Why Geography Matters

  • by Harm de Blij
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 14 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In recent years our world has seen transformations of all kinds: intense climate change accompanied by significant weather extremes; deadly tsunamis caused by submarine earthquakes; unprecedented terrorist attacks; costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; a terrible and overlooked conflict in Equatorial Africa costing millions of lives; an economic crisis threatening the stability of the international system.
Is there some way we can get our minds around these disparate global upheavals, to grasp these events and their interconnections, and place our turbulent world in a more understandable light?
Acclaimed author Harm de Blij answers this question with one word: geography. In this revised edition of the immensely popular and influential Why Geography Matters, de Blij tackles topics from the burgeoning presence of China to the troubling disarray of the European Union, from the dangerous nuclear ambitions of North Korea to the revolutionary Arab Spring.
By improving our understanding of the world's geography, de Blij shows, we can better respond to the events around us, and better prepare ourselves to face the global challenges ahead. Peppering his writing with anecdotes from his own professional travels, de Blij expands upon his original argument, offering an updated work that is as engaging as it is eye-opening. Casual students of geography and professional policy-makers alike will benefit from this stimulating and crucial perspective on geography and the way it shapes our world's events. America, de Blij warns, has become the world's most geographically illiterate society of consequence.
Indeed, despite increasing global interconnectivity and rapid change, Americans seem to be less informed and less knowledgeable about the rest of the world than ever. In this compelling volume, de Blij shows why this dispiriting picture must change, and change now.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A book that needs more than just narration

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This is a really good book but several times per chapter the listener is referred to maps that are in the printed book. Audible needs to find a way to add graphics to audiobooks. If the maps were available I would have rated this book a 5.

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- Organic Design

Doesn't do geography justice

I'm a geographer and have used this author's textbooks, but I was disappointed in the poor writing and lack of organization of a book which could have and should have been captivating. He shares his enthusiasm for the field, insists it's essential, and pokes at geographic ignorance. To some extent, it's organized, to some extent it's persuasive. Yes Geography synthesizes information from many fields and reveals the importance of location. But he wanders around and doesn't give the reader as much raw material as I'd hoped. It's interesting, ok, but not so persuasive.

What's really worse is the unrelentingly pedantic writing style. His preferred sentence structure incorporates verbiage that, while impressive in sheer magnitude, is so superfluous that it set my head veritably rotating in tortuous discomfort. He is so big in the field I suppose no one dared point that out.

I'd recommend instead The Revenge of Geography by Robert Kaplan. You do get a sense of it there.
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- Tintin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-11-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios