The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization's Rough Landscape

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Oxford University Press, Jul 21, 2008 - Social Science - 304 pages
4 Reviews
The world is not as mobile or as interconnected as we like to think. As Harm de Blij argues in The Power of Place, in crucial ways--from the uneven distribution of natural resources to the unequal availability of opportunity--geography continues to hold billions of people in its grip. We are all born into natural and cultural environments that shape what we become, individually and collectively. From our "mother tongue" to our father's faith, from medical risks to natural hazards, where we start our journey has much to do with our destiny. Hundreds of millions of farmers in the river basins of Asia and Africa, and tens of millions of shepherds in isolated mountain valleys from the Andes to Kashmir, all live their lives much as their distant ancestors did, remote from the forces of globalization. Incorporating a series of persuasive maps, De Blij describes the tremendously varied environments across the planet and shows how migrations between them are comparatively rare. De Blij also looks at the ways we are redefining place so as to make its power even more potent than it has been, with troubling implications.

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User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

I really like the basic premise of this book, that geographical factors of various kinds make the world "rough" rather than "flat" for the vast majority of people. The author provides good examples ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lillian3 - LibraryThing

Thomas Friedman may have sweepingly said, "the world is flat" to capture the changes that have occurred in the way we live in the 21st century, but De Blij reveals how that is the narrow perspective ... Read full review


1 Globals Locals and Mobals
2 The Imperial Legacy of Language
3 The Fateful Geography of Religion
4 The Rough Topography of Human Health
5 Geography of Jeopardy
6 Places Open and Shut
7 Same Place Divergent Destinies
8 Power and the City
9 Promise and Peril in the Provinces
10 Lowering the Barriers
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About the author (2008)

Harm de Blij is the John A. Hannah Professor of Geography at Michigan State University. The author of 30 books, including Why Geography Matters, he is an honorary life member of the National Geographic Society and was previously the Geography Editor on ABC's "Good Morning America."

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