Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, 17e
This is the Seventeenth Edition of a book that, since its first appearance in 1971, has consistently broken new ground in the interpretation and teaching of world regional geography. For more than four decades, Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts has reported (and sometimes anticipated) trends in the discipline of Geography and developments in the world at large. REGIONS, as the book has come to be called, has explained the contemporary world’s geographic realms (the largest regional entities on the face of the Earth) and their natural environments and human dimensions. In the process, this book has become an introduction to Geography itself, the discipline that links the study of human societies and natural environments. We look at the ways people have organized their living space, adapted to changing social as well as environmental circumstances, and continue to confront forces largely beyond their control ranging from globalization to climate change. This book was the first to introduce an approach to Geography that meshes theoretical concepts with regional realities. This approach to the integrated treatment of regions and concepts is a constant throughout all editions, but over the years we have adapted to the changing world around us. The evolving regional content of the chapters, and their organization, reflect the dynamic nature of the world’s geography; the changing (and growing number of) concepts mirror the progress of the discipline; and the ongoing introduction of new (digital) features reflects the instructional possibilities of new technologies.
As always, we put a premium on top-quality, original maps to accompany our regional analyses, and we rely, in large part, on our own field observations. Much of our time and research for this book involves field visits and investigations in many of the world’s realms. This is expressed most concretely in the numerous field notes and photographs supplied by the authors throughout the book. For the geographer, there is no substitute for being there.
Geographic Knowledge, Global Awareness
The book before you is an information highway to geographic knowledge and global awareness. Universities and colleges prepare their students to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and, increasingly, global citizens. If we are now living in a “global village,” then students must get to know the world as they know their own local areas. But while the influence and interests of the United States reach across the globe, it is no secret that geographic illiteracy at home remains widespread. Much of what students encounter in this book is of immediate, practical value to them—as citizens, as consumers, as travelers, as voters, as job-seekers. North America is a geographic realm marked by ever-intensifying global connections and relationships. Those involvements require countless, often instantaneous decisions, whether they relate to international business, media, affairs of state, disaster relief, and many other spheres. Such decisions must be based on the best possible knowledge of the world beyond our borders. That understanding can be gained by studying the layout of our world, its environments, societies, traditions, resources, policies, development strategies, and other properties—in short, its regional geography.
The New Author Team
REGIONS carries the lifelong imprint of Harm J. de Blij, our founding author, mentor, faculty colleague, and cherished friend. Harm’s passing in 2014 brought some necessary changes, but this book will always radiate his passionate belief we all share: that geography is fundamental to our understanding of the world and to our efforts to shape and sustain it. Until a few weeks before his death, Harm was heavily involved in discussions about the newly formed author team and about the ongoing digital transformation of this book. And he was highly supportive of the planned changes for this latest edition. Jan Nijman and Peter Muller, Harm’s long-time coauthors, are the lead authors of this revision. They are joined by contributing authors Ann-Margaret Esnard, Richard Grant, and Michael Shin. Ann-Margaret is a Professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. With her international expertise in regional planning (especially international disaster planning and management), she is ideally positioned to contribute a new and important feature entitled Regional Planning Cases. Next, Richard Grant is responsible for the revision of the chapter on Subsaharan Africa. A Professor of Geography and Regional Studies at the University of Miami, he is one of the discipline’s foremost authorities on the geography of contemporary Subsaharan Africa. Richard has more than two decades of field research experience in Southern and West Africa and is affiliated with universities in Ghana and South Africa. Michael Shin contributes two of the new text features: Technology & Geography and Map Analysis. He also provides general expertise and support regarding the use of digital geographic data and cutting-edge methods of interactive learning. Michael is a highly valued teacher of GIS and possesses the rare ability to combine high-level technical skills with in-depth thematic knowledge (in regional political geography). We are delighted to have Ann-Margaret, Richard, and Michael on our author team to enrich the book with their collective expertise and insights.
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