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"A tour-de-force, a fascinating and deeply knowledgeable account of the crucial ways in which 'place, ' the Earth's physical geography, shapes global society.... The Power of Place is a treat for the specialist and a thrilling eye-opener for the general reader."
--Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
"Should be set upon the desks of every legislator, policy wonk and concerned citizen."
"Mr. de Blij's vast reach and steady even-handedness make The Power of Place an enjoyable, intellectual stroll."
--The New York Sun
"Informative and provocative...made all the richer by his inspired use of maps. Substantive and smart."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 47.
- Review Date: 2008-05-26
- Reviewer: Staff
De Blij (Why Geography Matters) argues forcefully that “geography and destiny are tightly intertwined” in this book that challenges the increasingly popular assertion that the world is becoming “flat” due to the effects of globalization. The author, greatly influenced by his experiences as a young man in South Africa during apartheid, illustrates that the world is still strewn with the economic, political and cultural versions of mountains and oceans that separate the lucky few in the “core” from those in the “periphery,” specifically, those nations that lag behind in economic development and health care and are vulnerable to geography and environment. Using compelling data, de Blij describes how “Cruiseship Earth” is inhabited by three groups that he terms: “globals”, migrant “mobals” and “locals,” the latter, inhabiting the unprivileged periphery, who will soon outnumber the “fortunate minority” of globals, thereby presenting the world with challenges that mere globalizing economies cannot possibly assuage. This meticulous analysis of the impact of everything from religious fundamentalism to the streamlining of world languages on these three groups will serve as an indispensable primer for serious policy makers. (Aug.)