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Book review forum examining Ron Johnston’s and James D. Sidaway’s

Geography and Geographers: Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945, 7th Edition

Andrew Sluyter’s, Case Watkins’, James P. Chaney’s and Annie M. Gibson’s

Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity since the Eighteenth Century Reviewed by Sarah A. Blue

David Schuyler’s

Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing 1815–1852 Reviewed by Joseph S. Wood

Book edited by Kären Wigen, Sugimoto Fumiko, and Cary Karacas

Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps Reviewed by Mark Monmonier


Kent Mathewson Louisiana State University Associate Editors

Paul F. Starrs, University of Nevada Karen E. Till, National University of Ireland Maynooth Editorial Staff

Editorial Office

Jennifer Cassidento, Publications Director and Managing Editor, AAG Robert W. D. Perham, Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief

American Association of Geographers 1710 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 phone: (202) 234-1450, fax: (202) 234-2744 [email protected], http://www.aag.org

Editorial Board John Agnew, University of California, Los Angeles Derek Alderman, University of Tennessee David R. Butler, Texas State University–San Marcos Judith Carney, University of California, Los Angeles Andrew Comrie, University of Arizona Bill Crowley, Sonoma State University Diana K. Davis, University of California, Davis Deborah Dixon, Glasgow University Dydia DeLyser, California State University, Fullerton Ken Foote, University of Connecticut John Gillis, Rutgers University Anne Godlewska, Queen’s University Susan Hanson, Clark University Lesley Head, University of Wollongong Sally P. Horn, University of Tennessee Robert Kates, Independent Scholar Cindi Katz, CUNY Graduate Center Audrey Kobayashi, Queen’s University Mei-Po Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign David Ley, University of British Columbia David Lowenthal, University College London Charles Mann, Independent Scholar Katharyne Mitchell, University of Washington

Mark Monmonier, Maxwell School of Syracuse University Jason W. Moore, Binghamton University William Moseley, Macalester College Peter Muller, University of Miami Alec Murphy, University of Oregon Kenneth R. Olwig, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Bimal Paul, Kansas State University Richard Peet, Clark University John Pickles, University of North Carolina Laura Pulido, University of Southern California Susan M. Roberts, University of Kentucky Jörn Seemann, Ball State University James Shortridge, University of Kansas B. L. Turner II, Arizona State University James Tyner, Kent State University Bret Wallach, The University of Oklahoma Barney Warf, University of Kansas Elizabeth A. Wentz, Arizona State University John P. Wilson, University of Southern California Jennifer Wolch, University of California, Berkeley Dawn Wright, ESRI Karl Zimmerer, Pennsylvania State University Leo Zonn, University of Texas at Austin


Glen MacDonald University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 Executive Director Douglas Richardson 1710 Sixteenth Street NW Washington, DC 20009 Vice President Derek H. Alderman University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996

Secretary Thomas Mote University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Treasurer Julie Cidell University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Champaign, IL 61820

Publications Committee Chair Stuart Aitken San Diego State University San Diego, CA 92182-4493 Past President Sarah Witham Bednarz Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843

The AAG Review of Books began publication in 2013 as a quarterly online journal of the American Association of Geographers. The AAG Review of Books (The AAG Review) was created to hold scholarly book reviews as formerly published in the AAG’s flagship journals, Annals of the American Association of Geographers and The Professional Geographer, along with reviews of significant current books related more broadly to geography and public policy and/or international affairs. Submissions. Book reviews should be written or submitted on invitation only from the editorial office. Contributors will be provided with complete review guidelines and submission instructions when their review is commissioned. Books for review. Please direct all books for review to Kent Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief, The AAG Review of Books, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, 227 Howe-Russell, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. Contact. Please direct suggestions for content and any questions regarding The AAG Review of Books to Editor-in-Chief Kent Mathewson at [email protected]. The AAG Review of Books (Online ISSN: 2325-548X) is published online quarterly for a total of 4 issues per year by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC., 530 Walnut Street, Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Annual Subscription, Volume 5, 2017. Online ISSN – 2325-548X. Online subscription to The AAG Review of Books includes a subscription to six issues of Annals of the American Association of Geographers, four issues of The Professional Geographer, and two issues of GeoHumanities. Institutional rates are $2,872 (US), $4,374 (ROW), £2,232 (UK), €3,277 (EU). An institutional subscription to the print edition includes free access to the online edition for any number of concurrent users across a local area network. Production and Advertising Office: 530 Walnut Street, Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel - 215-625-8900, Fax - 215-207-0047. Production Editor: Lea Cutler. Subscription offices: USA/North America: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC., 530 Walnut Street, Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-625-8900, Fax: 215-207-0050. UK/Europe: Taylor & Francis Customer Service, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex Co3 3LP, UK. Tel.: +44 (0) 20 7017 5544; Fax: +44-(0)-20-7017-5198. For a complete guide to Taylor & Francis Group’s journal and book publishing programs, visit our website: www.taylorandfrancis.com. Copyright © 2017 American Association of Geographers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, transmitted, or disseminated in any form or by any means without prior written permission from Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. grants authorization for individuals to photocopy copyright material for private research use on the sole basis that requests for such use are referred directly to the requester’s local Reproduction Rights Organization (RRO), such as the Copyright Clearance Center (www.copyright.com) in the USA or the Copyright Licensing Agency (www.cla.co.uk) in the UK. This authorization does not extend to any other kind of copying by any means, in any form, and for any purpose other than private research use. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any statements of fact or opinion expressed in the published papers. The appearance of advertising in this journal does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the publisher, the editor, or the editorial board of the quality or value of the product advertised or of the claims made for it by its manufacturer. Disclaimer. The American Association of Geographers and the editors cannot be held responsible for errors or any consequences arising from the use of information contained in this journal; the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the American Association of Geographers and the editors. Permissions. For further information, please visit http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/permissions.html

The AAG Review OF BOOKS Volume 5, Issue 1, Winter 2017

Contents   1

  4   7 10 13 17 20 23 26 28 31

Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity Since the Eighteenth Century,by Andrew Sluyter, Case Watkins, James P. Chaney, and Annie M. Gibson Sarah A. Blue Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815–1852,by David Schuyler Joseph S. Wood Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps,edited by Kären Wigen, Sugimoto Fumiko, and Cary Karacas Mark Monmonier The Red Sea: In Search of Lost Space,by Alexis Wick Alana de Hinojosa The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil, by Erika Robb Larkins Jamie L. Worms The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus,by Kevin P. Gallagher Tom Narins Inequality and the 1%,by Danny Dorling Greig Tor Guthey The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law,by Brett Christophers Kean Fan Lim People and Planning: Report of the Committee on Public Participation in Planning (The Skeffington Committee Report),by Peter Shapely Michael R. Glass A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Collaboration in Indigenous Research,edited by Jay T. Johnson and Soren C. Larsen Annette Watson The Water Knife,by Paolo Bacigalupi Kerri Jean Ormerod

The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law by Brett Christophers

p. 23

33 37 41

Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and the Book of Job,by H. H. Shugart William A. Dando The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics,edited by Klaus Dodds, Merje Kuus, and Joanne Sharp Yves Laberge Mapping Urban Practices Through Mobile Phone Data,by Paola Pucci, Fabio Manfredini, and Paolo Tagliolato Anna Kovacs-Györi

REVIEW ESSAY 44 Abolitionist Geographies,by Martha Schoolman; Abolitionist Places, edited by Martha Schoolman and Jared Hickman; The Lives of Frederick Douglass, by Robert S. Levine William Boelhower BOOK REVIEW FORA 48 Geography and Geographers: Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945, 7th edition,by Ron Johnston and James D. Sidaway Mark Boyle, Kim England, Matthew Farish, Guy Baeten, Mary Gilmartin, Michael S. DeVivo, Lauren Rickards, Ron Johnston, and James D. Sidaway 62 Nature, Choice and Social Power,by Erica Schoenberger Aman Luthra, Yuko Aoyama, Matthew Himley, Matthew T. Huber, Michael B. Teitz, and Erica Schoenberger 74 Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Caribbean,by Marion Werner Matthew Sparke, Beverley Mullings, Melissa W. Wright, Kate Derickson, Bradley R. Wilson, and Marion Werner

William A. Dando on

Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and the Book of Job p. 33


Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity Since the Eighteenth Century Andrew Sluyter, Case Watkins, James P. Chaney, and Annie M. Gibson. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2015. xv and 210 pp., maps, photos, notes, bibliography, index. $32.50 cloth (ISBN 978-08071-6087-9); $32.50 electronic (ISBN 978-0-8071-6089-3). Reviewed by Sarah A. Blue, Department of Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.

Andrew Sluyter, a distinguished historical geographer, joined with newly minted geographers Case Watkins and James P. Chaney and Latin American studies scholar Annie M. Gibson to collaborate on this richly detailed exploration of New Orleans’s Hispanic and Latino communities. The collaborative work draws on the authors’ considerable methodological strengths, including historical overviews, in-depth analysis and mapping of census data, landscape observations, and contemporary oral history and focus group interviews. This is a timely release. New Orleans’s Latino population has attracted new attention as an unprecedented number of Latinos were drawn into the characteristically black, Creole, and white city by post-Katrina reconstruction work. Much of the recent attention to New Orleans’s Latino community ignores the city’s long Hispanic and Latino history, however, and often characterizes newcomers as a homogenous group. In contrast, this collection of studies focuses on the distinctive Hispanic and Latino groups who call New Orleans home—including their history in the context of broader U.S. migration patterns; their numeric presence over

time; their changing residential geography within the city, inclusive of the effect of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction; and how groups relate to one another. Together, these in-depth examinations seek to emphasize each group’s “deep, intricately interwoven histories of participation in the creation of the city’s distinctive landscapes, music and culture” (p. 157), ultimately providing an overview of the city’s Hispanic and Latino community as a whole. Historically, Hispanics and Latinos never made up more than a minor percentage of the population of New Orleans. Even with the recent postKatrina influx, in 2010 Latino residents did not even reach 10 percent of the city’s total. Furthermore, New Orleans and Louisiana were not part of the “New Latino South” that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s when migration of Latinos to areas of traditionally minimal foreign-born immigration resulted in dramatic demographic shifts and an increasing Latino presence on the southern landscape. In fact, the city’s stagnant economy led to a decline in its overall population in the 1990s, and only a 5 percent increase in its very small Latino population, compared to 58 percent nationwide and 200 percent in other southern states. This changed when post-Katrina flooding destroyed large swaths of the city. The resultant influx of reconstruction workers increased the Hispanic and Latino population by 49 percent in the 2010 Census from 2000 levels. The authors were motivated to write the book to correct the “hyperbolic rhetoric and misconceptions” that were common in the wake of the influx of Latino construction workers. It was common for portrayals of Latino’s new mark on the distinctive New Orleans landscape to

The AAG Review of Books 5(1) 2017, pp. 1–3. doi: 10.1080/2325548X.2017.1257265. ©2017 by American Association of Geographers. Published by Taylor & Francis, LLC.

generally neglect the historic presence of the city’s Isleños (Spanish immigrants primarily from the Canary Islands) who had inhabited the city since the late eighteenth century. In this context, seldom was New Orleans’s role as a “gateway to Latin America” recognized, with its corresponding historic, economic, and political connections throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Thus, in spite of their diminutive numbers, the city’s Hispanic and Latino residents long have been a critical part of the city’s eclectic cultural blend. This text is particularly valuable for its in-depth focus on individual ethno-national groups, with brief compelling historical geographies as well as detailed decade-by-decade accounting of population changes over time. It looks at the groups’ influence on the city’s history and landscape as well as its changing residential geography within the city. The book is structured around key communities that make up the city’s Latino and Hispanic residents, with chapters focusing on Isleños, Cubans, Hondurans, Mexicans, Brazilians, and a final chapter addressing “other communities.” Although the book is structured around the residential and cultural geographies of specific ethnic and national groups, the authors introduce and conclude the material by emphasizing diversity within and across New Orleans’s Hispanic and Latino community. They highlight the negotiation of ethnic identity that occurs with integration into new places. They also stress that there is a limit to the level of generalization that can be made with regard to any one national group. The authors emphasize the important role Katrina has had in attracting and reinforcing Latino communities in New Orleans while omitting discussion of the event itself. Attention to specific residential geographies illustrates how the disaster shaped the city’s Latino population. Most telling is the shift in the Honduran population to the northwestern side of the city, which protected them from the worst of the flooding in Katrina’s wake and cemented their cultural dominance that had arisen due to their social cohesion and demographic prominence. The chapter on Hondurans might turn out to be the most sought-after section of the book. Those familiar with the Latino population of New Orleans will recognize the city’s reputation as “one of the largest Honduran communities outside of Honduras.” The authors spend the majority of the chapter using U.S. Census data to dispel that myth. In fact, only in the early to mid-twentieth century did the Honduran population grow larger than that of other major cities (after New York City, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC). The authors use interviews, focus groups and quotes from politicians and academics


to show the prevalence of what might now be called “the myth of Honduran predominance in New Orleans.” It is a major debunking: The authors can only substantiate that fewer than 10,000 Hondurans lived in the larger New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area in 1990 and 2000. This is in contrast to common claims that there are more than 100,000 Hondurans, which would make New Orleans “the third largest Honduran city.” After a brief description of the push and pull factors that led to Honduran migration to New Orleans, beginning with the banana trade in the 1930s, the authors contest those inflated population numbers in depth. They demonstrate that the huge population of Hondurans is a myth, built on a solid “sense of place” that casts New Orleans as a Honduran city in much the same way that Miami is known as a Cuban one. The myth of Honduran demographic dominance has been created by residential clustering in the more populous Latino neighborhoods (i.e., North Kenner, where Hondurans comprised 17–32 percent of the Latino population according to the 2000 Census). Those neighborhoods in turn have created and reinforced a distinctly Honduran cultural presence through commercial signs promoting ethnically oriented products and services. The Honduran community did experience a resurgence, as Hondurans were the single largest Latino group of postKatrina reconstruction workers to settle in the city, either migrating directly from Honduras or from other U.S. cities. Even so, New Orleans remains only the sixth-largest Honduran community in the United States, and comprised but 27 percent of the entire Hispanic and Latino population in New Orleans in 2010. The historical backgrounds of the other major national groups are concise, well-written and fascinating. Littleknown facts and rich historical tidbits include the Isleños role in Jim Crow laws, the migratory and economic links between Haitian–Cuban–New Orleans sugar barons, the city’s role in the Mexican-American War and, more recently, the relocation of Mexican Americans to other cities in Louisiana. There is also a depiction of the Garínagu’s (decedents of the Black Caribs) tendency to identify more strongly as Honduran in New Orleans than they might in New York City. One slight criticism is the authors’ tendency to provide excessive detail on tangential topics. We are given, for example, a detailed history of the Virgin of the Caridad de Cobre as an example of how Cuban cultural icons are shared by all Cubans but seen differently by different migrant cohorts. Although interesting, a focus on these communities in New Orleans and their development and trajectory in the city, including more ethnographic detail from the residents themselves, would have strengthened this subsection of each chapter.


Descriptions of the analysis of decennial censuses results in accurate maps, but likely provides more detail than the nonacademic reader would like or desire. Analyzing already small population numbers in the U.S. Census counts produces an overly fine-grained analysis of very small numbers of individuals. For example, when discussing the Honduran population, 1.5 pages are devoted to discussing the minutiae of tracking and identifying fewer than twenty-three individuals, including detailed information regarding the discovery of the exact residence and ethnic background of fourteen of twenty-three Hondurans recorded in the entire U.S. population. Although including this level of detail is sure to convince the reader of the thoroughness of the study, the minutiae of counting individuals could have been relegated to a footnote; the information presented in two pages of detailed recounting of demographic detail could have been covered in one paragraph. In contrast, the historical geography of each group concisely draws out fascinating historical gems without dragging the reader through the trenches. In short, the text would’ve benefited from more cultural

history and less demographic accounting. On a positive note, scholars who are specifically interested in analysis and mapping of U.S. Census data for individual Latino groups will find a wealth of information on how those data were collected and its availability over time, including a model of how to map particular Latino groups’ settlement in one U.S. city. The text’s in-depth study of particular groups will have great appeal to scholars across several fields of study who are interested in the histories of particular Latino and Hispanic groups and their migration to and influence on the city of New Orleans. Collectively, these in-depth studies refute the idea that New Orleans’s Latino community is a homogenous group. By emphasizing the historical geography of each Hispanic and Latino population within the city, this text demonstrates that rather than Latinos being in opposition to or needing to assimilate to New Orleans’s hybrid identity, they are instead a key part of that identity.

WINTER 2017 3


Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815–1852 David Schuyler. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015. xxii and 290 pp., illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95 paper (ISBN 978-1-62534-168-6). Reviewed by Joseph S. Wood, Departments of History and Public Affairs, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD.

Why would geographers wish to read an assessment of the work of antebellum U.S. landscape gardener and architect Andrew Jackson Downing? Today we take “landscaping” for granted, and in much of the United States we hire “landscapers,” often immigrants and day laborers, to maintain for us what in the 1840s was a new and exciting vision. That vision has led to a widespread vernacular form of lawns and gardens, albeit adapted to local environmental opportunities, with houses sited back from tree-lined and often curvilinear streets. Downing, substantially through his writing and proselytizing, if not materially through commissions, shaped this vision and applied what in the nineteenth century emerged as a generic U.S. style. The style emanated from the Hudson Valley and was proffered as a naturalistic, romantic-environmentalist adaptation and simplification of European, and especially English, gothic rural landscaping and architecture. Downing’s vision challenged the strongly Georgian classical and rude geometric vernacular versions employed, if any style were employed at all, in the colonial and postrevolutionary periods. Author David Schuyler, here and in other books, has worked successfully to convey Downing’s really quite remarkable legacy as an apostle of taste, humanizing nature and naturalizing spaces as a public,

socializing benefit that shaped U.S. landscape taste in ways we still value. Downing wanted to influence a democratic civil society through an intellectual and moral middle-class aesthetic, and design a landscape that would bring antebellum Americans across social classes together. Still today, U.S. small towns and villages, and even an occasional farmscape, exhibit nineteenth-century Downing-inspired English or Italianate-styled houses, and sometimes a classical vernacular form festooned with a gothic gable or board-and-batten siding and bracketed overhangs. Early elite watering holes, such as Newport, Rhode Island, exhibit relict mansions and gardens, likewise inspired by Downing’s vision of taste and refinement, albeit in his simplified, American adaptation. So, too, do urban parks and suburbs that eschew the grid. Quite simply, if one wishes to read and make sense of today’s U.S. middle-class landscape, one needs to understand Downing’s vision and how well and widely it was employed. When we interpret the landscape through a remote sensing lens or build geographic information system platforms to display the landscape, or borrow from the past in planning new public spaces, we should have a sense of the historical context in which this style was developed and diffused across the country. In time it was challenged by highly bombastic Victorian styles and the subsequent return of the classical in the form of Beaux Arts structures and spaces exemplified in the Progressive Era’s City Beautiful movement. All were intended in some fashion to promote social order and civilize a postpioneer U.S. landscape desolated by high mobility and rapid settlement—a hubris too often exhibited by planners and designers, I would argue. In Downing’s case, however, the vision stuck; it worked to democratize landscape taste nationally and across classes, most

The AAG Review of Books 5(1) 2017, pp. 4–6. doi: 10.1080/2325548X.2017.1257266. ©2017 by American Association of Geographers. Published by Taylor & Francis, LLC.

generally in suburban design, and it stays with us, even in subtle forms, far more than its successor styles have done.

antiurban, all in the face of the rapidly changing, increasingly industrializing antebellum United States.

Schuyler’s approach is to assess the impact of Downing’s philosophy and vision, and the immediate and lasting effects of his published writings and drawings, especially given his short life—he died in 1852 at age thirty-six in a steamboat accident on the Hudson River. Downing’s father owned an ornamental and fruit tree nursery in Newburgh, New York, where the young Downing learned practical horticulture, which he combined with scientific study and architectural drawing to shape a career. By his early twenties, he was an accomplished horticulturalist inspired to tame and domesticate the unruly landscape of the pioneer phase of settlement in the eastern United States, all of which gave him early access to social respectability with clients wealthy enough to commission designs and plantings from him. As with many of his generation living out of immediate memory of the American Revolution, he became enamored of things English. He designed his own domestic space of house and garden inspired by drawings of English cottages and villas and with a view of the Hudson River—all to model an aesthetic statement and the efficacy of his want to humanize nature and build a sense of place. From this setting he spent the remaining dozen years of his life drawing, writing, corresponding, and editing works that shaped the next generation of domestic architecture and landscape gardening designs on the land, most immediately for social elites in the eastern United States but simplified in form in middle-class expression across the country as well.

Despite starting in landscape gardening and horticulture, and with his growing fame, he developed a keen interest in house design as a means to improve U.S. taste in general, commissioning superb architectural drafter and illustrator Alexander Jackson Davis, not to be confused with Downing himself, as essential collaborator in promoting the picturesque. Together they produced Cottage Residences (Downing 1842), to promote further their theory of design for a newly prosperous and growing middle class, including how to update and redesign older, classical house forms. Although not a builder’s guide, drawings were sufficient for a good builder to follow, and they introduced such elements as running water and water closets. The book led to some smart commissions, including for public buildings, and like its precursor, it sold well and was updated and reprinted many times in the succeeding decades. Fruits and Fruit Trees in America (Downing 1845) was a more scientific work leading to lively exchanges with horticulturalists in other regions of the United States about what soil and climate conditions were appropriate, and adding scientific legitimacy to Downing’s commercial work. It also further introduced him to Europeans, many of whom when traveling to the United States made a point of visiting him in Newburgh to share interests and ideas, all to enhance the promotional value of designs.

Downing’s most significant writings and drawings were compiled in books and journals. His initial fame as the preeminent U.S. authority on landscape gardening and rural architecture came from A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (Downing 1841, and later editions), the best-selling and most widely influential book on landscape gardening and rural architecture published in the nineteenth century. Part of the romantic-environmental scientific discourse of the time, here focused on cultural expression in tree breeding and picturesque design for siting houses and gardens, its purpose was humanistic, educational, and commercial. With an emphasis on challenging the dominant Grecian forms of the period, Downing sold over the next decade a good many naturalistic house drawings and garden designs, as well as fruit and ornamental trees from the family nursery. More, though, this and subsequent work established Downing as the leading proponent of a worldview essentially conservative and patriotic, stable and permanent, and even

In 1846, Downing assumed editorship of the Horticulturalist, a kind of utilitarian Life Magazine of antebellum rural America, where he found a large and growing audience with which to communicate in both literary and scientific terms on a regular schedule. He used the journal quite explicitly to promote his reformist program to improve the postpioneer landscape, including into the Middle West, through the articles and illustrations he selected and through his own editor’s perch. Having read Tocqueville, and ever conscious that the greatest impact on improving the landscape would come from the middle class, he especially promoted modest dwellings, such as rural gothic cottages and simple and economical boardand-batten farm houses, even as he continued to design villas for elites. He incorporated concerns for gendered uses of domestic environments, for soil conservation, and against exotic plant intruders, all in his effort at reforming rural life. He promoted scientific farming and agricultural education to strengthen the economy and society of the countryside, and his wide readership absorbed the message. By the end of the 1840s, Downing had moved from adapting European architectural styles to promoting a truly

WINTER 2017 5

American architecture reflective of an emerging national identity and character. Articulated most effectively in The Architecture of Country Houses (Downing 1850) with drawings by Davis, Downing’s take was that good houses were an important means and symbol of civilization, they brought great social value by nurturing families, and they produced moral force in shaping middle-class character. In time, Downing’s highly romantic, naturalizing landscaping gave way to more commercial utility, but he anticipated design of the commuter suburb and criticized early gridiron village plans along commuter railroads, and no doubt he influenced Davis’s design of Llewellyn Park, New Jersey. My own well-treed, century-old neighborhood in Baltimore City that mixes Tudor and Tuscan revivals albeit with pseudo-Georgian forms reflects Downing’s suburban vision, in contrast as it is with older Baltimore neighborhoods with gridded streets of row houses with marble stoops.

A full flowering of that vision emerged when Vaux partnered with Frederick Law Olmsted, most notably in New York’s Central Park, where they explicitly acknowledged Downing’s contribution to their work.

Downing was an important member of the American Renaissance in philosophy, literature, and science of the antebellum period, but far more than, say, Ralph Waldo Emerson or Henry David Thoreau, he left an indelible mark on the U.S. landscape, a republican vernacular legacy from tree planting to house forms to parks to generations of suburbs. To move fully into architectural commission work after 1850, Downing found a partner in a young English architect, Calvert Vaux. Yet within two years, Downing was dead, and it fell to Vaux to carry on the Downing vision in villas and mansions, in public gardens, and in urban parks, all for the edification of Americans.

Downing, A. J. 1841. A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening. New York, NY: Wiley & Putnam. ———. 1842. Residence Cottages, or, A series of designs for rural cottages and cottage villas, and their gardens and grounds: Adapted to North America. New York, NY: Wiley and Putnam. ———. 1845. Fruits and fruit trees in America. New York, NY: Wiley & Putnam. ———. 1850. The architecture of country houses. New York, NY: Appleton. Schuyler, D. 1996. Apostle of taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815–1852. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.


Schuyler’s finely illustrated, high-quality work, timed for the bicentennial of Downing’s birth, reproduces an original publication of George Thompson’s Creating the North American Landscape Series at Johns Hopkins University Press (Schuyler 1996). Schuyler, professor of American Studies at Franklin and Marshall College, offers a new preface (and should have updated the bibliographic essay), but otherwise the work replicates the first edition. For those unfamiliar with Downing’s legacy and Schuyler’s considerable work on nineteenth-century landscape design, Apostle of Taste is worth the read. References



Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps Kären Wigen, Sugimoto Fumiko, and Cary Karacas, eds. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2016. xii and 269 pp., maps, illustrations, table, notes, bibliography, index. $45.00 cloth (ISBN 978-0-226-07305-7); $36.00 electronic (ISBN 978-0226-07319-4). Reviewed by Mark Monmonier, Department of Geography, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.

Cartographic Japan is a comprehensive, well-illustrated survey of maps, mapping, and map history. A product of the University of Chicago Press, which seems intent on cornering the market in monographs on map history, it is similar in page size, paper quality, and double-column layout to the Press’s flagship cartographic reference work The History of Cartography. Although shorter than any of The History’s various volumes (e.g., Monmonier 2015), it is a carefully designed collection of fifty-eight wideranging essays contributed by forty-seven scholars from eight countries. Acknowledgments (at the back) identify Chicago’s visual anthology Mapping Latin America: A Reader (Dym and Offen 2011) as the triggering inspiration. Had Cartographic Japan included a fuller, more complete index, it could easily pass as an abridged reference book. The list of contributors reflects a marked but understandable historical bias. By discipline, historians (twentynine) vastly outnumber geographers (five), complemented in turn by a sprinkling of anthropologists, humanists, and assorted cultural studies experts. Pigeon-holing is difficult, though, because several contributors are pointedly

interdisciplinary. For example, lead editor Kären Wigen, although situated in the History Department at Stanford, holds a doctorate in geography from Berkeley. Completing the international, interdisciplinary editorial team is Sugimoto Fumiko, a historian at the University of Tokyo, and Cary Karacas, a geographer at the City University of New York. Short author biographies at the back suggest that fourteen of the contributors are Japanese by citizenship or ancestry. That ten of the essays list a translator no doubt reflects a prudent decision to encourage those not fluent in English to write in their native language. All essays and introductions meet a high standard of coherence and flow. An amalgamation of disciplinary tilt and purposeful eclecticism is apparent in the book’s division into four parts, all defined by time period but differentiated internally by the subject matter. Each section begins with a short introduction by one of the editors, and each is partitioned into two or three subsections. As a standard format, each essay focuses on one or two maps and includes endnotes and a short list of references or suggested readings. Part I, focused on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, explores the flowering of map making that followed centuries of dysfunctional governance prolonged by feuding warlords. The sixteenth century opened with four centers of power in East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, and the Ryukyu kingdom in what is now Okinawa. Japan’s Tokugawa dynasty, which consolidated power in the early seventeenth century, provided two centuries of comparative calm: a “Pax Tokugawa” (p. 60) that not only protected the shoreline and funneled international trade through four official gateway ports, but also provided an

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umbrella of stability that fostered commerce and led to a “dizzying diversity of maps” (p. 6) as turnpikes connected the interior with the ports and rural surveyors delineated property boundaries and mapped land quality. Japanese cartography from this period reflects influences from Korea as well as the presence of a growing domestic paper industry. Part II, which covers the further rise of commercial cartography in the nineteenth century, explores the effects on mapping and map use of rapid growth in cities, travel, and education. Commercial cartography benefited from the growth of printing and publishing, expansion of the road and postal networks, and increased literacy. City maps became a prominent genre, as did “maps of the divine” (p. 61), which described the sacred geography of the Shinto landscape, and the “travelscapes” (p. 61) of a growing domestic tourist industry. Part III focuses on industrial expansion, continued urbanization, and military cartography, all of which accompanied the Japanese empire’s expansion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, first to Taiwan, followed by the Korean peninsula and Manchuria. Karacas, who wrote the introduction to this section, identified three distinct cartographies, which he labeled exploratory, evidentiary, and imperial. Seismic activity provided a strong incentive for an evidentiary cartography focused on earthquakes, the consequent fires, and the fire hazard of densely populated working-class cities. Charles Schencking’s essay on maps of the 1923 Tokyo earthquake and Brett Walker’s look at maps of a massive 1914 coalmine explosion underscore the role of mapping in understanding natural and technological disasters. Part IV, titled “Still under Construction,” extends from the middle of World War II, when Japan’s defeat was by no means imminent, to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown of March 2011. It begins with maps prepared by the U.S. military in 1942 to show Tokyo’s “Inflammable Areas” (p. 191), deemed particularly vulnerable to bombing, followed by maps of the U.S. occupation and city planning maps focused on rebuilding. Underscoring more contemporary concerns are essays with intriguing titles like “The Uses of a Free Paper Map in the Internet Age,” “Probabilistic Earthquake Hazard Maps,” “Citizens’ Radiation Mapping after the Tsunami” (about crowdsourcing radiometer readings), and “Run and Escape!” (about large-scale kiosk maps and their printed counterparts describing quick ways to get the hell out when the ground starts shaking). The section concludes on an optimistic note with an essay on the reconstruction


by hand of massive, artistically detailed topographic maps from the Tokugawa era. I wish I knew enough about Japanese cartography for a meaningful critique of the book’s contents. Perhaps it’s just as well, though; otherwise I might have been inspired to inject snarky comments about missing topics, shallow treatments, or imbalanced coverage. Because I know little about Japanese cartography, all I can muster as a critique of content is that I would have liked to see concise histories of key mapping institutions (government and commercial), an analysis of maps of (or including) Japan made outside the country, a companion analysis of how Japanese map makers portray the rest of the world, and an essay or two on Japanese cartographers and map makers influential in the West—individuals like Kitiro Tanaka (not mentioned at all), famous for his innovative relief contour method. Whining about missing content (a common trait of reviewers who feel a need to punt) would ignore the book’s stated goal, which Wigen frames nicely in the über introduction that serves as a preface. The editors’ goal, simply put, was “to introduce non-Japanese readers to the resulting treasure trove of colorful material that makes this one of the world’s most diverse and spectacular cartographic archives” (p. 2). With this objective in mind, I can say that all involved have succeeded admirably in filling a notable void with a logically organized, nicely illustrated, and eminently readable introduction to the varied forms and historical development of Japanese cartography. Cartographic Japan might win an award for design and printing. All but a handful of its 110 illustrations are in full color, accurately recorded on paper that meets international standards for permanence. Most images effectively capture their source’s thematic focus and geographic scope, and generally detailed captions offer a concise description of their content and meaning. Even so, almost all are full-view or slightly cropped scans or photographs reduced in size to fit the space available or assigned, thereby sacrificing the intricacies of a map’s content and symbolization to the heartless gods of page size and layout aesthetics. I would have appreciated additional close-ups like the juxtaposed detail views of a woodblock engraving and a hand-colored manuscript map of the same area on a “social landscape” map (p. 80), or the annotated excerpt from an 1865 hydrographic chart showing bathymetric contours and individual soundings (p. 124). In the latter case, an illustration on the previous page is annotated with a rectangle showing the excerpt’s position in the wider context. Downsizing is not the only


way to let readers savor a map, and for some exemplars, a single image is insufficient. That said, I was pleased to see that many illustrations included an overlay of English translations of place or feature names, in legibly large red or black type, to orient readers who know little if any Japanese to key places or features. Where Cartographic Japan works, as it usually does, it works well.

References Dym, J., and K. Offen. 2011. Mapping Latin America: A reader. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Monmonier, M., ed. 2015. Cartography in the twentieth century (Vol. 6 of the History of cartography). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

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The Red Sea: In Search of Lost Space Alexis Wick. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2016. xv and 259 pp., maps, photos, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95 paper (ISBN 9780520285927); $65.00 cloth (ISBN 9780520285910); $34.95 electronic (ISBN 9780520961265). Reviewed by Alana de Hinojosa, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. In this bold and thoughtful book, Alexis Wick confronts the friction between the “hegemonic knowledge of the commonsensible existence of the Red Sea” and its utter absence from the Ottoman historical record (p. 57). Seeking both to understand this categorical absence and remedy the Ottoman Red Sea’s scholarly marginalization as a historical subject, Wick provides a thorough and innovative analysis of the Ottoman Red Sea considering several significant limitations to this endeavor such as the absence of an Ottoman Red Sea archive and the established identification of maritimity with Europe. Wick’s swift and lyrical weaving of several different disciplines as well as narratives, concepts, and primary and secondary sources effectively explores this notion of a history of the Ottoman Red Sea while critically teasing out the nuances and potentialities it offers for alternative ways of knowing space, temporality, and bodies of water more generally. Illuminating the ways in which the Ottomans did not exercise an absolute claim over the “Red Sea,” Wick traces the mediated claims over the Ottoman Red Sea to lay bare a more complex universe. Alternative ways of conceiving space like this, Wick argues, are what the majority of the scholarship on

the region has failed to acknowledge and is what this book significantly offers not only to the scholarship on this region of the world, but also the cracks and pitfalls of the disciplines of history, geography, oceanography, and the more recent discipline of thalassolody, or the “oceanic turn.” The book’s concern is certainly this formulation of the Red Sea as a coherent subject of Ottoman history. Wick goes about this task by showing what writing outside a Eurocentric analytic might look like—a pertinent, important, and no doubt complex approach. After the more technical although nonetheless necessary review of the Red Sea region and its social and economic qualities in chapter 1, Wick centers chapter 2 around a single question: Why does the Ottoman Red Sea not exist? To answer this question, he notes, among others, several crucial barriers to writing the history of the Ottoman Red Sea outside a European logic: the established concept of Europe and the sea as mutually constitutive, the long-standing supposed incompatibility of Islam and the sea, the absence of a Red Sea category in the Ottoman Archive, and the lack of a Red Sea nationalism or identity. In chapter 5, Wick more thoroughly explores this idea of maritimity as lodged in the narrative of modernity. The subtitle of the book—“In Search of Lost Space”—is thus certainly fitting. By building on the work of Ottoman historians Virginia Aksan, Cemal Kafadar, and Gabriel Piterberg, Wick takes it on himself to reveal the ways in which European hegemony discursively created this “lost space.” This theoretical move, along with his rereading of texts by scholars like C. Edmund Bosworth, allows him to consider the presence of another locus of knowledge and authority in the Red Sea region. This argument is well stated and

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supported and allows him to illuminate the ways in which the construction of bodies of water into concrete sets of definite oceans and seas is a relatively late procedure anchored in European imperialism. Wick therefore hinges this book on an objection to the assumption of the omnipotence of modern imperialism. What is particularly potent about Wick’s intention in writing this book is his adamant urging of his readers to take seriously the absence of the “Red Sea” in Ottoman discourse and its sudden appearance in the mid-nineteenth century. The timing is key, he shows, and should signal not only the Red Sea’s entrance into the “arena of global geopolitics,” but also the imperial power and knowledge at play in this moment in time (p. 131). Asking his readers to think critically about how (and why) history makes it subject, what becomes equally central to this book’s intention is a critical exploration of “the rigging involved in the safe sailing of the historian’s craft” (p. 186). By focusing on the “historiographical becoming” of the Red Sea, readers are prompted to consider what this becoming might teach about history, its objects, and its craft of writing (p. 7). This section is easily the most compelling and considerate, not to mention its fundamental contribution to the fields of history and geography. Moreover, his qualms and wariness toward these disciplines offers an unusual transparency of Wick’s role as a historian seeking to (re)write a history of the Red Sea region. Using Lorraine Daston’s methodology of “applied metaphysics” in chapter 4, Wick shifts the analytical lens onto nineteenth-century scientists to carefully investigate the practice and rhetoric of scientific inquiry over the Red Sea. He engages theories of geographical imperial violence by Edward Said and Matthew Edney. Most potent are the moments he traces imperial Europe’s projects of mapping, surveying, and (re)naming the Red Sea region to scratch onto the ground a new spatial structure. His reading of Robert Moresby and Elwon’s (1841) Sailing Directions for the Red Sea successfully exposes the ironies and paradoxes embedded in the text’s methods and findings. Wick’s attention to the layered construction of the Red Sea as a scientific object leaves his readers with unclouded certainty that “an imperial production of the Red Sea did not take place in a vacuum” (p. 122). Never failing to return to his questions and suspicions toward history as an “objective” discipline, Wick draws connections between this “lost space” and the institutionalization of academic disciplines in early nineteenthcentury Europe. He does this particularly well in chapter 3, where he calls for a slow and deep reading of a single

document from the Ottoman Archive in Istanbul. This document, which he describes as “not particularly remarkable in appearance,” is a fifteen-page record of commands and reports addressed to the Cairo governorship (p. 96). Wick calls this slow and deep reading technique “overreading,” and reveals it to be surprisingly rewarding, if not quite radical in nature (p. 88). Not only is Wick able to detect the minute documentations of how the Ottoman Red Sea was lived and imagined by the Ottomans through his “overreading” of this seemingly ordinary document, but he also shows how this approach “disrupts the foundational split that lies at the heart of the modern discipline of history: the separation between primary and secondary sources, and the attendant question of the archive” (p. 89). Wick’s noteworthy methodology uniquely illuminates the varying spatialities and different temporalities found in this single document. His “overreading” certainly illustrates that the Red Sea “obviously existed before its scientific charting, but it was real in a different sense” (p. 125). If anything at all, his call for a more sustained practice of overreading is certainly convincing. What is unique about this text is its refusal to dwell on the “nonexistence” of the Ottoman Red Sea; rather, Wick is able to see and understand this “lost space” as a pivotal window into alternative ways of thinking and being in the world. Likely of interest to readers of this journal, he delves into the uncharted waters of the Ottoman Empire’s production of space and place, and rises with speculations that “space [in the Ottoman Empire] is imagined, not as a physical object over which there could or should be imperial rights, but as a plural network of relations” (p. 85). From here, Wick makes convincing articulations about the Empire’s alternative understanding of place and space, as well as their intersection. Especially compelling is his brief meditation on why these findings might very well suggest not simply why the history of the Ottoman Red Sea does not exist, but more interestingly why it could not or perhaps should not exist. Overall, this is a substantial and relatively groundbreaking piece of work with a sharp understanding of how geography is anchored in History with a capital H, and vice versa. Wick’s determined appeal for his readers to see both the Red Sea as a product of European design as well as space more generally as a host of discursively constituted and lived places and landscapes, each with a poetics, a history, and a sense of its own is absolutely refreshing, to say nothing of its necessity. Still, the text could have benefited from a discussion on the histories of mobility and exchange across the Ottoman Red Sea told from the perspective of those who experienced and

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witnessed these flows. Wick defends this absence in his introduction by claiming that this history does not fit into this book for practical and methodological reasons (p. 17). Although his defense is reasonable, Chapter 1’s socioeconomic overview would have been importantly enriched had it included these histories, experiences, and voices. Moreover, considering Wick’s rally for “history [to] be born in an age after deconstruction,” it seems urgent that what little is documented of these native and local experiences encompassed in the Ottoman Red Sea history be salvaged from this deconstruction and included in this book’s important undertaking (p. 187).

as distinct and neutral disciplines and ways of knowing the world. Perhaps most admirable, though, is his scholarly commitment to seeking out alternative geographical knowledges—in this case one that has previously existed in our world—that might offer new ways of envisioning and living our relationship to space, place, and land. In these very ways Wick lays some of the necessary preliminary groundwork to imagine and enact more moral geographies in which processes of Eurocentric design and erasure are recognized and addressed.

Wick is a skilled and poetic storyteller committed to rupturing long-standing ideas of history and geography

Moresby, R., and T. Elwon. 1841. Sailing directions for the Red Sea. London, UK: W.H. Allen.





The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil Erika Robb Larkins. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2015. xi and 256 pp., maps, photos, diagrams, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $29.95 paper (ISBN 978-0-52028277-3). Reviewed by Jamie L. Worms, Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. In The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil, author Erika Robb Larkins draws on her ethnographic field work to demonstrate how violence is produced through spectacle and commodification in Rocinha, Rio’s largest favela. Divided into five chapters, this well-written book hits on a number of timely and pertinent issues facing the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Despite the lack of statistical data and in-depth analysis of some of the larger points, this ethnography provides an accessible and informative overview of commodification and structural violence in the favela arena today. Overall, I expected to learn how spectacular violence is perpetuated in the favelas of Rio and Larkins delivers a perspective based on the narrative of several diverse actors. Larkins sets out to explain how performance and the spectacle of violence are deeply embedded in Brazilian and global cultures. Larkins explains that ideologies and practices concerning land and slave ownership that favored a minority of privileged elite during the colonial period continue to influence the racial and class hierarchies present in Brazilian society today. The deeply embedded prejudice and marginalization that divides the Brazilian populace has helped to construct what Larkins refers to as the “favela problem,” a consciousness in which

favelas, and their residents, exist as a hindrance to urban development due to their imagined disease, poverty, informality, and violence. Intrinsically, the culture of slavery, which was successfully maintained through terror and spectacular punishment, continues to inform the favela problem today in different forms. One way by which structural violence is maintained in Brazilian society is through the drug traffickers. Larkins explains that the lack of governance in Rio’s favelas provides fertile ground for the trafficker rule and produces “a steady stream of alienated youth . . . willing to take up arms in search of respect and economic solvency” (p. 33). To prove this point, Larkins introduces Beto, one of her primary informants. Beto “spent six years in the Special Forces wing of the military, learning from the government how to kill” before leaving the military to join the Comando Vermelho, one of the main drug trafficking factions in Rio (p. 29). Despite being gainfully employed by the government as a soldier in the military, and therefore not completely alienated, Beto claimed “hunger” as the driving force for his departure to join the traffic. Larkins knows this is “somewhat difficult to believe” (p. 31) and explains: He laughed aloud at the irony that he could have ended up fighting for the other side, hunting a parallel version of himself. But his experience with the government— shaped by his marginalized class and racial status—led him to believe that the drug economy actually represented a more stable and honorable employment than the police force. (pp. 30–31)

Larkins articulates a well-reasoned explanation for why Beto left the military, including the idea that Beto joined the traffic for financial security and honor. Because Beto

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only cites hunger as his motive for leaving, though, I am unclear as to whether or not Beto has actually reached the same conclusion as the author. Beto did provide exceptional insight on the structural violence in the favela and how it is perpetuated through actual draconian violence. Despite a physical and symbolic presence of traffickers throughout the community, according to Beto, Rocinha has virtually no unsanctioned crime. In Rocinha, however, it is commonplace for traffickers to govern and maintain order by meting out “sanctioned, socially acceptable,” and spectacular punishments that include beating, torture, beheading, and microwaving (being burned alive inside of tires). In exchange for this order, residents remain silent about the drug trafficking operations. This “forced reciprocity” protects the traffickers’ business interests and enhances their power within the community. In this way, drug traffickers reinforce structural violence in the favela by maintaining order through violent punishment.

picture-perfect and performative invasion on social media. As Larkins expertly points out, the entire spectacle of invasion is undermined not only by the obvious advanced warning, but also by the continued trafficker rule. There are several obvious similarities between the drug traffickers and the penal state that are not addressed in this book. Although the narco-traffic and the penal state exist on opposite ends of the legal spectrum, both groups claim professionalism and modernity, and exercise wealth and corruption to conduct their affairs. Both groups make rules, declare the exception to their own rules, kill with relative impunity, and engage in extreme performative armed violence (and torture) to justify their development goals. Both groups are equally entrenched in the same profit-driven war on drugs that kills traffickers and police alike. A discussion of the tremendous overlap between the traffickers and the penal state would have only strengthened and clarified the point that both groups, very similarly, reproduce the spectacularly violent favela in different ways.

The drug traffickers are not the only group to embody violent spectacle as a means to provide security. In chapter 2, “The Penal State,” Larkins uses a discussion of the military police and civil police, but primarily the Batalhão de Operações Policias Especiais (BOPE), as representatives for the larger penal state as the police impose and normalize a structural violence that helps to maintain favela residents’ marginalization. It should be noted that Larkins wrote this chapter without interviewing any police officers. As such, this chapter is written from the perspective of narcotics traffickers and residents rather than any state actor. Larkins points out that the penal state is not designed to protect the rights of citizens or to ensure justice. Rather, the penal state is designed to violently and spectacularly maintain entrenched class divisions and uphold the status quo through theft, murder, and collusion with drug traffickers.

In chapter 3, Larkins examines the spectacular violence created by the commodification of the favelas through the marketing of film, video games, music videos, clothing, and toys. Referring to a term used by Jean Baudrillard, Larkins explains how media depictions of Rio are often “hyper-real” and “more compelling, brilliant, and vivid than the original” (p. 84). To prove that films emphasize certain unsavory aspects of favela life, Larkins critiques six films—not “seven” as she claims (p. 85). The choice to critique the films—Black Orpheus, City of God, Elite Squad, Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within, Favela Rising, and Bus 174—is an unnecessary departure from her rich field work. As opposed to a critique of films, I would have preferred more ethnographic accounts from Beto and the other informants the author met during the six years she lived and researched in the community.

In Rocinha, the police employ an aggressive, heavyhanded ideology in which favela residents are disposable and “acceptable casualties in the war against traffic” (p. 68). Because the police are motivated by the demands of the city to control crime, they often claim bodies and drugs during invasions, which are “highly choreographed performances of state power” (p. 56). By the time the police enter the community, most traffickers, who had been warned about the invasion days in advance, are gone, and the narcotics are left in neatly stacked piles for the police to confiscate. After the invasion, the BOPE showcases its modernity and efficiency by symbolically reordering the chaos of favela criminality by reproducing their

According to Larkins, these films produced by middleand upper class Brazilians present a hyperreal version of urban marginality in Rio through a genre called cinema de retomada, which translates to “cinema of retaking” or reclaiming favela culture (p. 87). Despite its name, this genre reifies the violent, criminal, uncivilized, and unsanitary favela population. Larkins’s overall point is that filmmakers and the media commodify hyperreal imagery of the favela to sell as a global brand, which she dubs Favela, Inc. By presenting a hyperreal and selective imagery of the favela, the media simultaneously obscures discourses of race, socioeconomic status, and other historical issues. As such, the commodification of



the favelas by outsiders and nonresidents normalizes and sensationalizes violent crime and becomes yet another form of favela violence. Just as film can embellish certain aspects of favela life, tourism is also implicated in the ongoing production of favela violence through voyeurism and the glorification of the drug trafficking lifestyle. In chapter 4, Larkins argues that tourism is an insidious and performative encounter that engages a limited perspective of favela life and permits tourists to reify the violent favela by consuming and reproducing it on social media. Similarly, many tour companies use tactics of fear and excitement to fabricate authenticity of favela life, thereby emphasizing violence and crime for their customers. As a whole, the tourist gaze permitted through one-dimensional narratives obscures real structural violence including the lack of opportunity, long history of police abuse, discrimination, poverty, and understanding how trafficking presents an attainable option for favela youth. Although I personally have always had a distaste for favela tourism, Larkins’s chapter made me loathe the practice, and those who engage in it, even more. Although Larkins’s points and examples are extremely cogent, a discussion comparing the obvious similarities between Favela, Inc. and favela tourism was noticeably absent. The representation of favelas in the media, film, games, clothes, and toys has indeed created a market both inside and outside of the favela. Filmmakers, journalists, researchers, tour guides, and clothing and toy manufacturers all share the responsibility to represent the favela community. Yet, caught between their hyperrealizations and their desire to make a profit, Favela, Inc. undermines the authenticity of the favelas community and contributes to its spectacular, violent commodification. In chapter 5, Larkins discusses how the World Cup and the Olympic Games have perpetuated the spectacle of violence through militarization of power and economic speculation. Specifically, Larkins discusses “the Olympic exception,” an idea behind which a city is able to capitalize on its position as the prestigious host of a global event to transform the city “with a speed and tenor” that would otherwise be “financially and politically impossible” (p. 140). Part of this Olympic exception has been a peacekeeping effort that involves the implementation of Units of Police Pacification (UPP) into favela communities. Despite its result as a “spectacular failure,” the implementation of the UPP has had several consequences.

The government originally pitched the UPP as a way to transform “local attitudes of hostility and distrust [toward the police] into relationships of collaboration and cooperation” (p. 141). Replacing one armed force (traffic) for another, less trusted, and less respected armed force, however, reactivated the paternalistic ties that governed the community before pacification. Not only did residents avoid the UPP for fear that they would be punished when the traffickers returned, but they continued to rely on the traffic to “arbitrate disputes” and “discipline residents” (p. 143). I found it interesting that it is not a question of whether the traffic will retake control of the community; it is simply a question of when. Or, perhaps the real question is whether or not the traffickers have ever left. Overall, the UPP has made a very small impact concerning the governance of the favela. Rocinha is still run by the narco-traffic with an appearance that it is run by the penal state. This smokescreen has allowed new companies and services to create and redefine new territories of consumption in the community. In this sense, pacification has led to the increasing formality of the community residents through the regularization of services. Nevertheless, upgrading funds are not being used to address the larger issues concerning health, sanitation, education, and infrastructure created in the state’s absence. Larkins argues that these solutions are not visible to those outside the favela, and therefore, do not contribute to the “marketing of the pacified favela as a global brand” (p. 150). In essence, communities like Rocinha are limited to superficial gentrifying upgrades that include painting and renaming streets, which are seen by Larkins, and others, as obvious attempts to cloak the ongoing reality of poverty and violence. In the epilogue, Larkins discusses the wider theoretical implications for the study of violence in Brazil. This content might have been better presented embedded at the end of each chapter as a summary. Conscious of her privileged mobility, education, and status as an anthropological researcher, Larkins acknowledges that as she wrote this book, she was not only capable of inventing the favela, but that she, too, was complicit in the contribution to Favela, Inc. through the sale of this book. Unlike most favela residents, Larkins has the power to present the favela to outsiders. Although it is clear that Larkins takes this responsibility very seriously, even she inadvertently contributes to the conceptualization of the violent favela. At the end of Larkins’s research, she chose to live outside the community when writing her book. She remarks, “during the writing of this book, I

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lived in a nice neighborhood in Rio, outside the favela” (p. 162), not so subtly hinting that the favelas are not nice places. Overall, this book is an ethnography that discusses the commodification of the spectacular violence in Rocinha. Larkins makes a very compelling case as to how the traffickers, police, film, tourism, and the UPP all


simultaneously contribute to the commodification and violence of the favela communities. The only two things that would have made this book stronger are an in-depth comparison of similar actors and the contribution of statistical information to support her claims. If you are interested in understanding the complex dynamics that exist within the favela arena in Rio, The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil is a great place to start.



The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus Kevin P. Gallagher. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016. v and 264 pp., charts, tables, notes, bibliography, index. $27.95 paper (ISBN 9780190246730). Reviewed by Tom Narins, Department of Geography and Planning, University at AlbanySUNY, Albany, NY. Is a book centered on the economic and political relations of one of the world’s fastest growing economies, a perennially underdeveloped region, and arguably the world’s single remaining economic and political superpower a thematic overstretch? Kevin P. Gallagher’s masterful research and analysis of the historic and contemporary complexities of this triangular China–Latin America–United States relationship clearly affirms that the answer is resounding “No.” Most importantly, Gallagher’s analysis confirms that it has been Latin America’s own policymaking (or lack thereof) that has resulted in the current state of a less than stellar economic development trajectory in the region. To begin with, the clarity with which Gallagher addresses the triangular set of relations connecting the three political economic actors in this study starts with the book’s title. The title succeeds in several ways. First, it more succinctly highlights the historical and economic connections that Stallings (2008) originally described in her work on the “U.S.–China–Latin America Triangle” relationship. Second, by avoiding the use of words such as dragon in the title, Gallagher contributes to the contemporary

push (in academia, at least) to move away from cultural differences steeped in hyperbole, and in so doing, gets us one step closer to increasing understanding between China and Latin America. Such a feat would not be made any easier by referring to one side as a mythical, fire-spewing monster or giant reptile. In 2015, a major China development study, such as this one, with a major reference to China as “dragon” in the title of works would reek of a “been there, done that” sentiment. Gallagher has proved skillful in avoiding this path. At a broader level, one of the book’s overarching themes—China’s growing engagement in the Global South in an international economy currently modeled on the U.S. and European worldview, and how smaller, still developing regions (e.g., Latin America) are responding—will be of interest to economic, political, and development geographers. Scholars and instructors of college-level geography and development economics will find the details and data analysis of use in creating rich course presentations and engaging class discussions. Gallagher’s work is a triumph and a pioneering work in a field where few rigorous, yet accessible, texts exist to date. For example, it is very revealing to read about the level of coordination the Chinese government has with respect to investing in key sectors beyond China’s borders. Although it is true that Chinese demand for Latin American resources is partly responsible for environmental degradation in the region—this book makes a very convincing case that it is and has been Latin American policies—environmental, economic, and social—that are the

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real drivers of the region’s economic trajectory. In this sense, it is Latin America’s agency that can facilitate or stall regional economic growth. Although this work focuses predominantly on the economic and political aspects of the relationship (e.g., investments, economic aid, and trade), the environmental and social implications of this increasingly important relationship are addressed in great detail and are afforded the seriousness that such repercussions deserve. Specifically, using the World Bank’s calculations of the economic costs of natural resource depletion, Gallagher states: Between 2003 and 2013—the China Boom—the economic costs of natural resource depletion in Latin America amounted to 8.6 percent of annual GDP on an annual basis. That is more than double the 3.6 percent annual economic growth the region experienced during the period, implying that the recent boom was in many ways an illusion that will come home to roost in the future through natural resource scarcity and the inability of the region to absorb wastes from environmental degradation. (p. 123)

We also learn that Chinese companies that do operate in Latin America “do not tend to perform uniformly worse than their domestic or other foreign counterparts that invest in natural resource sectors” (p. 119). This is important and goes a long way toward countering the “China Threat” hyperbole that in part claims that Chinese economic actors operate in a more environmentally careless way than Western firms in the same industry. In fact, it is these policy implications—those surrounding the environmental and social aspects of the contemporary China–Latin America relationship (together with the section on creating a new and sustainable Latin American development strategy in Chapter 8) that stand out as some of the most fascinating parts of the book. Gallagher further succeeds in clearly explaining the allure of Chinese economic engagement with Latin American economies. Apart from having resources that Chinese economic actors want, “China’s billions in finance are more in line with what Latin American nations want, rather than what Western development experts say they need” (p. 65). In addition, the author’s lucid explanation of the uniqueness of China’s relationship with Latin America compared with other foreign investors—that is, “What . . . makes Chinese investment into Latin America distinct is that it is dominated by state-owned enterprises rather than by private-sector multinationals” (p. 52)— helps to differentiate Chinese capitalism from Western capitalism. In this way, this book highlights an important


theme in contemporary “South–South cooperation” research—namely the distinctiveness of Chinese economic actors beyond China’s territorial borders in the developing world. Importantly we learn that “Latin American incomes grew faster during the China Boom (2003–2013), than during any other period since the region gained independence from colonial powers in the 1800s” (p. 43). Although this fact is an optimistic highlight in this bi-regional relationship, Gallagher clarifies that since 2013, many opportunities for sustained economic growth, such as technological upgrading, were either not given policy priority by national governments in the region or were simply sidestepped in favor of poverty alleviation programs. Another strength of Gallagher’s writing is his ability to explain the economics of Chinese policy banks—institutions that are not known for their transparency—in a very simple and clear way (i.e., p. 47). This entire phenomenon reminds us that it has been the Chinese government’s policies that have facilitated Chinese firms’ reaching and investing in Latin America for the purposes of accessing new markets and natural resources. Although there is Chinese demand for Latin America’s resources, there is also a clearly articulated government vision for how the Chinese economy will grow and what needs to be done to move in the direction of growth. Gallagher adeptly and eloquently guides the reader to an understanding that Latin American governments, through constructing their own policies, can also become more economically competitive and can play a more active role in controlling and guiding the economic trajectory of their own economies. China’s economic approach toward contemporary Latin American economies clarifies this Asian economy’s practical engagement with the region. Such pragmatism is illustrated in statements such as, “China’s overseas oil and gas companies are more likely to sell a newly acquired barrel of oil on world markets than ship it home” (p. 53). This reality serves to clarify common Western pundits’ notions of how China’s economic actors function beyond their borders. Profits, not national patronage, are often paramount to Chinese firms operations in Latin America. What is clearly “national” in this analysis are the economic policy preferences and decisions that are crafted and implemented by the distinct national governments discussed in this study. The book does a nice job of balancing attention given to Chinese interests with those of Latin America’s interests in the relationship. Perhaps the most important theme highlighting Latin America’s economic development


relates to the fact that the region has “begun to deindustrialize before the region has reached the living standards of the industrialized countries (before the level of industrialization began to decline in wealthier countries)” (p. 100). Part of the reason this happened was that Latin American countries agreed to accept the Washington Consensus policies that led these countries to begin “opening up their markets prematurely—before they were able to reach a healthier mix of industry in the economy” (p. 100). We also learn that “Latin America put only 0.66 percent of GDP into research and development during the China Boom” (p. 115), and only 12 percent of the 500,000 patents registered in Latin America during the China Boom were registered by Latin Americans. These points, discussed almost in the exact middle of the book, are the defining reasons why Latin American economies have continued to struggle to this day, and might also explain why the name of this three-sided relationship is not the “Latin America Triangle.” Another example of the impact that policy frameworks have on explaining the lack of Latin American development is that according to an Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean study cited in this book, Latin American countries tend to rapidly spend their newfound revenues rather than direct them into industrialization and innovation funds. Again, policy decisions made by Latin American governments are ultimately the shapers of the region’s economic fate. Investing windfall profits into sectors such as poverty alleviation only does not directly address equally important questions of industrialization and capacity building in a global economy where manufacturing and its associated technologies and knowledge communities have separated the advanced economies from those that are still developing. Gallagher’s polite, but firm, insistence that, ultimately, it is Latin America’s responsibility (and not China’s or any other foreign actor’s) to enact and enforce policies that will facilitate economic and industrial policies that promote and protect the social and environmental wellbeing of citizens in the region is the book’s main siren call. Without a thoughtful and comprehensive set of enforceable policies, argues Gallagher, Latin America is doomed to repeat its cyclical boom-and-bust relationship with the primary commodities and natural resources that have helped bring the region fame (for better or for worse) in the global economy. One possible addition to

this work that could have strengthened the book overall might have been a discussion of the role and perceptions of “corruption” in light of the histories of Chinese and Latin American governments’ economic policymaking and practices. Overall this book is extremely clear and masterfully organized. The logic with which Gallagher presents his findings is impressive and stimulates numerous other research questions, such as these: What incentives can be developed to encourage Latin American governments to focus on economic upgrading rather than on focusing on poverty alleviation programs? Can long-term economic growth policies be instituted in Latin American economies? In this sense, The China Triangle helps readers understand Chinese economic expansion beyond its borders and contemporary Latin American political economic development within the changing world economy. This monumental, insightful, and groundbreaking work is sure to be the foundation on which other scholars in the field of Chinese–Latin American relations will build. Ultimately, this book makes a strong, detail-rich case for sound and robust policymaking by resource-rich Latin American countries—and asks how can a world region that has won the commodity lottery twice not be economically solvent and strong today. As an expert in development economics, Gallagher clearly articulates the necessary ingredients for national economic growth. Gallagher suggests that Latin America should follow China’s (and others) successful economic development formula: “[l]ike most other successful countries in the world, it is time for Latin American governments to build a partnership between states and markets” (p. 148). More than just a project examining economic connectivity among China, Latin America, and the United States, this book ultimately succeeds by explaining how the policies invented and deployed in this bi-regional arena have dramatically shaped the contemporary global economy—such is the impact of the China Triangle. Reference Stallings, B. 2008. China, Latin America, and the United States: A new triangle? In China’s Expansion into the Western Hemisphere: Implications for Latin America and the United States, ed. R. Roett and G. Paz, 239–60. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press.

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Inequality and the 1% Danny Dorling. London, UK: Verso, 2014. 234 pp., maps, photos, diagrams, illustrations, notes, index. $19.95 paper (ISBN 978-1-781-68585-3); $9.99 electronic (ISBN 978-1-78168586-0). Reviewed by Greig Tor Guthey, Department of Liberal Studies, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA. Inequality and the 1% is a short book that includes just five chapters and a conclusion. It is a book with many layers that make it great for exploring contemporary political economy and inspiring critical thinking about wealth, income, and inequality. I should think both students and serious readers alike would find it useful, as Dorling writes in an accessible, critical manner about inequality in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Along the way, he counters many elements of current common sense about economy and society, elements repeated all too frequently. Consider, for example, the first chapter, which is titled “Can We Afford the Superrich?” With a title like that, it is not surprising that Dorling thinks we can’t. But what an inversion! In conditions of extreme inequality, it’s the superrich who cost too much, or should we say spend too much public money. The Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford University, Dorling has made his career studying inequality. What struck me, though, was how Dorling inverts many of the usual claims about society and economy throughout the entire book. The lower classes (and that means everyone else) fare much worse in conditions of extreme inequality. Many

squeak by, as we know, but increasing numbers in the top 10 percent are also seeing life get more difficult in the United Kingdom. Inequality is actually highest within the top 10 percent of population, as the 1 percent increase their income shares, and no one seems satisfied except the 1 percent. Indeed, Dorling points out, as the rich get richer, the irony is that the bottom 99 percent are becoming more equal, struggling with less and less total income and subjected to ever dwindling state resources. This is true in the United Kingdom and the United States. Dorling illustrates both with maps of each country shaded by the percent each income share “owns.” He suggests the top 10 percent look down the class hierarchy rather than up to see their future, given the limits of their income and the small size of their retirement portfolios. True to his geographer’s training, Dorling demonstrates the disparities in social conditions in the United Kingdom through international comparisons, which is one of the core strengths of this book. Japan and Finland become the measures by which the United Kingdom and United States are measured because they feature more equality than most developed countries today. The United States becomes the worst case scenario among developed countries because of the starkness of its inequality. Inequality and the 1% is somewhat different from other books on inequality because it explores how inequality affects related dimensions of life: childhood, wealth, work, and health (the titles of subsequent chapters). In each case, though, the essential reason for inequality is the ever-lowering tax burden imposed on democracies like the United Kingdom and the United States over the past thirty-five years, which represents a massive transfer

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of wealth to the 1 percent. The 1 percent use this new political and economic power to influence public opinion to justify their wealth and privilege, and ignore their effect on everyone else. Their efforts are so successful even the lower classes think tax cuts are a good thing, according to Dorling. Their efforts to shape cultural beliefs about wealth and the wealthy begin in childhood by virtue of the increasing separation between the superrich and everyone else. Dorling argues that the children of the superrich exclusively attend private schools that prepare them for entry into Oxford and Cambridge and teach them “skills” to get well-paying positions after graduation. Those on the margins of the upper class struggle to get their children through the same gauntlet on the presumption that the investment will pay off. The effort to properly educate these favored few leads to population-wide effects, however. Both the 1 percent and the 99 percent feel wealth is indicative of social worth. Thus the favored few are considered somehow “naturally” deserving of their position when the data show that less well-off students are often better prepared academically than their wealthier, privately educated peers. At the same time, education in state schools in the United Kingdom (and the United States) focus increasingly on performance measures and teaching to the test rather than student learning. As the wealthy spend more and more money on private education, there is less and less to spend on everyone else’s—for every £3.57 spent on a student in private school in the United Kingdom, only £0.80 is spent on a student in state school (p. 41). And so it goes. As in childhood and education, so it is in work. The superrich are given favored positions with little to no actual justification, according to Dorling. Cultural norms and practices justify their favored positions through an expanding number of licenses and certifications required for entry into key professions, which limit the market and increase salaries. Dorling’s analysis is particularly critical of the conservative Governing Coalition under David Cameron. Recent conservative reforms in the wake of the Great Recession affected citizens’ ability to buy food as well as find reliable employment. Reduced household visits to the elderly brought on by cuts to the UK National Health Service increased the number of deaths. Many young people in Britain are forced to take “zero hours contracts” (akin to temporary and part-time work in the United States) where employers do not provide guaranteed regular hours. The challenge with these forms of work, reduced taxes, and

reduced public spending is generating any form of savings for those in the lower classes. Yet the costs of living for the lower classes have increased across the board as the superrich capture larger portions of national income and increase their political influence. Dorling is aware there will always be a 1 percent—there has to be someone at the top of any income distribution. As he sees it, though, the current political climate and austere policy choices that the 1 percent has foisted on society in the United Kingdom, the United States, and around the world are making others’ well-being much worse than necessary. Dorling peppers his critique of the superrich with a large assemblage of interesting facts, cited in notes at the end of the book. For example, no one seems to know even today how Margaret Thatcher paid for her £6 million home in London (p. 25). The United Kingdom has the highest number of (overpaid) bankers in the world. The politicians making decisions about the UK National Health Service have vested interests in private health care companies that benefit from reduced public spending on health care (p. 132). There are numerous examples throughout the book of privilege and political influence favoring the 1 percent. Although Dorling’s critique of the practices and conditions of the superrich and their effect on the rest of the United Kingdom is quite refreshing, his analysis of current responses to this inequality is less satisfying. In the brief conclusion, he seems to claim there is a slow revolution emerging that comes not from any one political movement or set of activists, but which seems to emerge out of the social fabric of the United Kingdom itself and is almost imperceptible in the short term. He provides little supporting evidence of these claims, however, and no theoretical basis. At the same time, he suggests that there might not be a revolution, but the system might collapse on its own, citing Alexander Cockburn to support this view. Perhaps one or both of these alternatives might come to pass, but the analysis seems a bit thin and confusing. I was hoping for more specific analysis of contemporary responses to inequality in Britain. Dorling’s version of social change seems a bit far off for many who struggle with poor access to education, employment, and health care, let alone limited or no retirement savings and wealth, and a bit too general when there are actually people who have worked to create the current situation and others who are probably now working on initiatives to change the political balance in both the United Kingdom and the United States. You won’t find out about any of this from Inequality and the 1%.

