Geography is fundamental to understanding the way the world works. This text offers readers a short and highly accessible account of the ideas and concepts constituting geography. Including discussion of both the human and the natural realms, the text looks at key themes such as environment, space, and place—as well as geography's methods and the history of the discipline—showing us how and why they are essential for a thriving planet.
Introductory but not simplified, Bonnett provides students with the ability to understand the history and context of the subject without any prior knowledge. This short, elegant book will be of interest to all readers intrigued by the “geographical imagination.”
Alastair Bonnett is professor of geography at Newcastle University and a travel writer. His books have been translated into nineteen languages and include Unruly Places; Beyond the Map; The Geography of Nostalgia; and An Uncommon Atlas. His most recent books are The Age of Islands, Multiracism, and How to be Original. Alastair lives in Newcastle, UK.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Why What is Geography?
Chapter 2: Order and Power: To Know the World I
Ordering the World
Modern Geography: The World of Trade and Nations
Chapter 3: People and Nature: To Know the World II
Changes, Challenges, and Defenses
The Systems of Nature
Chapter 4: Urbanization and Mobility
Presenting the City
Chapter 5: Doing Geography
Geography, Children and Freedom: A Plea
Chapter 6: Institutionalizing Geography
Geography’s Popular Institutions
Chapter 7: Future Geographies
Surviving and Thriving
Digital and Virtual Geographies
Astrogeography: Other Worlds, New Comparisons, and New Conflicts
Conclusions: A Planet of Geographers
Postscript: What is Geography?
About the Author
“Alastair Bonnett successfully cuts through the forest of subjects, topics, themes, and approaches to get right to the essential spirit of the field of geography. What is Geography? demonstrates how geography counters the hyper-specialization of knowledge to provide a space for global inter-connected knowledge to flourish. Bonnett makes a convincing case for why fostering a 'planet of geographers' is critical to humanity’s future.”
Bonnett’s second edition pushes us to think harder about how the world is interconnected, and what that means. In a post-Covid world where those economic, social, and political interdependencies have been so explicitly laid bare, this volume lays out the importance of geography to understanding the world we have built and on which we are now so utterly dependent. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
An engaging and accurate introduction to the key concepts and debates shaping geography. Bonnett also makes a compelling case for why geography matters if we want to understand and address the issues facing our planet. This should be the book of choice for everyone interested in knowing more about geography and their place in the world.