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The Geographical Tradition: Episodes in the History of a Contested Enterprise Paperback – Illustrated, Jan 4 1993


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Review

"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

From the Back Cover

This is the first intellectual history of a subject which over thelast five centuries has played a significant role in thedevelopment of Western civilization. The author describes theactivities of the explorers and map-makers of Renaissance and earlymodern Europe; the role of geography during the ScientificRevolution, the Enlightenment and the Darwinian Revolution; and theinteractions between geography and empire building in thenineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Since 1945 activity in the subject has been intense: DavidLivingstone provides a critical account of the trends, developmentsand occasional revolutions by which geography has emerged as amulti-faceted discipline offering unique and revealing perspectiveson a wide range of pressing social and environmental issues.

This is a book which all geographers will wish to have and toread.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In March 1974, the prestigious weekly journal Science ran a cheeky article by the distinguished historian and physicist Stephen G. Brush, entitled 'Should the History of Science be Rated X?' Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A required text Jan. 3 2007
By M. Antos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My graduate class raced through this text. It was dry, but informative. Certainly not the book you should read for pleasure. By itself it would not have helped me grasp the history of geography, as its title suggests. It was only with the context provided by the prof that things started to gel.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
a white man's history for white men Sept. 12 2010
By tornadoalley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is another history about wealthy white men, written primarily for wealthy white men. The achievements of other types of people are almost entirely left out and it appears Livingstone does not even recognize the existence of others who are not like him. Sure, the history is solid- names and dates are there, the privileged scholarly circles are documented. However, he totally fails in his attempt to write a different kind of history in which geographic developments are situated in societal contexts. It is a great example of the problems inherent in oblivious masculinist discourse.


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