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I do not think Dorling’s real aim is to examine or evaluate contemporary responses to inequality, however. His task is to examine the life of those at the top and the effect their increasing wealth has on the rest. The practices of the rich usually remain for the most part hidden by their wealth and power, and Dorling’s book pulls back the veneer. At the same time, though, one wonders how


comprehensive and long-lasting the dominance of the rich could be. In the end, Dorling’s critique falls short on how social change might now occur given the overwhelming power and influence of the 1 percent, and his notion of a slow revolution is both undertheorized and underdeveloped.



The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law Brett Christophers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. 360 pp., illustrations, graphs, tables, index, notes. $45.00 cloth (ISBN 9780674504912). Reviewed by Kean Fan Lim, School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

What explains the recurring reproduction of capitalism as a distinctive economic system? This question has been a key focal point of political-economic research for more than a century. Over the last few decades, arguably the most influential conceptualizations have been developed by the French Regulationist school on the entwinement between accumulation dynamics and social regulation; by Marxian social theorists’ identification of spatiotemporal “fixes” to defer crisis tendencies; and by historically informed studies on the constitutive role of ideological reasoning. Brett Christophers’s excellent new book adds a refreshing, innovative, and thought-provoking perspective to these formulations. Central to the narrative is a “crucial regulatory dynamic” that successfully balances the seemingly incommensurable but practically intertwined processes of economic monopoly and competition—“the role of the law.” The monopoly–competition relationship is framed in chapter 1 as a “dialectic,” defined specifically as “the historically and geographically-contingent constellation of productive forces under which capitalism’s coincident need of both monopoly and competition, in dynamic and coconstitutive interplay with one another, happens to be served” (p. 52). The “law” in question comprises antitrust, also widely known as competition law, and intellectual

property (IP) law. The “leveling” capacities of these laws are first evaluated vis-à-vis regulation theory and the notion of “fixes” to overcome crisis tendencies (chapter 2). A conceptual framework that places “exchange, markets, and competition in the politicaleconomic spotlight” (p. 76) is then developed in chapter 3. These chapters collectively form Part I, which is possibly the most elaborate attempt to emplace legal regulation within the current literature on the reproduction of capitalism. Particularly refreshing is the claim that this regulatory dynamic “consists not of spatial, temporal, or even institutional fixes,” which are construed as stop-gap measures that do not resolve fundamental contradictions of capital accumulation, “but of the law: the law as leveler” (p. 80). This leveling act is demonstrated empirically in Part II of The Great Leveler. Christophers assiduously traces the development and impact of these laws in the United States and United Kingdom from the late nineteenth century to the present moment. The empirical discussion is presented sequentially, focusing first on the mobilization of IP laws to sidestep antitrust regulations and secure monopoly powers between 1890 and World War II (chapter 4), the revival of competition following stronger enforcement of antitrust laws after World War II (chapter 5), and before monopoly powers are shown to reemerge after the 1970s (chapter 6). Woven across these chapters is the metaphor of a pendulum in motion, underpinned by an important question that invites further geographical and historical reflections: “Where, then, would it swing next” (p. 215). This review draws on this question to digest and reassess the key arguments of The Great Leveler. In thinking about the “where,” readers are immediately impelled to

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consider whether the pendulum is able to swing beyond the territorial confines of the United States and United Kingdom. After all, capitalism is not geographically delimited to these territories, a point explicitly recognized in the introduction. Noting the importance of international and transnational dimensions of capital accumulation, the general “rule” adopted in The Great Leveler “is to document and examine the internationalization of competition and monopoly only insofar as it demonstrably bears on monopoly and competition dynamics in the territories with which the book is concerned” (p. 16). Considering the fact that “IP laws and competition laws have been, for the most part, nationally territorialized” (p. 19), this is a sensible methodological and analytical approach: It allows for an in-depth examination of the conditions, complexities, and consequences associated with implementation of antitrust and IP laws. Reflecting more on the economic history of the United Kingdom and United States, however, readers would note the dynamic entwinement of these political economies—and by extension the monopoly–competition dialectic—within broader imperial(listic) networks. Where, then, does the “national” begin and end in practice? In the United Kingdom, IP was internationalized explicitly (although not exclusively) through the Imperial Copyright Act 1842, Ornamental Designs Act 1842, and Utility Design Act 1843. British commercial interests were thus protected across the British Empire until 1911. This Act was further bolstered by the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, which restated the ultimate subordination of laws introduced in the colonies and dominions to Westminster. Readers might therefore ask why the unravelling of “national dominance” after the 1850s occurred in spite of imperial laws that facilitated empire-wide IP protection for “U.K. capital.” By the same token, there would be questions on why new IP laws within the United Kingdom were “implicated in shoring up capital’s frayed monopoly power” during the early twentieth century when they were no longer fully enforceable in the readily accessible markets of the dominions and colonies. U.S. antitrust and IP were embedded within an imperializing trajectory converse from that of the United Kingdom. As Christophers accurately demonstrates, IP legislation originally “disqualified” foreign works from protection because firms in the United States—in a development quite unthinkable today—were more interested in copying foreign copyrights and patents (p. 145). With no supporting colonial markets, this appears to be a necessary step to generate profits. Unsurprisingly, the subsequent


mobilization of IP saw “firms began once more to invest, and prices and profits recovered” (p. 157). Although this led correctly, as shown in chapter 5, to a revival of domestic competitive dynamics, readers might wonder how this was connected to the imperialistic underbelly of U.S.based Keynesianism since the 1950s (e.g., the de facto occupation of South Korea through the Syngman Rhee regime, its still-ongoing strategic containment of Japan, the intervention in Guatemalan politics in 1954, etc.). In addition, U.S. firms began to internationalize substantially and became actively involved in global “special economic zones” from the 1950s. IP law’s “dramatic renaissance” in the United States after the 1970s was then linked to a parallel development: the emphasis on the extraterritorialization of the Sherman Act in 1982. This unilateral act enables the U.S. government to reassert jurisdiction over actions or disputes that take place outside its borders if they have “intended or actual” or “substantial or foreseeable” effects within the United States. As such, to what extent did post–World War II U.S. internationalization—corporate, legal, and military—enable U.S.-based capital to retain monopoly powers while appearing compliant to domestic competition law? Indeed, these developments collectively suggest the emergence of centralizing (monopolizing) and decentralizing (competitive) forces could be a multidimensional historical process that cuts simultaneously across different scales, which raises questions on the historicity of the monopoly–competition dialectic. As previously mentioned, the law’s “leveling” process evolves sequentially in The Great Leveler. One period dominated by monopoly generated the conditions for leveling, which then transposed into a new period dominated by competition. From the longue durée vantage point, this story is one of “scaling up” over time: Nationally constituted monopolies established the conditions for “the internationalization of monopoly powers” (p. 279). Legal leveling appears as a historical inevitability in chapters 6 and 7, first during the revival of competition whereby the shift in the law and its political work “happened because it had to” (p. 169), following which “the law reverted to privileging the forces of monopoly power . . . because it needed to” (p. 218). Readers would find substantial details in the empirical discussion to support the claim of sequential evolution (i.e., more monopoly within the United States and United Kingdom during a particular period); there is also strong evidence of nationally constituted monopolies during the early twentieth century. They would be challenged, however, to reflect critically on three points regarding periodization and the necessity of change.


First, did the law play balancing roles because they were necessarily compelled by the monopoly–competition dialectic, or were they outcomes of specific conjunctural conditions that could not be replicated in the future? Second, although this dialectic could be constituted by balancing legal acts over different periods, could they not also be generated and sustained at the same time? Last, but not least, readers might consider the similarities and differences between the evolutionary sequence in The Great Leveler (i.e., from national to international monopoly) and Lenin’s claim that internationalized monopoly was already entering the “highest stage of capitalism” in the early twentieth century in the form of imperialism (some aspects are highlighted earlier). These reflections would certainly generate fresh interdisciplinary debates on where and how the “pendulum” would swing “next.” Then there is the “pendulum” itself—the nature and role of what is termed “the great leveler” (p. 14). Readers would wonder whether “the law”—or more specifically, the rule of law—is conceptualized a priori as an intrinsic precondition of capitalistic reproduction, or whether they are construed in and of themselves as contextually specific empirical outcomes of broader political-economic events (e.g., U.S. competition law during the Great Depression). On the one hand, there is the notion that the legal balancing act is an intrinsic aspect of capitalism: The emphasis “is not some omnipotent regulator in charge of the law; it is the law per se” (p. 14). This point is reinforced in the distinction between “fixes,” which involve “patching up holes only to see leaks subsequently spring elsewhere,” and “leveling,” which involves “the law’s repeated reconstitution and realignment of competitive forces [that] shapes market conditions and exchange relations in such a way that value can continue to be realized and profits captured . . . in a relatively stable fashion” (p. 81, italics in original). The impression is that these laws have been vested with universal agency to automatically correct imbalances within capitalist systems across space and through time. If this is indeed the intended point, the story would be less about “the law as leveler” than it is about the law of leveling. On the other hand, parts of the narrative posit the law as “the primary, necessarily mutable, instrument” (p. 15). There is a “requirement” from somewhere or someone for “state legislative action to restore balance” (p. 96).

Perhaps most crucially, the laws in question are dynamic phenomena “responding to, and reformatting in turn, the political-economic milieu whose fairness, opportunities, incentives, and efficiencies they have, by turns, been designed to optimize” (p. 267). These portrayals collectively suggest the law per se is a functional tool of sentient actors—primarily capitalists, politicians, and bureaucrats— working in contexts with a distinctive approach toward capital accumulation. Specifically, the primary condition of leveling is a state that is ideologically committed to curtailing capitalists’ monopolizing tendencies, which suggests it is only in a particular kind of state—the capitalist state—that leveling would occur in the way it was presented in Part II. This raises at least two interesting questions. First, are other capitalist states not studied in this book (e.g., Germany and Japan) just as committed as the United Kingdom and the United States to negotiate the “knife edge” (p. 81) between excessive centralization and excessive decentralization? Second, what are the roles of antitrust and IP in states that embark or insist on state-driven capital accumulation? These are certainly not questions that could be addressed within the scope of The Great Leveler; rather, the book has made an excellent contribution in itself through opening new grounds for conversation over the role of the law as “a major, enduring force in the history of capitalism and its regularization” (p. 264). Through the course of engaging with both parts of the book, the originality of the arguments stands out in many ways. The narrative is focused on demonstrating how the law does not sit in the background, but is actively involved in the reproduction of capitalism. In so doing, the role of competition and exchange in the capital accumulation process is successfully foregrounded. As it is with all first-rate scholarly works, readers are invited to revisit presuppositions and raise new questions. The potential for interdisciplinary dialogue is immense in this regard. Christophers is keenly aware of how “other factors” and “the wider panoply of forces” contribute to the reproduction of capitalism vis-à-vis the balancing role of the law (pp. 146, 168, 208). It is also clearly stated that “the ideas of law-as-leveling and of spatial (or indeed temporal) fixes are not—and should not be construed as—mutually exclusive” (p. 210). Future political-economic research on these factors and ideas will be stimulated by the fascinating thesis of The Great Leveler.

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People and Planning: Report of the Committee on Public Participation in Planning (The Skeffington Committee Report) Peter Shapely. London, UK, and New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. 71 pp. £100.00 cloth (ISBN 9780415827874). Reviewed by Michael R. Glass, Urban Studies Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. People and Planning is a British government report originally released in 1969 to provide recommendations for encouraging public participation in local planning. It is now republished by Routledge as part of their Studies in International Planning History series edited by Helen Miller, which reprints influential texts on the theory and practice of city and regional planning. As with other entries in this series, People and Planning (otherwise referred to as the Skeffington Committee Report) features a new introductory essay that places the original report into its historic context and evaluates its broader importance to planning. The Skeffington Committee Report examined how the British public could become engaged in the early stages of local development plans. The report was motivated by a sense that local planning processes were disrupted by misapprehensions between the public and the planning profession. Public confidence in the system was declining because of the bureaucratic and centralized character of large-scale development planning. Consequently,

the Town and Country Planning Act 1968 mandated that planning authorities publicize development plans and include feedback from affected residents. The law, however, lacked specific guidance for how to improve local participation. Therefore, the Labor government tasked Arthur Skeffington (Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington and Private Secretary to the Minister for Housing and Local Government) to provide recommendations for publicizing the work of planning authorities and for enhancing public participation. His committee gained input from more than 400 organizations and individuals, and although the report’s impact was originally limited, it nevertheless marks an important moment in the evolution of British town planning, bringing about more recognition of the different stakeholders affected by expert-led redevelopment plans. The report explains how the planning process can go awry through miscommunication or hostility between planners and the public. By engaging the public earlier in the planning process, these concerns might be avoided. The committee emphasizes that such participation would not mean that planners or elected representatives would become entirely deferential to the public; rather, they stress that it is elected officials who must make the final decision about a plan’s content, and who should determine what participation entails in their jurisdiction. This principle reflects the report’s focus on planners rather than the public. The report is organized around three core

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sections: the first describing the general context for plan making, the second describing techniques for enhancing participation and publicity, and the third explaining how these techniques could be applied to both structural and local planning. The report describes how public participation functioned within the existing system, where the parts of each local planning authority (consisting of authority members, officers, and councils) held legally prescribed roles. The Skeffington Report uses this context to recommend instances where additional public participation can be included within this structure, rather than proposing systemic overhauls. Despite public participation being a central concept, it is crudely defined as “sharing in the formulation of policies and proposals” (1). This leaves considerable room for local interpretation, and potentially for participation that doesn’t give real power to the public (Arnstein 1969). The Skeffington Committee Report admits that the local capacity of planning authorities to incorporate greater engagement varies, but they place the burden for participation elsewhere. Through the report the authors argue that the role of the public is to understand and support the planning authority through feedback and comment, rather than the planning authority providing plans that reflect community needs. The Skeffington Report’s key recommendations include keeping the public informed of new plans throughout the planning process, using community development officers to conduct outreach to underrepresented members of the public, and increasing public education about the way local planning works in the United Kingdom. Although there is merit to all of these recommendations, the report reflects an expertcentered and partial perspective regarding what public participation can entail. Reading the Skeffington Report some fifty years after its publication illustrates the logic of planning used during urban development in the postwar United Kingdom. In his history of postwar planning, Taylor (1998) noted the

1960s were characterized by a “systems view” that saw each planned unit as interconnected with other spaces, and by a “rational process” that mandated predictable decision-making processes, concluding that together they reflect the “high water-mark of modernist optimism in the post-war era” (Taylor 1998, 60). This rationality is evident in the report sections dealing with the development planning and plan-making process, wherein the role for each plan is outlined, and the way that the plans fit with planning at other spatial scales is explained. With that being said, certain responsibilities for the planning profession will remain familiar to modern readers, such as the tensions between development and historic preservation, and the need to develop plans that are economically and politically practicable. The modern preface to the Skeffington Report by Peter Shapely is likely to be of equal interest to the actual report, giving it deeper historiographic context. He notes that the Report was criticized after its publication for being too vague, too weak, and nothing more than an effort to “educate” the public on the planners’ perspective. These flaws meant that local officials were all too ready to subvert the report’s recommendations to meet their own agendas. Despite these weaknesses, Shapely argues the Report is historically significant. He notes that it signified a key moment where British planning began to recognize the need to engage with the public, just as public groups began to reject modernist principles of planning. The report’s values of education, engagement, and outreach are now, Shapely argues, “accepted normative principles in the rhetoric of planning” (xix). The Skeffington Committee Report thus reflects an early recognition by the state that the public had a legitimate voice in decision making affecting their own environment. References Arnstein, S. R. 1969. A ladder of citizen participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35 (4): 216–24. Taylor, N. 1998. Urban planning since 1945. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Collaboration in Indigenous Research Jay T. Johnson and Soren C. Larsen, eds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2013. 248 pp., photos, illustrations, index. $22.95 paper (ISBN 978-0-87071-722-2). Reviewed by Annette Watson, Department of Political Science, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.

How can one be a geographer without reproducing the discipline’s colonial assumptions and relationships? How to develop a “decolonized” geographical knowledge has been a question dogging many critical scholars, especially those who conduct field work. Recent debates over the ethics of the Bowman Expeditions has led some to suggest that the answer is largely a retreat from empirical projects and from field work, whereas others, like the scholars writing in A Deeper Sense of Place, have mapped out a different path to decolonize the discipline in its work with Indigenous communities. “[R]esearch between academics and Indigenous peoples is pointing toward more ethical possibilities, which we describe here as a ‘deeper sense of place,’” write editors Jay T. Johnson and Soren C. Larsen in their introduction to the volume (p. 7). This idea of “place” is necessarily constituted by the Indigenous peoples that are more than mere “informants” in the research process, but influence the design of empirical and theoretical research: through collaborative practices, or through becoming academic geographers themselves. Most important, the scholars

in this volume, both Native and nonNative, engage with Indigenous intellectual traditions that reformulate our understandings of geographical field work practices. The book is divided into three parts: “Poetics, Politics, Practice;” “Reimagining Landscape, Environment, and Management;” and “Telling Stories in the Classroom”—although the bulk of essays fall within the first two sections. Each essay, however, aims to trouble the conceptual divide between “researcher” and “researched,” as well as trouble the idea of an empirical knowledge borne from an objective perspective. For example, in the first contribution, “Footprints Across the Beach: Beyond Researcher-Centered Methodologies,” authors Suchet-Pearson, Wright, Lloyd, Burarranga, and Hodge highlight how families are necessarily embedded in research practices. Thus they also challenge the binary understandings of researcher and researched. They write, “[l]imiting consideration of research collaborations to the role played by each individual researcher does an injustice to the relational network of beings the individual is embedded within,” and they note how the presence of whole families in field work practices “actively and constantly shape the type of research we want to do and the type of research we can do” (p. 32). They further argue that producing geographical knowledge can take place through “[a]n ethics in which relationships, responsibilities, and accountabilities are no longer contained within the researcher–researched, or even researcher–researcher dynamic, but draw in a range of other nonresearcher agencies” (p. 36).

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Similarly, RDK Herman engages the metaphor of the canoe in his contribution, “In the Canoe: Intersections in Space, Time, and Becoming,” to highlight how the research journey is both an empirical quest as well as a spiritual one, for even the non-Native researcher. He writes, “[t]he research project is a subjourney within one’s life voyage” (p. 70). It is a perspective echoed by the contribution by Laurie Richmond in her account, “Anagyuk (Partner),” as a non-Native befriending an Alaska Native elder; she concludes that “being a partner isn’t in the talking so much as in the doing” (p. 76)—with the academic writing almost an afterthought, rather than being the purpose of that cross-cultural connection. Field work is not a monolithic endeavor, nor a simple binary of “home” and “abroad,” as noted by many geographers across the discipline; the chapters by Fermantez and by Johnson provide excellent examples of how academics who are Indigenous negotiate the research process and present nonbinary understandings of geographic field work. Johnson’s chapter, for example, “Kaitiakitanga: Telling the Stories of Environmental Guardianship,” usefully describes how the Ma¯ori ways of knowing differed from his own Indigenous perspective of the Great Plains of North America, underscoring how Indigenous perspectives are themselves not to be treated as a monolith. The chapter by Fermantez, “Rocking the Boat: Indigenous Geography at Home in Hawai’i,” is immediately instructive for any academic advisor of students coming from nonWestern perspectives; he writes about the academy itself as a field work site, and the challenges as well as insights that his Indigeneity brings to his academic endeavors. These perspectives at once problematize the researcher– researched binary as well as show how Indigenous intellectual traditions can and do shape the geographical research agenda. Significantly, many of the authors locate their ethics not only within Indigenous intellectual traditions and responses to colonization, but also through critical social theory, especially feminist theory, a field that has also advocated practices of coauthorship and other ways of sharing narrative power in practical ways. In this and other instances, the authors in this volume are not advocating a wholesale rejection of field work practices or the geographic theoretical tradition. Not only do these authors engage with critical studies, but also develop these ideas of “place” as a marriage of both humanistic geography as well as Indigenous geography: Johnson’s contribution, for example, most clearly articulates the ways that Ma¯ori “sense of place” can extend phenomenological approaches that have engaged with how

language and speech “creates the world, bringing forth the earth as a collection of human places.” The Ma¯ori, Johnson writes, understand their oral tradition as “a property of the animate earth, in which humans participate,” and thus “Ma¯ori see knowledge as involving an inseparable relationship between the world of matter and the world of spirit. In Ma¯ori understandings of the world, the Cartesian dichotomy between an observing, thinking self and the outside cannot exist” (p. 146). In his and in other chapters, authors show the ways that Western and Indigenous intellectual traditions are not wholly oppositional, but can inform each other to create new geographical understandings. Tellingly, Fermantez notes that his training in the geographic discipline “has allowed me to fulfill my kuleana (rights and responsibilities) to academic and Indigenous communities” (p. 122). Clearly demonstrated through this volume is an important contribution from Indigenous intellectual traditions: the idea of “story” and “storytelling” as a way of communicating geographical knowledge. This perspective is often grounded in the field of Indigenous studies, following Sioux scholar Vine Deloria’s (1969) famed critique of “Anthros and their Friends,” who he claimed use far too many footnotes and arcane phrasing, instead of communicating their work with the Indigenous communities that are the subjects of the research. Indeed, there are very few footnotes in this volume, and a deep engagement with storytelling as a conscious attempt to make geographical knowledge accessible to a variety of Western and non-Western intellectual traditions. A variety of experimental forms of storytelling are represented in this volume; Suchet-Pearson et al., for example, utilize a technique of switching authorial “voices” in their process of collaboration that resemble the dialogue of a play. Richmond’s essay, by contrast, itself reads less like social science and more as creative nonfiction. And Larson, in his chapter on “The Micropolitics of Storytelling in Collaborative Research,” describes that story is more than just a way to represent geographical knowledge; he argues how as a non-Native, “I gained an identity in the community as the places I inhabited and moved through were ‘storied’ and connected together into a narrative shared by the group” (p. 90). In a practical sense, this meant that he as a researcher changed in the process of his collaboration with the Cheslatta-Carrier Nation. The positionalities and practices demonstrated in this book decisively do not adhere to the model of the objective researcher in the white lab coat. It is a perspective echoed by all of the non-Native and Native researchers contributing to this volume: that to be “situated” (à la

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Haraway) in one’s research practice means not just that one’s personal and subjective experience matter in the production of knowledge, but that research praxis necessarily involves personal as well as professional flexibility. Indeed, these contributions underscore this model of the researcher: not as a “heroic explorer” set to “discover” places outside of himself or herself, but a geographer who is humble and changed in the face of collaborative processes and cross-cultural research. The implication is that research with Indigenous communities is ethical when the researcher is adaptive—and arguably, this makes for a difficult grant or research proposal. Nevertheless, the inductive research demonstrated in this volume shows what can be gained from being adaptive and learning from Indigenous communities, and the challenge to the discipline is to prioritize funding these kinds of ethical engagements that are “open” to experimentation and collaborations outside of the academy. The authors of A Deeper Sense of Place work largely from the national perspectives of United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—arguably the sites of much of


the work thus far within this subfield of Indigenous geography. Hopefully, this volume will encourage additional Indigenous voices from many other regions to contribute to geographical knowledge and to publish within the field of geography. I would argue that this volume presents an important pathway for a discipline concerned with “writing the world.” Both Native and non-Native contributors argue that the discipline has a range of tools and positionalities that need not be wholly abandoned to “decolonize” research. Therefore, rather than advocating an almost exclusive return to the text as the geographer’s primary engagement, and rather than assume that the field researcher is by definition “the colonizer,” and geographic knowledge necessarily a colonial product, A Deeper Sense of Place shows how a retreat from field work is not only undesirable, but antithetical to a decolonized geographical praxis. Reference Deloria, V. 1969. Custer died for your sins: An Indian manifesto. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.



The Water Knife Paolo Bacigalupi. New York, NY: Knopf Doubleday, 2015. 384 pp. $10.00 paper (ISBN 978-1-46929832-0); $25.95 cloth (ISBN 9780-3853-5287-1). Reviewed by Kerri Jean Ormerod, Department of Geography, University of Nevada, Reno, NV.

The unique socioenvironmental resource challenges facing the western United States are manifold. Unprecedented drought, unequal and uneven effects of water shortage, and militant standoffs challenging the authority of the federal government have recently captured the public’s attention. Drought, however, is a slow-moving disaster that rarely motivates novelists or filmmakers. The institutions governing water are even less compelling for popular audiences. Paolo Bacigalupi’s latest novel, Water Knife, bravely explores a subject largely avoided by others: the intraconnectivity of western water rights and the threat of long-term shortages. As an award-winning science fiction writer and a former editor for High Country News, Bacigalupi is well positioned to take on the challenging topic and translate it into popular fiction. Set at the epicenter of climate change impacts in the United States, the story is fueled by western water law’s ruthless identification of clear winners and losers in times of drought, and Bacigalupi uses this to establish the motive for violent conflict between the water users. The central tension in Water Knife is the fragility of water security and the furious pursuit of valuable water rights on the Colorado River: the lifeblood for millions in the blistering Southwest. He envisions a competitive and violent society of haves and have-nots where California is content,

Texas is devastated, Arizona is fighting for its survival, and Nevada is outcompeting its rivals. In this fiercely dystopic world most cities are dead, or drying and dying. While the privileged few maintain a comfortable living in heavily policed and walled-off towers of luxury called arcologies (repurposing a term coined by architect Paolo Soleri, from an idea earlier advanced by Buckminster Fuller, and even Frank Lloyd Wright), state “guardies” defend their borders from throngs of wretched migrants seeking relief from the nightmare of daily existence. The modern noir-like mystery follows a small cast of characters through a cynical, dark vision of western water scarcity. In Bacigalupi’s shadowy and murderous near future, water managers are sinister people willing to do what it takes to get ahead, regardless of the costs. Angel Velasquez is a water lawyer-assassin working for Catherine Case, the “Queen of the Colorado,” who is a fictionalized version of Pat Mulroy, the former manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority. Case is the all-powerful mastermind who keeps Las Vegas casinos and arcologies alive through brutal enforcement of water law backed by armed militias. She employs security teams and water knives like Angel to keep the water flowing. Lucy Monroe is an earnest, Pulitzer-winning, muckraking Arizona journalist covering the carnage with hashtags such as #PhoenixDowntheTubes. Maria and Sarah are friends who hail from drought-ravaged Texas. Like other Texas “refugees” and “bangbang girls” they are desperate and attempting to escape to wetter states. Bacigalupi’s Water Knife accepts the deep material connections of hydraulic society, joined in a series of shared resources stored in dams and conveyed in aqueducts built by the federal government. His fiction is informed by a

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supersizing of the implicit powers of hydraulic society, where connectivity is said to concentrate power in the hands of the elite. In the near future, western states still seek out water rights and look to the federal government to uphold decrees and impose injunctions. The Supreme Court and the Bureau of Reclamation endure, but the role of the federal government is severely diminished. Bacigalupi describes a near breakdown in the rule of law where a water lawyer is cast as the protagonist and water rights are merely a MacGuffin—a plot device that is never fully revealed. The pursuit of previously unfiled Indian water rights acknowledges the ability of the federal government to adjudicate and enforce claims; however, with the passing mention of a State Independence and Sovereignty Act (once near the beginning, and again near the end), Bacigalupi breezily discards the mediating force of the federal government and the free movement of people across state lines. Although water rights are central to the plot, there is paltry explanation of the prior appropriation doctrine, the Colorado River Compact, or Federal Reserve rights, all of which set the stage for the ensuing water war. On its face, it seems unfair to critique Water Knife because the legal principles are vague, unclear, and even contradictory, but the lack of sufficient attention to water rights is not made up for by interesting characters, compelling plot, or an imaginative alternative future. The citizens of the West have an immensely managerial relationship with nature. Infrastructure and legal institutions structure the future and affect all facets of life. The author assumes readers have a hefty amount of background knowledge


regarding the resource challenges facing the Southwest, however Bacigalupi does not engage the politics that determine the possible. Instead he chooses to describe the terror and descent into disaster, which is not interesting on its own. Much like the journalism described in Water Knife, the text itself reads like “collapse pornography,” a gory horror where the future effects of climate change are catastrophic and all-consuming. Bacigalupi’s portrayal of “Big Daddy Drought” plays to basic fears about climate change. Although reviewers suggest that Water Knife might be a conceivable cautionary tale with important predictive qualities, Bacigalupi presents a future that doesn’t anticipate strategically rational problem solving and in doing, the book serves to obfuscate our understanding of western water policy and overstate the motive for water wars. In contrast to the warring states that are the subject of Water Knife, officials from California, Arizona, and Nevada are currently negotiating reductions in use of Colorado River water in an effort to stave off drastic inflexible shortage sharing agreements. Although the administration of water rights can be conflict-inducing, it is important to remember it can also drive cooperation. This is true even in times of drought. Water Knife is a cinematic story. It has more in common with a summer blockbuster than a science fiction novel. It is action packed, but it is vapid, with underdeveloped characters and a predictable twist. It is not educational or edifying, but readers looking for an entertaining, quick-paced doomsday thriller might find it worthy of their time.



Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and the Book of Job H. H. Shugart. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2014. xii and 370 pp., maps, diagrams, chart, satellite images, photographs, notes, index. $45.00 cloth (ISBN 9780231169080); $44.99 electronic (ISBN 9780231537698). Reviewed by William A. Dando, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN. This scholarly and eloquent book explores the basis of environmental change and the role of humans in exacerbating this change from basic physical and human geographical perspectives. The “Whirlwind Speech” from Job, chapters 38 to 42, provides the author with the outline for the book and emphasizes the intrinsic connectedness of the Earth’s systems, systemic change through time, and their bonds with human survival on Earth. The author, H. H. Shugart, holder of the W. W. Corcoran Chair of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, calls attention to the resonance between the Earth’s natural history and the wisdom of Biblical scriptures. He divides his 370page book into a short preface, eleven unique chapters, notes, and an index. Chapter 1, “Introduction,” focuses on Job and the Whirlwind Speech as an account of planetary creation and functioning. Chapter 2, “Laying the Foundation of the Earth,” concentrates on the origin of the Earth. Chapter 3, “Taming the Unicorn, Yoking the Aurochs,” discusses plant and animal domestication along with the beginning of human–Earth surface alteration. Chapter 4, “Freeing the Onager,” identifies the Earth’s keystone species and the Earth as a human-dominated planet. Chapter 5, “Bounding the Seas,” describes the Earth when sea

levels rise and fall. Chapter 6, “The Ordinances of the Heavens and Their Rule on Earth,” deals with life adaptations and the cycles of life. Chapter 7, “The Dwelling of the Light and the Paths to Its Home,” emphasizes ramifications of wind patterns, ocean currents, and the global energy balance. Chapter 8, “Making the Ground Put Forth Grass,” explores climate–vegetation relationships in a changing physical world. Chapter 9, “Feeding the Lions,” cites the complexity of biological diversity, the food and water requirements of life forms, the need for conservation of species, and the potential for megafaunal extinctions. Chapter 10, “Making Weather and Influencing Climate,” reviews human weather engineering and climate modification attempts by con men, weather mountebanks, dreamers, and confidence tricksters. Chapter 11, “Conclusion: Comprehending the Earth,” weaves together the author’s views on the Earth’s creation, the Earth’s system interactions, biodiversity, and the challenge of comprehending the complexity of the Earth’s foundations and workings. The author questions if humankind will take heed of the current warning signs given to them and change their exploitive and denigrating environmental policies. He contends that the lives of generations to come depend on decisions we make today. Shugart begins each chapter with a passage or passages from the Book of Job, and at times from the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He concentrates on chapter 38 through 42 of Job, the Whirlwind Speech by God to Job and his friends. Here God questions Job concerning his knowledge of the workings of the Earth systems and the interaction between its systems. The speech also describes humankind’s role in changing natural systems. In essence, God asks Job and all humankind, if they really understand the workings of

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the systems of the planet on which they live. Shugart’s book responds to some of the most critical environmental questions in the speech. Many readers might question why the author created his book outline on chapters from the Book of Job. Climatologists attempting to create the historical climatology of the Holy Land, however, have used the Bible as a source of insights into weather, climate, environmental degradation, and water use and misuse. The Book of Job was written at least 2,500 years ago. Job’s home was in the land of Uz in Edom, east of the Jordan River. He was a very wealthy pastoralist whose wealth was measured by the number of sheep, oxen, camels, and donkeys he possessed. Living in a semiarid harsh environment, caring for large animal herds required Job to have knowledge of weather, climate, and natural hazards. To insure his survival, the survival of those who worked for him, and his animals, patriarchs such as Job tried to appease God’s wrath by faith, good works, and various sacrificial ceremonies. Job was an upright and God-fearing man, his faith selected to be tested by taking all his possessions from him. In this test, Job also was inflicted with terrible infirmities. Friends came to ease his sufferings, and Job contended that he had done nothing to deserve what had befallen him. God then entered a conversation between Job and his friends, and he asked Job a series of questions from a whirlwind. Job could not provide suitable answers for the questions, and he humbled himself before God by saying that he was making statements about Earth systems without knowledge of these systems. God saw that Job’s goodness in the past and his uprightness was not because of his wealth but because of his faith. Job’s fortune was returned and doubled (Job 42:16). The Whirlwind Speech begins with these words: “Who is this that darkens council without knowledge?” If most modern decision makers making laws or allocating funds to temper aspects of environmental pollution or climate change were asked the same question, they also would not be able to provide an accurate answer. Modern science pursues truth. It is a way of learning and knowing, and it is a process. Understanding in modern science involves observations, experiments, and analyses. Basic facts and principles are constantly being revised, changed, or abandoned when new information or new understandings develop. The same method of learning, understanding, and survival living was followed in Job’s day. The current politicization of global sciences, particularly concerning the impact of human-augmented global warming and the tensions among cosmologists, evolutionists, and religious fundamentalists often erupts into


fatuous debates that cloud scientific findings. Belief in a religious truth by members of a denomination, group, or sect is one of the weakest arguments in opposition of a scientific position or scientific research. What the Book of Job clearly presents in the Whirlwind Speech is an account of the creation of the Earth along with examples of the way it functions. It asks humans if they understand the workings of the planet on which they live. In response to the questions asked of Job, the author begins his discussion of the foundations of the Earth by examining seven biblical accounts of creation and reporting what scientists contend were our solar system’s origins. He penned a gripping and fascinating yarn, involving supernova detonations, colossal cosmic vortices, thermonuclear star ignitions, gravity crush, and interplanetary collision. He synthesizes a vast amount of detail, rare deaths of space objects, atmospheres forming and boiling away, and celestial organization from space chaos. More so, he observes that the foundations of the Earth and atmosphere are evolving. Humans have learned much, but there is much more to learn. The author contends that all scientific inquiry must now incorporate the dimensions and actions of humans, for as their technology and science increase, their capability as planetary agents changes. Shugart then moves on to the topics of animal and plant domestication and the consequent alteration of the surface of the Earth. He presents a notion of the ways animals were domesticated and asks what the implications were of such domestications for human activity. Beginning with the unicorn and then the aurochs, he notes some animals cannot be domesticated. Summarizing the necessary conditions for animal domestication, he quotes many specialists on this topic and contends that dogs were the first domesticated animals and control of animal breeding was the key to the whole process. Taming the aurochs as well as cows, goats, sheep, and pigs occurred with the invention of crop agriculture in the Fertile Crescent region, the Holy Land of western Asia. Evidence of domesticated cattle has been found in oases of western Egypt as early as 7,700 BCE and in Anatolia from 8,300 BCE. The domestication of animals and plants provided a stable food source to humans and gave humans new abilities to change the face of the Earth. Land abuse, denudation, and overgrazing converted many “Gardens of Eden” into sparse grasslands and deserts. Continuing his discussion on anthropogenic landscapes, the author briefly discusses the onager. The onager is a horse-like animal domesticated probably in the third millennium BCE. They were used for agriculture and military


purposes, but they became redundant when humans found horses better work and draft animals. Now onagers are an endangered species. They will become another loss of biotic diversity from a range of human pressure. Humans, technology, domesticated animals, and machines change landscapes, environments, and climates remarkably quickly. Combined they are a powerful force for change. Changes include unwanted vermin, dispersal of weeds, legions of undesirable bird species, mammals, and insects that rapidly adapt to the food sources and environments created in a human-dominated landscape. Introduction of old diseases to new settings and the emergence of novel diseases worldwide is intertwined into the human role as a carrier or transmitter. The term Anthropocene is used to describe the new Earth foundation epoch. Because human actions have produced an indelible mark on world landscapes, the author asks what the effects of humans on seascapes are. He reports that the bounds of the sea (sea level) were from 85 to 270 m higher 100 million years ago than today. In the past 2.5 million years, sea level has varied as a result of ice melt from continental glaciers. Oceans were 130 m lower than today 20,000 years ago. In the past 2.7 million years of the Pleistocene Epoch, a remarkable amount of water was taken from the oceans and placed on land (ice masses). Now, the glaciers and ice masses are melting, and ice melt water is increasing sea level. The current assessment of humangenerated “greenhouse gas climate change” is an increase of sea level from 1 to 1.5 m. The potential effect of sea level rise is greatest and its impact most devastating in the poorer nations of the world in coastal Asia and South America. To better understand the hot and cold periods in Earth’s history and temperature’s effect on precipitation and storms, Shugart reviews the ordinances of the heavens and their impact on Earth. He employs aspects of phenology, the systematic observation and timing of annual cycles of natural change, a strongly observation-based branch of science. Plant phenology is largely regulated by light and temperature. Changes in climate can produce a mismatch between plant timing and environmental timing, which disrupts ecological processes such as growing degree days, chilling degree days, and light change. Excellent phenological data sets include Robert Marsham and his relative observations of plants on his estate in England from 1736 to 1947. Another significant record was a fifty-one-year data set collected by Charles Keeling who began measuring levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere atop the Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii in 1958. Keeling’s observations showed increasing levels of

carbon dioxide associated with the burning of fossil fuels. Increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were proven to be strongly associated with an increase in the Earth’s atmospheric temperature. A phenological network across Europe, twenty-one countries and more than 125,000 observations, show that spring is arriving 2.3 days earlier each decade. Weather satellite records indicate that the Northern Hemisphere was “greening up” eight days earlier over the decade of 1981 to 1991. Increased atmospheric temperatures have produced this change. Continuing his analysis of the impact of solar radiation and the greenhouse effect on life forms and processes on Earth, Shugart addresses the Joban questions regarding winds, ocean currents, and the global energy balance. He notes that the path of radiation from the sun, the systematic patterns of winds, and the currents of the oceans are means to circulate heat above the Earth. The author comments on how the hydrologic cycle and the global energy balance reflect the remarkable feedbacks and interactions of major Earth systems. Acknowledging that rain (i.e., moisture) was not a commodity to be wasted in the land of Uz or in other biblical lands and that all life forms require water in the creation story, rain was provided for all creatures on Earth and their supporting ecosystems (Job 38:25–27 and Isaiah 35:6–7). Job, as an extremely successful pastoralist, had to know about deserts, storms, seasonal patterns of vegetation, arid land underground water seeps, cloud types, and natural hazards. The geography of plants has changed 35 to 45 percent since the time of Alexander von Humboldt and is changing faster in response to human-enhanced global warming. There has also been considerable displacement of vegetation as a result of expanded world agriculture, grazing systems, and urban sprawl. The 2°C to 5°C increase in average global temperature in 2050 predicted by computer climate models will affect vegetation and traditional vegetal regions severely. The Joban whirlwind question, “Can we feed the lions?” poses a serious question regarding the survival of animal life and the well-being of humankind. A remarkable amount of time, water, and energy is required to feed the lions on top of the animal food chain and humans. There is always a potential for extinction. Periodic catastrophes have been associated with mass extinctions of higher forms of life. The potential for humans to eliminate vast numbers of species as a result of climate change and destruction of ecosystems is great. Forest denudation and fires, human hunting and destruction of animal habitats, the introduction of animals into new environments

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without natural number growth control, pollution of water, and human population growth all contribute to extinctions. Early humans had a keen interest in favorable growing seasons and had a fear of drought, floods, crop failures, and famine, so much so that the Indo-European root of the word divine derives from a rain and storm sky god. As a result of a change in the traditional climate and associated drought, the Maya population of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula decreased from 4 million to a few hundred thousand in about 150 years. To reduce the impact of climate change and drought, the Maya and other peoples conducted ceremonies and rain dances, sacrificed humans, and held prayer vigils. In the United States rainmakers such as Charles M. Hatfield and Wilhelm Reich were among the best known. Hundreds of rainmakers and even more rainmaking schemes were employed from 1800 to the 1990s. None were statistically successful. Job, who asked for an explanation for his terrible misfortunes, received an abrupt comeuppance from God; that is, “Who is this that darkens council by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2). Shugart enlightens all who seek to gain more understanding of the Earth’s complex physical systems. He has written something of great value. Following a classic “ladder of evidence” writing style, his book is a beautiful example of scientific discourse beginning by examining an all-encompassing set of questions about the Earth’s creation, its systems’ functioning, biodiversity, and extinction. Utilizing the Whirlwind Speech from the Book of Job as an outline and God’s challenge to Job to learn and comprehend the Earth and its workings, Shugart cautions pseudoscientists not to speak on topics they have never studied. All serious scholars realize that the Earth is a place that “life” has made much different from what it otherwise might be. The effects of modern technical-based culture, with a population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, have played and will continue to play a critical role in


survival on Earth. This book sends a strong message to all who criticize those who have expressed concern for humankind’s destructive modifications of the foundations of Earth, and it stresses the need for all to desist from their thoughtless, life-endangering acts. The book is not an easy book to read because each sentence is a fact or concept, and every idea is relevant and important. Time is required to savor all the facets involved in the Earth systems and their foundations and how the author weaves them together. Certain statements or phrases are repeated and a number of them have been simply reworded. Some readers might be overwhelmed by the vast scope of topics discussed and by the flood of words used to describe and analyze these topics. This reader and reviewer would have liked more graphics, tables, and maps that would make visual the concepts and ideas presented in the text. Finally, the contributions of the scientific giants of the past are noted, but more should have been written about the many contributions made in recent decades by modern earth scientists and the tools and instruments employed in their works. I would highly recommend Shugart’s Foundations of the Earth to scholars, students, and those in the general public who are interested in learning more about the intrinsic connectedness between the foundations of the Earth and human’s role in changing these foundations, however. The writing level is such that an educated reader can understand and gain much, even if not conversant with the topic. The use of jargon was avoided, the tone was inviting, and the word choices appealing. The book does include an impressive set of notes and bibliography. Notes do not distract the reader from the topic being discussed. The author clearly defends his primary argument that it is the interplay among social, cultural, economic, and institutional policies affecting the face of the Earth’s systems that shape the foundations of the Earth today. Both those who deny the environmental impact of human activities on Earth and its atmosphere and those who agree should read this book.



