The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography
In this thoughtful and engaging critique, geographer Martin W. Lewis and historian K ren Wigen reexamine the basic geographical divisions we take for granted, and challenge the unconscious spatial frameworks that govern the way we perceive the world. Arguing that notions of East vs. West, First World vs. Third World, and even the sevenfold continental system are simplistic and misconceived, the authors trace the history of such misconceptions. Their up-to-the-minute study reflects both on the global scale and its relation to the specific continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa--actually part of one contiguous landmass.
The Myth of Continents sheds new light on how our metageographical assumptions grew out of cultural concepts: how the first continental divisions developed from classical times; how the Urals became the division between the so-called continents of Europe and Asia; how countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan recently shifted macroregions in the general consciousness.
This extremely readable and thought-provoking analysis also explores the ways that new economic regions, the end of the cold war, and the proliferation of communication technologies change our understanding of the world. It stimulates thinking about the role of large-scale spatial constructs as driving forces behind particular worldviews and encourages everyone to take a more thoughtful, geographically informed approach to the task of describing and interpreting the human diversity of the planet.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - thcson - LibraryThing
A very thought-provoking book that everyone should read. Gives some indication of how our regular geographical vocabulary has been shaped by historical circumstances and vainglory. Also discusses some consequences of this fact and suggests some alternative ways of conceptualizing world geography. Read full review
Quite possibly one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life. the author Martin Lewis sounded to be quite frank arrogant in his assessment. And never quite critiqued the concept of metageography with any precision.
and the Three Worlds
The Architecture of Continents
The seven continents and their displacement in the popular imagination
The Spatial Constructs of Orient
Seven versions of the West
Migrations of the East and the Orient
Toynbees civilizations of A D 1952
Civilizational boundaries circa 1200 ca
Gilles and Didier Robert de Vaugondys depiction of Asia 1798
S August Mitchells view of Asia 1849
Standard world regions circa 1975
A heuristic world regionalization scheme
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