconnaissance.

3. Revolution, Celestial and Terrestrial: Geography nad the Scientific Revolution.

4. Naturalists and Navigators: Geography in the Enlightenment.

5. Of Design and Dining Clubs: Pre-Darwinian Geography.

6. The Geographical Experiment: Evolution and the Founding of a Discipline.

7. A 'Sternly Practical' Pursuit: Geography, Race and Empire.

8. The Regionalising Ritual: Geography, Place and Particularity.

9. Statistics Don't Bleed: Quantification and its Detractors.

10. The Geographical Tradition: A Conversational Conclusion.



ISBN: 9780631185864
ISBN-10: 0631185860
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 444
Published: 4th January 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.66 x 15.14  x 2.49
Weight (kg): 0.63
Edition Number: 1