The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics Klaus Dodds, Merje Kuus, and Joanne Sharp, eds. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2016 [2013]. xxi and 548 pp., figures, maps, diagrams, photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $185.00 cloth (ISBN 9781409423805); $182.50 electronic (ISBN 978-1409472667). Reviewed by Yves Laberge, Institut d’études canadiennes et autochtones/Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. This somewhat overlooked Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, edited three years ago by Klaus Dodds, Merje Kuus, and Joanne Sharp, is now available in an e-book format, at a similar price, with the same contents and an equivalent number of pages. These twenty-eight thematic chapters often come with a wise one-word title, such as “Sovereignty,” “Neoliberalism,” “Borders,” “Resources,” “Women,” “Activists,” and so on. These specific angles for every chapter are one of the things that make this an original, cutting-edge reference book. This multiauthored book deserves a special presentation, as it introduces a clear dedication for a transdisciplinary apprehension of geography and geopolitics. This review essay highlights just some of the characteristics of this collective effort. In the opening pages, co-editor Klaus Dodds acknowledges the recent changes in this discipline and restates where critical geopolitics began: “Critical geopolitics was, in its earliest incarnations, envisaged as a critique of the takenfor-granted assumptions and approaches to the relationships between space and power in conventional or classical geopolitics and neighboring international relations (IR)”

(p. 15). This strong formulation should be pondered, repeated, and transmitted. In the pages that follow, many contributors mention some previous anthologies and similar landmark readers such as the co-edited Geopolitics Reader by Ó Tuathail, Dalby, and Routledge (2006). Incidentally here, as a tangible sign of continuity, the excellent foreword (“Arguing about Geopolitics”) in this Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics was written by the same Gerard Toal (or, in Irish, Gearóid Ó Tuathail), who was one of the co-editors of the ground-breaking Geopolitics Reader originally released in 1998 (Ó Tuathail, Dalby, and Routledge [1998] 2006). One tentative definition of critical geopolitics appears in this Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, first understood in reflexive terms by Toal as “inevitably a form of geopolitics itself. It is already compromised, already caught up in the mess of the forces conditioning its practitioners and shaping how they act in the world in opposition to a perceived ‘uncritical,’ ‘orthodox’ or ‘classical geopolitics’” (p. xx). Other perspectives are introduced further on. In the opening chapter, “The Origins of Critical Geopolitics,” John Agnew emphasizes the critical dimension when defining critical geopolitics, understood “as the critical sense that world politics is underpinned by a myriad of assumptions and schemas about the ways in which geographical divisions of the world, strategic plans, global images, and the disposition of the continents and oceans enter into the making of foreign policy and into the popular legitimation of those policies” (p. 19). Elsewhere in Chapter 1, Agnew reminds us that “critical geopolitics was from the start an open-ended work” (p. 28). Ironically, in his chapter centered on “Violence and Peace,” Nick Megoran reflects as well on the limits and excesses of criticism, arguing that “Critical geopolitics has thought more clearly about what

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it is against rather than what it is for” (p. 196). In another chapter, co-editor Merje Kuus notes that scholars must not elevate themselves as judges when looking at their discipline and colleagues’ works: “criticism must always include self-criticism” (p. 385). In almost every contribution, some useful definitions of geopolitics are provided, compared and criticized, especially in Chapter 9, “Reappraising Geopolitical Traditions.” Here, James Sidaway, Virginie Mamadouh, and Marcus Power situate how the discipline of geopolitics seemed to emerge as a form of “radical geography” during the mid-1970s under the pioneering influence of Yves Lacoste’s (1976, 1993) salient books and his influential international journal, Hérodote. Hérodote contributed to renewing the disciplinary limits of a more conventional form of geography in its inclusion of other fields such as international relations and war studies (p. 182). This peer-reviewed journal is still active today. Although allowing a limited attention to Lacoste’s works per se (see pp. 131, 182, 266), Dodds, Kuus, and Sharp’s Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics aptly acknowledges many of the changes and reorientations that happened in the recent decades within the spectrum of critical geopolitics. Nevertheless, these comparative, critical, often reflexive thoughts that sometimes include non-Anglophone thinkers and focus on the (anti)discipline’s evolution and renewed frameworks are what make this Companion valuable and grounded. In many ways, the dynamics of critical geopolitics appear to be quite unique in our academic world. More than most other fields and theoretical trends, today’s geopolitics seems to be constantly redefined, reconsidered, rethought, reappraised, reconceived, and endlessly criticized even by its own, most devoted practitioners (p. 169). This odd situation is possibly due to the constant oscillation between opposed conceptions of geopolitics: geopolitics as made by states and the globalized military complex versus geopolitical research conducted in universities—notwithstanding the down-to-earth geopolitics reappropriated in civil society by activists, nongovernmental organizations, and social movements of all sides and formats (see Reinalda 2013; Dauvergne and LeBaron 2014). Here, Sidaway, Mamadouh, and Power acknowledge the subtle shift within the paradigm and aptly explain that “exactly what is meant by the term ‘geopolitics’ has changed in different historical and geographical contexts” (p. 169). Interestingly, the three authors of Chapter 9, “Reappraising Geopolitical Traditions,” underline the persisting presence of the colonial framework and worldviews in some geopolitical discourses and comment, “In so doing, it becomes evident


that imperial- and colonial-derived modes of thinking accompany and intertwine with the tradition” (p. 169). Just like anthropologists who should (in an ideal world) be aware of their own ethnocentrism, scholars in geopolitics must resist the temptation of always positioning themselves in the center of their own scheme of things whenever observing or commenting on any global phenomenon. Evidently, there can be many available points of departure for a research in geopolitics. This hefty Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics is divided into three general sections of themed essays. Incidentally, a full table of contents can now be seen on the Routledge web site because the original publisher, Ashgate, has changed hands. The first ten chapters reaffirm and sometimes question the foundations of geopolitics and bring in some original, interdisciplinary perspectives such as the constructionist dimension (Chapter 1) and visual culture (Chapter 4). Most contributors expose their own conception of this discipline or present an entry point to illustrate how they do critical geopolitics, sometimes using an original or unfrequented viewpoint. For example, relying on the previous works by Ó Tuathail and Dalby (Ó Tuathail, Dalby, and Routledge [1998] 2006), Martin Müller’s Chapter 2 insists on “The cardinal role of texts for critical geopolitics,” which is apparently “manifest in metaphors such as ‘writing global space,’ geopolitical scripts,’ or ‘geo-graphing’ as ‘earth-writing/describing.’” By following this newer approach, critical geopolitics is understood here “as textual deconstruction” (p. 51) or like “another form of meaning construction” (p. 53). Hence, this second chapter, titled “Text, Discourse, Affect and Things,” borrows and reconceptualizes the concept of discourse: “Instead of adopting an interpretive-explanatory stance, discourse research in critical geopolitics can also be concerned with structural properties of a text” (p. 57). Another notable example of an innovative approach can be found in Chapter 10, which includes remarks about how Hollywood movies can influence worldviews. Nick Megoran cites the works by the U.S. scholar Ellen Gorsevski (2004), mainly her book Peaceful Persuasion: The Geopolitics of Nonviolent Rhetoric, and her accurate observations about contemporary commercial films and “Hollywood as constantly reaffirming violence as the only possible solution to endangerment or injustice” (p. 196) when works that propose other nonviolent possibilities are marginalized in the mainstream U.S. media (Gorsevski 2004). The nine following essays in Part 2 are centered on “Sites.” Perhaps the most interesting portions of this book are those that take the reader outside the core sphere of


geopolitics; for example, in Chapter 11 on borders, in which Anssi Paasi introduces subfields such as “Border Studies” (p. 218). As we can see, the official delimitations are not the only way to define “the other” and separate groups (“Going beyond the lines,” p. 223). Among the strongest contributions, Shannon O’Lear’s piece on “Environment” (Chapter 16) seems comprehensive with an introduction of cutting-edge concepts such as the Anthropocene, characterized by our “new geological era defined by human-driven alterations to the earth’s environmental systems” (p. 307). Overall and unsurprisingly, the Foucauldian concept of power reappears constantly in various places, including a precise conceptualization and detailed articulation of this core concept in Paul Adams’s chapter on the media: “power is the ability to pursue and attain goals through mastery of one’s environment” (p. 308). The final, third section regroups nine contributions related to agents and agency; here, human agency is conceived by co-editor Merje Kuus as the “capacity to act” (p. 383). These essays try to isolate the actions of specific groups, communities, or professions to show their dynamics. For example, taking the example of the Bosnian conflict in Chapter 23 on “Journalists” perceived “as ‘professionals’ and ‘pundits’ of geopolitics” (p. 445), Alasdair Pinkerton’s discussion on objectivity in the media introduces concepts such as “anti-geopolitics” (p. 441). The last pages (Chapter 28, “Activists”) are not a conclusion as such, even though these final thoughts remind the reader about the structuring role of social representations of young activists through the media, especially in terms of bodies that are racially obvious and inevitably gendered, therefore contributing to frame and “refashioning the ideological landscape” (p. 534). Incidentally, although this concept itself does not appear in the index, many chapters refer to ideologies (see pp. 19, 136, 309, 317) and geopolitical imaginaries (pp. 388, 445) or how groups can perceive or misconceive “the other” in sometimes contradictory, opposite ways. As with most current handbooks, the Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics can be consulted from various entry points or even be explored randomly; either from its detailed index to find a discussion about a specific topic, or to be read normally from one cover up to the end. Unfortunately, all interesting essays cannot be discussed in this review essay. Every chapter comes as a clear presentation of some ongoing research trends within a given perspective, sometimes using a transdisciplinary approach that does not rely on just one discipline (or on the conjunction of two disciplines); instead, all contributors chose to take a given

concept as a starting point for an often rewarding conceptualizing exercise. As I was rereading the book, I realized the many ways in which geography (and it seems even more evident with critical geopolitics) have been insufflated and “invaded” by the concepts and frameworks that were typical of social sciences and cultural studies into countless reworked approaches owing much to transdisciplinarity, understood as an apprehension of a specific problem or topic from one concept instead of relying on just a single discipline. In other words, transdisciplinarity does not rely and does not even mention the disciplinary foundations of a research problem. This impression seems obvious in reading Chapter 17 discussing “The Global South,” in which Chih Yuan Woon discusses “The infusion of postcolonial theories into geography has bequeathed the discipline with critical epistemological and methodological reflections related to the pertinence of de-centering ‘Western’ knowledges and initially culturally sensitive scholarship across the North–South divide” (p. 323). Moreover, the fact that most chapters discuss theoretical matters (rather than case studies) is also a plus for readers who have in mind a topic for a particular case study, sometimes with some methodological imaginings, but with no tangible theoretical framework in mind. Making theory work or using and reappropriating existing theories for a specific context are important for any new researcher during the formative years. On the down side, some contributors give a very strong focus on the U.S. perspective when presenting a general topic and as a consequence leave aside the rest of the world. Examples are Chapter 7, “Radical Geopolitics,” and Chapter 12, “The State.” Such handbooks targeting an international audience with discussion of global issues should provide broader and diversified points of view. In sum, this largely jargon-free Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics can be read by at least two categories of readers: First, graduate students will find a diversified picture of this subfield and its current research trends. On the other hand, scholars in humanities and social sciences, international relations, and all the inbetween subfields from border studies to cultural studies would find here a comprehensive resource that has no equivalent in the English language. Among recent additions in this field, its nearest companion might be Florian Louis’s latest book Les grands théoriciens de la géopolitique (2016), which has not yet been translated into English. References Dauvergne, P., and G. LeBaron. 2014. Protest Inc.: The corporatization of activism. London, UK: Polity.

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Gorsevski, E. 2004. Peaceful persuasion: The geopolitics of nonviolent rhetoric. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Lacoste, Y. 1976. La géographie, ça sert, d’abord, à faire la guerre [First, geography is for making war]. Paris, France: Éditions Maspero. ———, ed. 1993. Dictionnaire de géopolitique [Dictionary of geopolitics]. Paris, France: Éditions Flammarion.


Louis, F. 2016. Les grands théoriciens de la géopolitique [The grand theoreticians of geopolitics]. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France. Ó Tuathail, G., S. Dalby, and P. Routledge. [1998] 2006. The geopolitics reader. London and New York: Routledge. Reinalda, B., ed. 2013. The Ashgate research companion to non-state actors. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.



Mapping Urban Practices Through Mobile Phone Data Paola Pucci, Fabio Manfredini, and Paolo Tagliolato. New York, NY: Springer International, 2015. vii and 90 pp., illustrations. $54.99 paper (ISBN 978-3-31914832-8); $39.99 electronic (ISBN 978-3-319-14833-5). Reviewed by Anna Kovacs-Györi, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. In the era of big data, the application of mobile phone data in scientific research is becoming more common for a wide variety of purposes, such as exploring mobility, the spatial structure of cities, human dynamics, commuting, and urban structure, just to mention some examples. The possibility of a much finer spatial and, as a presumably even more significant achievement, temporal scale analysis makes mobile phone data an outstanding data source, especially in geography, where such a detailed investigation was impossible applying only traditional data sets. Among the many aforementioned categories, urban mobility is one of the main topics where these novel data bring a wide variety of opportunities due to the role of mobility “as a key for describing the forms and the extent of different life practices and consumption patterns, producing diversified uses of the city” (p. 1). Nowadays, when more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, urban mobility becomes definitely fundamental. In case of human mobility, the emphasis is put on individual mobility quite often, not just describing, but also predicting it (Song et al. 2010). What about cities as a complex system? In this respect, the book offers a different way of thinking: Instead of focusing on individual

persons (not to mention privacy constraints), the authors swap viewpoints by analyzing the places to “observe the flow of people passing through them” (p. 59), which is more appropriate if the purpose is to depict the city dynamics and use the results to make our cities more livable. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of people are on the move in (or commute to) our bigger cities around the globe in each minute of the day. Traditional data sources (e.g., statistics, questionnaires, census) are unable to capture this dimension in quantity and complexity, especially not in (near) real time. One important question is whether new perspectives of applying mobile phone data for urban environments could be used for this purpose. What is probably even more important is this question: Can mobile phone data be integrated somehow into traditional data sets? If so, what limitations do they have, and how relevant are they for new findings regarding urban practices? Paola Pucci, Fabio Manfredini, and Paolo Tagliolato try to answer these questions in their book by performing various analyses in the Milan, Italy area. The results discussed in the book show that depending on some constraints and with some limitations using mobile phone data provide an absolutely useful source of information with regard to mapping urban practices. In my opinion the main significance of this book is not only the emphasis put on the advantages of applying mobile phone data for urban mobility analyses, but also the construction of a systematic view within spatiotemporal study of mobile phone data. Furthermore, the intention to define important rules and knowledge about this new type of research parallel with discussing how it can fit the existing “traditional” data sets is also remarkable. Last but not

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least, as an interesting aspect, the authors also deal with the issue of for what mobile phone data analysis is not appropriate. The book itself is short and compact, but at the same time very detailed and logical in terms of the content along with a consciously built structure that makes the text easy to follow. It consists of five chapters, approximating the format of a research paper: starting with a detailed description of the problem, followed by an overview of the literature, then extracting the actual research methods, studies, and results. Following these, in the end there are two short chapters, as a discussion, on other factors that are worth taking into consideration related to traditional data sets and policymaking. This work is the outcome of two interdisciplinary collaborative research projects related to scientific mobile phone data analysis. According to the authors, the complexity of the topic can be extracted into three different layers: First, for the representation of urban practices a geographic information system (GIS) environment is necessary, with variables and measures of mobile phone trends; second, there is a need for a methodological approach interpreting territorial dynamics; and third, without data mining and statistical analysis the work with mobile phone data is impossible to imagine. In the introduction, the authors highlight the role of social dimensions in mobility practices to capture the spatial and temporal variability of human behavior in cities—besides the actual methodology—but this still needs “new empirical and analytical approaches” (p. 1). According to them, this “analysis of the space–time variability of urban practices is difficult to achieve with traditional data sources,” and therefore they intend to examine the “opportunities and limits of mobile phone data in mapping the spatial dimension and the density of use of the city and its services” (p. 1). Probably the latter might be equivalent to what they describe using the notion of urban practices. The interpretation of urban practices varies to some degree in the book. The authors do not specify at the beginning what they take into account when talking about “practices.” Sometimes it is used as a synonym for mobility (or even together as “mobility practices”; see p. 1), but another time I have the feeling it means something more general for urban (human-activity-related) processes such as “the real use of cities” (p. 13), which adds functionality as well, not just spatial behavior. By all means, this is not remarkably confusing while reading, but a clear definition and distinction of urban practices in the introduction could have been useful to make it more unequivocal.


The authors ask the question, “How and why should we interpret mobile practices in the contemporary city?” (p. 2). The “how” represents their intention to define the methodologies, and the “why” is what the results can be used for, such as “to ensure efficiency, livability and equity in the organization of everyday lives” (p. 2). The overall aim defined in this part of the book is fully accomplished by the end. The authors’ findings can be definitely useful for researchers working with mobile phone data in terms of urban environments and human mobility. The comprehensive literature review provides a proper theoretical (and technical) background not just to experts on this topic, but to everyone who is interested in it, whereas the methodological part of the analyses shows many useful aspects of the practical part of the research (chapters 2 and 3). As important points, the authors distinguish different research fields based on the type of data, possible analyses, and their purposes. Besides, they also raise awareness of related issues, with privacy and data volume being the two key factors of working with mobile phone data. The strength of this part is that the authors make it clear how important it is to realize that different types of data are appropriate for different types of analyses. Even if the analysis would be possible, there are constraints due to the privacy or the data volume. Chapter 3 carries the main methodological content of the book by describing three different types of analysis, which are performed according to the three types of mobile phone data. These three data types are the following: mobile phone traffic registered by the network over the entire Lombardy region (“Erlang data,” which is a measure of the density of calls), localized and aggregated tracks of anonymized mobile phone users (origin–destination matrices, call detail record database), and the data of the mobile switching center, which is responsible for routing voice calls and text messages. The authors establish a thorough methodology using macro- and microscale scenarios, comparing activity patterns of similar context types below the city level based on land-use characteristics and socioeconomic profiles, also to help to find anomalies in the data. The effects and consequences of bigger, international events on urban mobility are analyzed and taken into consideration as well. This is definitely advantageous because the authors’ aim is to define rules and a systematic view on this kind of research in the longer term. Another possible application area is described with the third type of data, which makes it possible to distinguish and monitor tourists (mainly from abroad). All in all, the main finding of the analyses is the proven opportunity of taking temporary populations into


consideration, which is otherwise almost impossible or just simply too expensive using traditional data sets such as questionnaires and census data. All kinds of temporary populations are highly significant for urban planning policies and facility management, however. Most of the time the text is illustrated with useful figures and maps to interpret the important spatial aspects of the results. Unfortunately, in some cases their quality is poor for a geography or GIS-related book; for example, simply too small for the printed version of the book, or lack of scale, labels, and legend in case of maps. This becomes even more conspicuous when compared to the high-quality textual content. My overall evaluation of the book is quite positive both in terms of expectation and content. As I have already

mentioned, the book offers a good theoretical and practical background not only for experts, but also as a foundation for researchers interested in the future research in this field. Due to the systematic construction of the topic and the objective evaluation of the role of mobile phone data in urban environmental research, the book is worth reading. The strength is not directly in the methodology, but rather in the intention of establishing a framework for existing and future methodologies and research in this field. Reference Song C., Z. Qu, N. Blumm, and A. L. Barabási. 2010. Limits of predictability in human mobility. Science 327 (5968): 1018–21.

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REVIEW ESSAY Abolitionist Geographies. Martha Schoolman. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 240 pp., illustrations, notes, index. $25.00 paper (ISBN 978-08166-8075-7), $75.00 cloth (ISBN 978-0-8166-8074-0). Abolitionist Places. Martha Schoolman and Jared Hickman, eds. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. x and 169 pp., illustrations, notes, index. $160.00 cloth (ISBN 978-0-415-81453-9). The Lives of Frederick Douglass. Robert S. Levine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. vii and 373 pp., illustrations, notes, index. $29.95 cloth (ISBN 978-0674-05581-0). Reviewed by William Boelhower, Departimento di Lingue e Letterature Straniere, Università di Padua, Padua, Italy. In her welcome interdisciplinary approach to U.S. abolitionism, Martha Schoolman convincingly demonstrates how a critical understanding of geography can help us to rethink antebellum abolitionist movements in the wider context of hemispheric and Atlantic world studies. Central to the phase in U.S. history defined by expansionism and the ideology of Manifest Destiny, abolitionism helped to link these two concerns with the problems of free labor and the rising tensions between federal and state law and nation and section, all quintessentially geocultural concerns. Although Schoolman discusses a rather limited range of abolitionist authors and these almost exclusively from the United

States, this allows her to dwell at length on the effects that their travels to the Caribbean, within the United States, and around the Atlantic had on their work. Above all, Schoolman studies how travel and movement across borders led her authors to develop a variety of oppositional stances and solutions to the problem of slavery. It should also be said that these stances changed considerably over the years running from Emancipation in the West Indies (1833) to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 in the United States, the Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859. Focusing on geography as a salient discourse of political intervention and narrative investment, Schoolman is able to illuminate the kaleidoscopic and often divisive nature of abolitionism, particularly in the critical moment when the very concept of nationhood was being challenged. Thus, the travels of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joseph John Gurney, and William Ellery Channing lead them to a flurry of questions: Is emancipation in the West Indies a practical model for the United States? Is the shift from slave to wage labor working there? Is not freedom really a moral and philosophical issue rather than an economic and sociological one? Are we ourselves not involved in perpetrating slavery by consuming daily the products of slave labor? These and other questions inflamed abolitionist debate as Northerners found themselves having to choose between William Lloyd Garrison’s call for dis-Union and the Democratic Party’s racialist defense of slavery in the South. As Schoolman rightfully argues, abolitionists found themselves basically involved in questions of geographical tactics and (I would add) complexities of scale. In Three Years in Europe, the title of his travel memoir, the fugitive slave William Wells Brown (1852) bashed Frederick Douglass’s

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enthusiasm for Great Britain by sentencing that this postemancipation empire was not a site of freedom at all. In her discussion of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novels Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Stowe 1852) and Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (Stowe 1856) and Martin Delany’s ([1859–1862] 1970) revolutionary novel Blake; or the Huts of America, Schoolman notes that the acceptance of violent resistance came to be understood as an inevitable and even necessary option. Schoolman is at her best in studying the ways in which the Ohio–Kentucky border region functions as a middle ground in shaping the thought and outcome of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The co-author of a Primary Geography for Children (Beecher and Beecher 1833) and an attentive “student” of the Cincinnati abolitionist James Birney (the future Liberty Party presidential candidate and editor of the Washington, DC-based abolitionist paper The National Era), Stowe invests deeply in the border-state sensibility of Ohio, where the possibility of political conversion and moral receptivity were once characteristic of the area’s upper South–lower North complexities. The author analyzes the sharply contested Liberian emigrationist project that concludes the novel in the light of Birney’s 1852 pamphlet on this very subject. After the Dred Scott case, it seemed to many abolitionists that African Americans, whether free or fugitive, could no longer consider any part of the United States a safe haven. Discussion of Stowe’s use of local history and geography allows Schoolman to provide an altogether fresh reading of a much studied novel. In the process, the author partially absolves Stowe from accusations of investing in a perverse form of narrative emplotment by arguing that she is in effect converting the objective conditions of Ohio River valley culture into the possible consciousness of her lead characters. In her later novel Dred, Stowe takes a huge step forward by assigning a significant role to an African American fugitive who happens to be the son of Denmark Vesey (famous in history for leading what might have been the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history). Dred, as all the plantation slaves—but none of the whites—know, is part of a maroon community hiding out in the Great Dismal Swamp covering parts of North Carolina and Virginia. By making use of this well-known geographical habitat, Stowe features a site of internal resistance in the spatial unfolding of her story; and, we might add, it is this same critical category of marronage that will inspire John Brown to carry out his raid on Harper’s Ferry. Later, Stowe’s Dred will find a soul mate in Delany’s fictional hero, Blake, a fugitive and revolutionary who is admirably adept at crossing territories, rivers, and countries with the winds of freedom at his back. At one point, he even

explains the importance of the North Star to a group of eager slaves. A polymath, Delany wrote several essays on astronomy during his eclectic writing life. Schoolman is at her best when scavenging through forgotten travel accounts, memoirs, and essays to compile friendly evidence for her abolitionist geographies; but her knowledge of critical geography remains slight. Although she evokes the category of “tactics” (Michel de Certeau), she fails to engage with the achievements of a Derek Gregory, a Donald Meinig, or a Henri Lefebvre, to name just a few. In this sense, she has a long way to go before sketching out a truly interdisciplinary weave of literature and geography. That said, the readings she offers of Stowe in particular are well worth the reader’s attention. A year before her monograph was published, Schoolman also coedited a volume of eight essays by historians and literary scholars from different countries titled Abolitionist Places, a book that first appeared as a special issue of the journal Atlantic Studies. After the Black Atlantic of Paul Gilroy and the Red Atlantic of Marcus Rediker, Schoolman suggests we now consider an Abolitionist Atlantic, and her project is timely. Although there is not space enough to discuss all of the essays, a number of them are especially instrumental not only in adding to Schoolman’s “abolitionist places,” but also in contributing theoretically to “abolitionist geographies.” This essay collection tallies and draws our attention to a number of transnational antislavery sites, but its authors also avail themselves of some of the methodological opportunities we now associate with critical geography. In his fine essay on recent memorials for victims of the Atlantic slave trade, Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire, England) draws inspiration from the work of Pierre Nora on sites of memory to show how contemporary artists in such urban centers as Liverpool, London, Amsterdam, and Paris have created powerful responses to the landscape of amnesia these cities present when it comes to recalling their former involvement in slavery. An excellent essay by Heike Paul (Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany) uses border studies and the threedimensional perspectivism of Atlantic studies (CircumAtlantic, Trans-Atlantic, and Cis-Atlantic scales) in her discussion of the black settlement of Chatham in the tense years of the 1850s, when many U.S. fugitives fled to this Canadian West border town. Due to this influx, Chatham became a lively site of intense abolitionist activity that betrays direct links to a number of the authors Schoolman discusses in her monograph. As Heike Paul points out, Delany wrote his novel Blake while living in Chatham, and, roughly a year before Harper’s Ferry, John

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Brown discussed his constitution for the founding of a black state while staying there. Evidently, Stowe’s Eliza Harris, the fugitive mother in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was based on a similar character living in the Canadian border town. Other essays also help to enrich the concept of abolitionist geographies: One by the historian W. Caleb McDaniel (Rice University) studies abolitionist activities on transoceanic passenger ships, whereas another (by Yun Kyoung Kwon, University of Chicago) discusses the “unspeakable” topic of Haiti in postrevolutionary France. During the Bourbon Restoration, liberals and conservatives alike continued to rethink French colonialism and Haiti’s ongoing relation to France, offering a variety of scenarios on the island’s future connections with the metropole. There is also a well-informed essay by Sarah Thomas (art critic and curator from Australia) on the work of a number of traveling artists who painted slave scenes in Brazil and the West Indies in the 1820s (the slave auction, festive gatherings with dancing, spectacles of suffering), and in doing so, became on-the-spot witnesses whose work helped to enlighten the British and French public and serve the abolitionist cause. In short, this volume of essays offers a rich variety of multidisciplinary approaches to abolitionist geography by an international array of scholars. Robert Levine’s noteworthy book on Douglass’s autobiographical writings offers a new historicist paradigm for assessing this towering African American’s life and work. Place and occasion now as never before become major contributing factors in the shaping of Douglass’s many autobiographies. Indeed, as Levine emphasizes, the work of revision was lifelong, but it was his long life—its frontline eventfulness—that inspired the rewriting. This return to context and above all a larger definition of autobiography is methodologically decisive. The Douglass we know best is the author of three books: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845), My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881). Few of us acknowledge, though, that Douglass also edited and reframed two Dublin editions of his 1845 Narrative and gave any number of autobiographically tinged speeches over a long life of public speaking. If we consider his letters and his scrupulous attention to his public persona, then it becomes quite evident that we need to cultivate a much broader notion of Douglass’s autobiographical practices; not just three or four autobiographies, therefore, but a continuous process of lifewriting across a variety of discursive genres best called autobiographics. This is what Levine proposes, although he invests all too sparingly in the new scholarship on lifewriting, which has gone well beyond the narrow notion


of autobiography as a self-contained text type. Nevertheless, his perspective will significantly change the way we now read, say, the much anthologized 1845 Narrative, as if this were the quintessential Douglass instead of just one early segment of an ongoing project involving a dialectic between Douglass’s life and times and his many writings. For our purposes here, what is especially important about Levine’s approach is its insistence on historical context and its attention to the geocultural gestalt embracing each Douglass publication, speech, essay, and letter. Levine’s salutary readings should help to correct the overly formalist and textually oriented enthusiasms that have dominated and also blinkered Douglass criticism since the 1980s. To cite one example of how geographical standpoint plays out in one of the major moments in Douglass’s life, his twenty-one-month speaking tour of Ireland, Scotland, and England in 1845 to 1847 led to a spiritual rebirth that resulted in the much more sophisticated and critical autobiographical narrative published in 1855 as My Bondage and My Freedom. Already in 1845, in Dublin, however, Douglass significantly repackaged his slave narrative to outflank the introductory prefaces by William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips. Ireland, we might say, set him free. When Douglass came back from abroad in 1847, he was a different person, with a broader, Atlanticist, if not cosmopolitan outlook and a deeper sense of his own abolitionist vocation. In short, he now stood spiritually free of the paternalistic ties of Garrison and the confining ideology of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Nevertheless, Levine also insists that if we look at Douglass’s pre-1845 speeches, it becomes quite obvious that, as a paid lecturer for Garrison’s Society (1841–1845), he was not only deeply committed to the Garrisonian agenda of moral suasion, immediate emancipation, and dis-Unionism, but also skillfully used the abolitionist platform to shape and test the story that would become his first autobiography. In short, his relationship to white abolitionists such as Garrison and Wendell Phillips was not only constraining but also enabling. In this wider autobiographical context—embracing an ample range of autobiographical occasions—Levine offers a more convincing reading of the conventional bias toward the prefatory material of the Narrative, suggesting that Garrison and Phillips were also responding to Douglass in strongly positive ways. Given this venue, a final word should be spent on the interdisciplinary promise of this important new book on Douglass. Levine is one of our best Douglass scholars and here he sets up a new methodological framework based on the generous intent to embed the various editions of


Douglass’s autobiographies in a sort of cotext composed of historical occasion and place. This cotextualization process, however, is never formalized by Levine and ultimately remains undertheorized, as does the notion of life-writing (autobiographics). Preeminently a literary critic with a cultural studies avocation, Levine is at his best when providing close reading. It is basically as a close reader that he insists we read each of the revisions of the autobiographical Narrative of 1845 as distinct and qualitatively different contributions to Douglass’s life-writing. That previous critics simply ignored the two Dublin editions suggests a blind spot that reveals the shortcomings of a whole school of Douglass criticism. The blind spot can be assigned to choice of a reifying theoretical paradigm, which Levine himself, in spite of the promises with which he begins his project, has not entirely vanquished. Let us take his handling of what is currently the central text in the Douglass canon—namely the long short story “The Heroic Slave.” Levine’s purpose in analyzing this work of fiction is to read the 1841 Creole slave revolt, with its gloriously heroic protagonist Madison Washington, as an autobiographical story about Douglass himself. To do so, he traces Douglass’s protracted interest in the historical Madison Washington over an eleven-year period, focusing on Douglass’s frequent reuse of this heroic example in a series of addresses given abroad in the years 1845 to 1847 and back in the United States in 1848 and 1849. Levine also takes admirable pains to review the torrent of scholarship on Douglass’s story and to enumerate the rich array of hypotheses regarding its use of sources, its historical and narratological framework, its thematic advocacy of violent resistance and interracial friendship, its reworking of the ideological perspective staked out in Stowe’s (1852) Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Douglass’s switch of allegiance from Garrison to Gerrit Smith, and from moral suasion to political abolitionism, and more. Unfortunately, he sidesteps Douglass’s deep involvement in the black convention movement and says all too little about black abolitionism and black historiography; nor does he meditate on the publishing venues of “The Heroic Slave” and the

significance of its reprinting in Frederick Douglass’s Paper, as we would have expected him to do. Here is the point: After building up the rich historical, geographical, and literary vortex informing “The Heroic Slave,” he then pulls back from the implications of his geocultural construct to read the narrative solely in the light of Douglass’s life. In this way he sells the story short, assigning it an ancillary role in his march to map out Douglass’s writing life. Given the overall aims of his book, this might seem a legitimate move, but in the process the author leaves an eclectic scattering of sources on the threshing floor and little new insight into “The Heroic Slave.” So far, the rage to reduce Douglass’s narrative to a single discursive genre has proven unsatisfactory. Levine basically leaves us with the story’s precipitous clash among history, legend, fiction, oral testimony, autobiography, biography, and narratology. Although we wait for further light to be cast on the status of Douglass’s stunning story, Levine’s book on his many lives has finally brought us to a new appreciation of the relation between Douglass’s writing life and his life-writing. References Beecher, C., and H. Beecher. 1833. Primary geography for children. Cincinnati, OH: Corey and Fairbank. Brown, W. W. 1952. Three years in Europe, or places I have seen and people I have met. London, UK: Charles Gilpin. Delany, M. [1859–1862] 1970. Blake; or, the huts of America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Douglass, F. 1845. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Boston, MA: Anti-Slavery Office ———. 1855. My bondage and my freedom. New York, NY: Miller, Orton & Mulligan. ———. 1881. Life and times of Frederick Douglas: His early life as a slave, his escape from bondage, and a complete history to the present time. Hartford, CT: Park. Stowe, H. B. 1852. Uncle Tom’s cabin. Boston, MA: John P. Jewett. ———. 1856. Dred: A tale of the Great Dismal Swamp. Boston, MA: Phillips, Sampson and Company.

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Geography and Geographers: Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945, 7th edition Ron Johnston and James D. Sidaway. London and New York: Routledge, 2016. xxii and 544 pp., figures, index. $64.95 paper (ISBN 9780340985106); $165.00 cloth (ISBN 9780415827379). Introduction by Mark Boyle, Department of Geography/ National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland. Spring 2016 saw the publication by Routledge of the seventh edition of the classic book Geography and Geographers: AngloAmerican Human Geography since 1945 by Ron Johnston and James D. Sidaway. Since publication of the first edition by Edward Arnold in 1979 (Sidaway joined as co-author in 2004), this book has proven itself to be an invaluable companion—and in many cases a critical life support—to undergraduate, master’s, and PhD-level modules on the history and philosophy of Anglo-American human geography, throughout the Anglo-American world and beyond. It is a book that has commanded not only widespread admiration and recognition as a seminal source, but also the affection and loyalty of generations of faculty and students. I would argue that it has done more than any other textbook to awaken and catalyze interest in the history of human geography as a distinct intellectual enterprise.

How does a book galvanize an acclaiming readership and survive to reach a seventh edition? We might turn the analytical framework developed in Geography and Geographers back against itself to help us to answer this question. The book is structured around an analytical, interpretive, and framing “outer part” and a broadly chronological “inner part” marching through the substantive twists and turns taken by human geography in the Anglo-American world, principally since 1945. At the heart of the outer book is the claim that disciplinary trajectories are shaped by three interacting processes: the prevailing occupational structure, the organizational framework that guides research, and the external environment. If this framework helps us to make sense of the waxing and waning of philosophical approaches in human geography, then perhaps it might also help us to understand better how this specific book has managed to gain traction, prosper, and remain relevant over a nearly forty-year period. In terms of occupational structure, it is no accident that Geography and Geographers ascended to the status of a classic as a complex set of relationships intensified between the expansion of the higher education sector in the Anglo-American world and subsequent onset of managerial and neoliberal reforms, generational and intergenerational competition for advancement in the academy, historically unprecedented and accelerated rates of turnover of human geographical “isms,” and growing interest in philosophical approaches within human geography.

The AAG Review of Books 5(1) 2017, pp. 48–61. doi: 10.1080/2325548X.2017.1257291. ©2017 by American Association of Geographers. Published by Taylor & Francis, LLC.

Put bluntly, competition for the attention of peers has in part fueled new turns within the discipline and change and volatility has begotten a need for textbooks capable of narrating unfolding events and rendering them intelligible. First published in the wake of Kuhn’s (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Foucault’s (1970) The Order of Things, Feyerabend’s (1975) Against Method, and only a year after Lakatos’s (1978) The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes, perhaps the key attribute of the book was that it brought the story of human geography’s recent history into sustained conversation with a wider research program, one centered on the legibility of the biographies of academic subjects; how they evolve, mutate, and expand or atrophy over time. It was written at a historical moment when the Anglo-American world was coming to terms with the demise of the FordistKeynesian panacea and after the Age of Empire and a West suffering existential crises, thrashing to sustain hegemony, and a capitalist modernity debilitated by pernicious maladies and neuroses. It is not difficult to locate the book in world historical context and to appreciate how its foregrounding of contested visions of the core mission of Anglo-American human geography might resonate with the wider zeitgeist. Geography and Geographers now finds itself in the company of many excellent historiographical accounts. There has emerged a whole slew of both complementary and rival resources, textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, national historiographies, “Geographers on Film” archives, and key thinkers and biobibliographical studies. On inspection, there would seem to be much imitation amidst the newness. The unfolding in sequence of human geography through various schools of thought—environmental determinism, possibilism, cultural geography, regional geography, spatial science and the quantitative revolution, behavioral and then humanistic approaches, Marxist and then critical approaches, culminating in the preeminence of feminist, poststructural, postmodern, and postcolonial approaches and pluralism in the present— seems to be constantly reworked in different guises. Theorization of scientific endeavor and intellectual labor has itself developed at an electric pace over the past number of decades and some of these competitors have perhaps made better use of, say Latour’s actor network theory, Kaufmann’s complexity theory, and Haraway’s feminist treatise on situated knowledges than Geography and Geographers, which has continued to place center stage Kuhn’s paradigm theory. This said, in their response later, Johnston and Sidaway provide a compelling account of why the Kuhnian framing was and continues to be of fundamental importance and value—for a myriad of

historical, intellectual, and political reasons. Some contributions perhaps also take more seriously the data revolution that is upon us and the claim that we dwell on the eve of a postparadigmatic world centered on a data-driven epistemology. For the most part, though, for reasons of competence and manageability, attention across the board has continued to be limited to Anglo-American human geography. The task of provincializing, historicizing, and relativizing metropolitan ways of thinking about the world and narrating historiographies of non-Western human geographies remains firmly on the nursery slopes. Amidst the growing chorus of voices, Geography and Geographers has proven itself an especially tough and enduring competitor. In addition to benefiting from first mover advantage, it has achieved resilience by engaging effectively with both continuity and change. The model of the outer and inner parts has remained consistent over time, and much of the content in each part has survived intact. In each part, in an attempt to provide comprehensive updating and referencing, there has accreted further layering, qualifying, texturing, and nuancing of arguments. The authors note the challenge of navigating between “a fine grained road map” and a “crammed and wearisome Atlas.” Although for the most part they find the correct balance, in places the seventh edition might have benefited from some simplification and decluttering alongside enrichment and supplementation. The inner part of the book was subject to significant structural change in the sixth edition: the discussion of behavioral geography was curtailed and a previous chapter on the “cultural turn” was broken into two longer chapters examining poststructuralism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and feminism and this part witnesses comparatively less surgery in the seventh edition. In this latest edition, though, the outer part and in particular the final chapter has been reworked and extended to reflect more comprehensively on, among other matters, the complex ways in which the history of human geography might be apprehended, the import of new theories of science and knowledge production, what it might mean to speak of progress in human geography, and the implications of the 2007 crash for the human geographical enterprise. Based on an Authors Meet Critics panel convened at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in San Francisco in March 2016, this AAG Review Forum incorporates six commentaries (by Kim England, Matthew Farish, Guy Baeten, Mary Gilmartin, Michael S. DeVivo, and Lauren Rickards), and a response from the authors. On the occasion of the publication of this latest edition, collectively these commentaries help us to celebrate the contributions of the book and its long

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service to the discipline. More than this, they underscore the book’s ongoing significance as a vital and lively provocation in what, as noted, has become an increasingly crowded marketplace, and its continued standing as a recommended textbook and for many still the preferred book of choice. The commentaries touch on a number of topics: the extent, meaning, and implications of the formative influence of Geography and Geographers over faculty and students; the organizing narrative that guides the book; its development through the years and changes and additions made in this seventh edition; specific chapters and sections that have inspired and provoked faculty; the by now well-rehearsed but still crucial question of its focus on Anglo-American scholarship; the silences notable for some communities; its ongoing role as a widely recommended student textbook; maximizing its pedagogical value; and its relationship to other historiographical accounts and texts. It is to be hoped that this forum will whet the appetite and rejuvenate the enthusiasm of those for whom Geography and Geographers is a trusted old companion as well as introduce to students who are embarking on history of human geography modules today a reliable and sage counsel. Of course, the commentaries provide early food for thought for the authors, to be drawn on when they contemplate the possibility of an eighth edition! It remains for me to thank Kent Mathewson for commissioning the forum, Andrew Mould from Taylor and Francis for providing access to an advance copy, commentators for their insightful deliberations and ruminations, and of course the authors, for the gift that is the seventh edition of Geography and Geographers.

Commentary by Kim England, Department of Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Reading the seventh edition of Geography and Geographers almost felt like reading my academic biography: recognizing the familiar names half forgotten, remembering generations of geographers’ intellectual disagreements, and nodding with approval on seeing sections on feminist geography and queering geography. I know the earliest editions of this book very well. The first edition (1979) was assigned reading for the history and philosophy of geography course when I was an undergraduate at the University of Leicester. I still went to the library to borrow well-worn copies of original sources on a one-hour loan, but having Geography and Geographers was a godsend. It allowed me to navigate fascinating but confusing intellectual terrain


and to make sense of human geography. Indeed, it helped cement my identity as a geographer. The general format of the seventh edition is comfortingly familiar. It remains a book within a book, although this time the story narrated in the “outer book” (Chapters 1 and 10) is more nuanced than in the earliest editions. The book still offers an introspective exploration of geography as a discipline and an occupation—“the society within a society” with the academic division of labor, the brutalizing experience of the RAE (research assessment experience), and the scramble for ever scarcer research funding. The newest version of the final chapter is (thankfully) more reflexive and more tentative than earlier editions, perhaps benefiting from feminist and poststructural insistences that knowledge creation is partial, situated, and power-laden. I also appreciate the acknowledgment that intellectual activities are shaped by the historical circumstances, normative expectations, and cultural beliefs of the time and place in which they are created. It is certainly fantastic to see science and technology studies (STS) and actor network theory (ANT) scholars like John Law and Bruno Latour invited to the party. Still missing, though, are feminist science studies scholars, like Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, and Judy Wajcman, among others. Whereas these nongeographers do not get past the door, Thomas Kuhn still retains his VIP status, stepping past them to claim, again, the prize for most appearances by a nongeographer. The “inner book”— Chapters 2 to 9—charts a range of human geographies: their negotiated concepts, conflicting opinions, shared understandings, and sometimes internecine squabbles. In keeping with the academic biography meme, I comment on Chapter 3, “Growth of Systematic Studies and the Adoption of the Scientific Method,” and the “Feminist Geography” chapter. This pair also represents one of the long-standing chapters and one of the newer ones. In both these chapters I feel I am among friends. In Chapter 3 are found scholars whose work has literally been with me since I was in high school: Walter Christaller and August Lösch, Richard Chorley and Peter Haggett. I learned about central place theory, locational analysis, and systems theory at an early age. Johnson and Sidaway remark that “the role of certain individuals and institutions in the promotion of change was . . . crucial” (p. 76) and a goodly chunk of the chapter covers the Washington School (my current department). Although Ohio State (where I did graduate work) does not rise to the level of its own subtitle, it is there, too. Still in the mix is the debate over regional geography and exceptionalism: I felt a little schadenfreude (surely I am not alone?)


when reading again of Richard Hartshorne’s years of accusing the dead Fred K. Schaefer of “serious falsification,” “ignor(ing) the normal standards of critical scholarship,” and “total fraud” (p. 612). I marveled once more at the tremendous work of William Garrison, Donald Hudson, and Edward Ullman to create the Washington School (I have daily reminders of them, as rooms and awards in my department are named for them). I enjoyed the reminder about the various individual people who successfully promoted the scientific method such that in the 1960s geography was recognized by the National Academy of Science–National Research Council. So it was with some surprise that the same close treatment of “certain individuals” was not afforded Christaller and Lösch. These men have been part of my intellectual life since I was in high school. Discovering much later that Christaller was a Nazi collaborator and created a Volksdeutsche-only plan for West Poland was shocking for me. Learning that Lösch had resisted the Nazis, refused to swear allegiance to Hitler, and died at thirty-nine literally at the end of World War II, was heart-breaking. How could I not have known this? The Geography and Geographers reader does not get to know that either; the rendition is so much more innocent with the briefest of mentions (p. 74). As a graduate student at Ohio State, I took yet another class on the history and philosophy of geography: The second edition (1983) was required reading. By then I was a fledgling feminist geographer. This time I was aware of the “oversight” of the exhilarating (and, for me, formative) writings marking the emergence of feminist geography in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Certainly this was a small but growing literature, yet it was absent from the first two editions of Geography and Geographers (Doreen Massey and Wilbur Zelinsky were mentioned, but not for their work on feminist geography), reinforcing for me the apparent invisibility of both feminist geography and even of women as geographers. Now enjoying an entire chapter, the seventh edition offers a serviceable overview of feminist geography, including some of its history and debates, and the contributions of feminist methodologies. Of course, this is a seventh effort to synthesis the notes, chords, and keys of “Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945.” Six previous editions have provided an epic amount of feedback, reviews, criticism, and praise, and thus plenty of opportunities to fine-tune and update. The newer chapters have had less of that. What I really enjoy about the earlier chapters in the seventh edition is that they are richly referenced. By comparison, the “Feminist Geography” chapter is heavily reliant on other people’s interpretations of the published record (e.g., dictionary

and encyclopedia entries), which is disappointing. Also the “Sexuality and Space” and “Queering Geography” sections seem tacked on. It is not that they should not be there, but following a section on “Feminist Geographies of Difference,” I wondered why feminist scholarship of other social categories was not here, too. Of course, it is impossible to be an expert on everything, but where, for instance, is the fantastic work on black feminist geographies and geographies of blackness (e.g., the 2007 collection edited by Katharine McKittrick and Clyde Woods)? More generally, I hoped for a more robust engagement with intersectionality—given that many geographers, feminist and otherwise, are working hard to seriously engage intersectionality in their research, teaching, and daily practices. In the preface we read that the book is “just two author’s take on 70 years of disciplinary histories: others take different positions” (p. xvii). Certainly this is a historiography of Anglo-American geography since 1945. As such, it is neither neutral nor complete, not all geographies and geographers are included, and particular viewpoints are privileged more than others. Geographer and Geographers in its various editions has been a textual companion over the course of my career as an Anglo-American human geographer: To critique it feels slightly churlish. The authors do rehearse their own self-critiques about whether “a further edition was both desirable and feasible” (p. xvii). Their decision to go ahead has allowed me to enjoy being reacquainted with an old “friend” and seeing how it, like me, has changed over the years.

Commentary by Matthew Farish, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. What has a book become by the time of its seventh edition? According to two of the familiar names on the back cover (scholars who themselves have figured prominently in the telling of geography’s histories), Ron Johnston and James D. Sidaway’s Geography and Geographers is a “superlative piece of intellectual cartography” and “a comforting and reassuring presence.” As I considered how I might grapple with this long and rather fortified volume—in that it circles back to quote and subtly reframe earlier editions, and even reviews of earlier editions—I kept mulling over these compliments. Not because they contain some secret profundity, but because, read directly, they offer windows onto what this book represents—or, to put it differently, what it does, and what it does not, accomplish.

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As a “working map of the territory,” to quote the first of the back cover commentators, David Livingstone, again, Geography and Geographers is nothing if not thorough. Building on previous editions, Johnston and Sidaway have trawled exhaustively through the history of English-language geographical publication over the last seven decades. I occasionally teach the history and philosophy of geography, and I have written about the history of geographical knowledge after World War II, and I still found sources in the bibliography that I did not recognize (this is not to say, of course, that the list is “complete,” whatever that means).

the historical geographies of “Anglo-American” states after World War II, even as these states were the terrain for much of the research conducted by the geographers who populate this book. The places of and for geographical research are missing, or only briefly noted. Is it significant, to take a single example, that there are no references to the prominent historical scholarship of University of British Columbia’s Cole Harris, after his more philosophical interventions in the 1970s. If this work is not part of the history of geographical thought, so be it, but the “why” question lingers.

What is the “territory” in question? The answer, for Johnston and Sidaway, is staked out in the first chapter, titled “The Nature of an Academic Discipline.” Presumably this intervention is directed at student readers who are puzzled by both geography’s outlines and the institutional oddities of universities. There is utility in this approach, but for all of their concern with intellectual pluralism, and their repeated demand that “The study of a discipline must be set within its societal context,” it is a discipline, or a particular model of a discipline, that emerges intact from this chapter, such that what follows is a particular version of geography (p. 27). The many “social” threads introduced in the waning pages of the first chapter seem a little frayed in subsequent sections of the book.

Worldliness is, of course, present in this book. It slides in more and more as we proceed toward the present. In the early chapters, its relative absence matches the abstractions of midcentury “spatial science” and its predecessors. Of course, this relationship is not inevitable; worldliness can only come and go as a narrative device. This is the trap of the disciplinary model (and even more so the single-discipline model), a bind that raises the crucial double question of other geographies and other geographers: not just, “why aren’t they here?” but “what are the consequences of excluding them?”

It is telling, perhaps, that the relevant heading here is “The External Environment,” which does not quite sound the same as setting something “within its social context” (p. 26). Rather, the internal–external separation is one of two such divisions that are not just acknowledged or analyzed in Geography and Geographers; they are affirmed. A discipline, we read on the first page, is akin to a “miniature society” (p. 1). This move to place geography under glass (even if it is pocked with holes) is consequential. To call Geography and Geographers a story told “from within” (to poach once more from the back cover) therefore seems imprecise: It seems more like a story told from without, that creates a “within.” Its “map of the territory” is littered with individuals, mostly dressed in the costume of their respective intellectual cohort, and located firmly within strange places called university departments (geography, then, is largely what academic geographers have written). Beyond that, the detail is erratic. Even at the departmental scale, the emphasis is clearly on English and U.S. contexts, whereas other sites within the “AngloAcademic” sphere appear occasionally, only to fade away for substantial stretches. And that “wider society,” that “external environment?” This is not a text where readers learn a great deal about


Geography and Geographers, according to Trevor Barnes, is to be counted on; it is a “comforting and reassuring presence.” Staying with our cartographic metaphor, Johnston and Sidaway have produced an indisputably valuable guide through thickets of debate—debate, they usefully show, that loops as much as it leaps. But should texts— even this sort of text—be comforting? Are there enough jolts, diversions, and intersections on the pathway, or is the route rather relentlessly signposted? After seven editions, is it ever harder to see the map differently, even as it grows? Is the book ultimately “comforting” because it reaffirms our belief in a distinct entity called academic geography? Is that sufficient, or necessary, for a history of geographic thought? The second key division in Geography and Geographers, then, is really a variation of the first: the division between “academic” and “popular” geography. A quote from another piece by Johnston (2009), on the discrepancy in content between geographic magazines and academic geography, is used to make this point. I’m not convinced, though, that the comparison is effective. Surely it would also hold in the case of many other disciplines; it might be even stronger, because few subjects possess the equivalents of popular geographic magazines. When we look elsewhere, the division breaks down. Yet despite Johnston’s comments on the unfortunate ignorance, on the part of geography’s historians, of other, popular geographies, Johnston and Sidaway immediately turn back to


the discipline. If there is to be an eighth edition—and why not, eventually—I encourage the authors to provide a less comforting and more surprising take.

Commentary by Guy Baeten, Department of Urban Studies, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden. I was delighted when asked to review Geography and Geographers: Anglo-American Geography since 1945 because it is one of those books that I had always planned to read but never did. It is a classic tome that helps teachers just as much to refresh our knowledge of the history of geography as it would help students on their way to getting some grip on the meaning and the content of the discipline of geography. As a document that covers the history of a discipline, it is plainly invaluable. After working for ten years within Anglo-America, and at a geography department, I left Anglo-America and now find myself in its nearest periphery, in Sweden. I also “left” the discipline of geography for an urban studies department, which belongs to geography’s nearest disciplinary periphery. Where I am now, discipline is a bit of a dirty word. Malmö University, including my new department, prides itself on being multidisciplinary. I find myself working among architects, environmental scientists, organization theorists, political scientists, and indeed geographers. Multidisciplinarity constitutes the core of the identity of Malmö University—it is a new university in the shadow of that old university next door with that historically famous geography department and still pretty much organized along disciplinary lines, Lund University. To be honest, I have not noticed much difference because, as the book stresses over and over again, the discipline of geography—if it is a discipline at all—generously imports knowledge and trends and philosophers from the outside, probably more than any other discipline. Multidisciplinarity and theoretical and methodological eclecticism are constitutive of what human geographers do. So my first concern or comment when reading through this volume is this: Is there a need to construct ourselves as some kind of discipline with some kind of common history if we have always had an exceptionally relaxed attitude toward disciplinarity? Is this loose disciplinarity not a strength rather than a weakness of what geography is and what geographers do? I, for one, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology—which is characterized by a well-known strict disciplinary tradition—have always appreciated the lack of disciplinarity in geography as it allows renewal of

ideas to unfold with a certain magnitude and speed that I have not encountered elsewhere. Certainly in times when disciplines are more difficult to sell than generic topics such as urban studies, for example, do we want to give our students a textbook like this? It is not difficult for faculty to show an interest in what their fellow geographers were doing in the recent past, but what do we expect students to know about the history of geography? It is, of course, important that students know about the history of the discipline if only to learn from mistakes and understand the noir side of geography. Today’s revival of environmental determinism is unfolding in front of our eyes as if nobody knows about the history of geography, and we need to remember geography’s historical knowledge production that has been instrumental in the conduct of war, colonialism, and violence. Geography is arguably the prime discipline to understand global environmental issues, and to understand today’s raging geopolitical violence, and is therefore needed more than ever before. How do we sell the need to understand geography’s history to understand today’s challenges to students? All of us who have been or are teaching the history of geography, including myself, know it is difficult to trigger enthusiasm for things historical among students. Simply speaking, in a book that is about history, the link between past and present is not prominent enough in my view. We have to spoon-feed our students more and better with the relevance of history to conduct geography today and to make sense of the world today without making the mistakes of the past, or without repeating what we already know. If we do not make it sufficiently clear how we can understand the present through the past (which might be obvious for ourselves), students might be left wondering why they need to know what’s in the book. Hoping that students will go and discover themselves how they can connect past to present might be too optimistic. Another point I would like to raise concerns the subtitle and its relation to the main title. If someone were to write a book titled Geography and Geographers: Swedish Geography since 1945, eyebrows would be raised because of the contradictory combination of generality and universalism in the main title and geographical narrowness in the subtitle. It is almost as if only Anglo-America seems to get away with that: claiming universalism through a very particular history. I had never given it much thought when I was working in Britain, or more precisely in the south of England. My academic interests, my social and environmental concerns (rising from reading the London-biased The Guardian), and the political debates of the day around me coincided more or less with the debates I would find in

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academic geography journals. There seemed to be no obvious disconnection between the real world and what the discipline of geography was actually doing. Already when I moved to Glasgow, though, this relation was no longer evident. Debates were different, there were other concerns in those days and at that place related to independence and depopulation, among other issues The Guardian only reported about in a piecemeal way. The connection between mainstream geography and the real world exactly around me became less obvious. This certainly became the case when I moved to Sweden (even though Sweden belongs to the nearest periphery of Anglo-America). I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the agenda-setting of Anglo-American geography in journals, while claiming some sort of universalism. In my opinion, this book, too, should have more carefully thought through the relation between Anglo-American geographical knowledge production and its periphery.

on the academy as a place of work. Its first visual representation, Figure 1.1, is the academic career ladder: the modernization fantasy of work in the modern academy that doesn’t include the reality of postdocs, adjuncts, or contract workers. Throughout, one particular version of the geographer as worker is prioritized. This is through the production of written work, in a limited number of forms—primarily books and articles—that is assumed to advance knowledge. We pay attention to books and to other written texts, King (2003) said, because they are “quantifiable” (97). The geographer works not just through the production of written academic texts, however. All kinds of work go into these final, polished products: the messy, frustrating work of research and writing and collaborating with others. The work of geographers also involves teaching, a notable absence from this book. These experiences are missing from this particular creation myth.

Having said that, I strongly believe there is no better documentation of the (geographically specific) history of a discipline. For me, it functions as an indispensable, concise encyclopedia of a discipline I have worked in most of my life, and I always have it close at hand.

In this story of geography, the geographer is also a fighter. In this book, the geographer fights against stories he or she disagrees with, and for stories that make more sense. Chapter 5, for example, describes how humanistic geographers argued, rebuffed, were vocal in opposition, reacted against, were unhappy, and complained (pp. 169–70). Chapter 6, on radical geography, describes attacks, virulent debates, polarized exchanges, and forceful arguments (pp. 227–29, 238). We read about the “early militancy” of feminist geography (p. 287) and the “rants” of feminist geographers (p. 303). This particular way of telling the story of geographers, where new and original work and insights emerge following, or as a result of, contestation, constructs the geographer as fighter. Yet, as writers from the Great Lakes Feminist Collective pointed out in their manifesto for slow scholarship, “we can recognize the value of collective authorship, mentorship, collaboration, community building, and activist work in the germination and sharing of ideas” (Mountz et al. 2015, 1250). A creation myth that foregrounds the geographer as fighter misses the presence and the pleasure of collaboration.

Commentary by Mary Gilmartin, Department of Geography, Maynooth University, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. Geography and Geographers is a creation myth: a story about this thing we name geography. The idea of this book being called a creation myth might not sit well with its authors, but if we think about the form and the purpose of a creation myth—that it is a story that tries to explain where we are and why—my claim makes more sense. Geography and Geographers is a story and, as King (2003) said, “the truth about stories is that that’s all we are” (2). If we are stories, then what does Geography and Geographers tell us? I want to focus on just one aspect of the book: the figure of the geographer. The geographer is central to this story: Early on, the book suggests that untangling individual and collective biographies “is the key to understanding” geography (p. 14). The book uses two key tropes to tell the story of the geographer. The first is the geographer as worker. The second is the geographer as fighter. I conclude by suggesting other key tropes that are either striking in their absence or that offer alternative stories. In this book, the geographer is primarily a worker. The book is framed to tell this story. Its opening chapter is


What we don’t have in this book, though, is a sense of the geographer as lover, in the broadest sense of the term. A passion for ideas, knowledge, research, teaching, or for changing the world we live in is not really part of this creation story. Although the book refers to communities of scholars, it is often deeply uneasy about the interpersonal relationships that underpin them. Indeed, it asserts that important encounters for the development of geographers “need not be interpersonal” (p. 361); that networks must include “inanimate objects” (p. 364); and that context “need not always be important” (p. 364). In fact, the book


insists on the importance of the contributions made by “lone scholars” who “work almost entirely independently” (p. 364). Care work—very often an act of love—is missing here, perpetuating “the myth that our successes are achieved as autonomous individuals” (Lawson 2007, 5). Missing, too, is the extent to which the stories of geographers are also stories of people involved in relationships of love and care. These relationships are with geographers and others, and they shape (often in unspoken ways) this thing we call geography. Passion, emotion, and complex ties—with people, things, and places—are important for the story of geography and geographers. They are unfortunately occluded in this version. I opened my comments with the words of King, an academic and a writer of Native descent. In Native stories, creation myths often involve the trickster, an ambiguous, masked, complex, unreliable, and often disruptive figure, who serves as both a figure of levity and an astute cultural commentator. For anthropologist Toon van Meijl (2005), the trickster offers a more revealing trope for the social scientist, because the trickster is both involved and detached. Of course, the trickster is also a shape-shifter, which makes it difficult to capture in a story that is told in this way. Chapter 10, the final chapter, begins to grapple with the geographer as trickster although not, of course, using the term. The tension between detachment and involvement surfaces here, uncomfortably and temporarily, but it offers the beginnings of an attempt to tell a different story of geography. In this alternative story, the figure of the geographer at its center is more complex and contradictory and, indeed, capable of joy and laughter. “It’s an easy job to be critical,” King (2003, 164) said, and he was right. I should also acknowledge the strengths of this book, which is now in its seventh edition. It offers a solid overview of the work of some geographers, and serves as a starting point for geography students trying to get their heads around what, exactly, this thing called geography is. That is not an easy task. I’m grateful to the authors for their continued efforts, for their willingness to engage in this forum, and for our opportunity to think about the story of geography. Because stories? That’s all we are.

Commentary by Michael S. DeVivo, Social Sciences Department, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI. The authors of this thought-provoking account of the intellectual jousting engaged in by the discipline’s mandarins and their disciples since the end of World War II are

quick to point out that their “book should be read with the caveat that it remains a survey of key debates within English language human geography in the past sixty years, with a primary focus on the UK and Anglophone North America” (p. xv). This is unfortunate, for the history of geography in other Anglophone countries is left for others, as are important segments of our discipline’s past, and physical geography is by and large sadly ignored. Indeed, the title is misleading; Ideological Debates in Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945 is one that is more fitting. Although the first chapter, “The Nature of an Academic Discipline,” offers an introduction to the role of university faculty in typical research institutions, no discussion of those programs solely devoted to undergraduate studies occurs, and it should, for an overwhelming majority of U.S. academic geography programs are housed in departments that do not award the PhD. Among them are those in community colleges, which enroll approximately 40 percent of all undergraduates in the United States; there as elsewhere in academe, adjunct faculty are increasingly making up a large proportion of the professoriate—and this must be addressed. Much is discussed concerning the pathways to achieve a rich academic lifeway (e.g., “patronage,” “rewards,” and “sources of status,” pp. 7–8), but no mention is made of how professors shape the lives of young men and women through teaching, mentoring, and advising, in addition to ways in which many are devoted to community and humanitarian service. Surely, needed here is discussion of the importance of transformational leadership, which has been shown to be a superior form of leadership in the administration of successful academic geography programs (DeVivo 2015), as well as rebranding efforts; whereas departmental autonomy facilitates the discipline’s viability, conversely it is threatened by the willingness of some to sell their souls and forsake the name of geography in departmental amalgamations. For example, Texas Christian University’s Department of Geography recently achieved autonomy, largely through a united effort launched by its dedicated faculty. Regrettably, I am embarrassed to report that after four decades of autonomy, the geography department faculty at my own alma mater, Southern Connecticut, with one dissenting vote, volunteered its absorption into a multidisciplinary department through an initiative engineered by the most recent geography department chair. Our field’s history shows that geographers have often contributed to geography’s worst nightmares, shortchanging the discipline that is their home, and here is one case in point. Some discussion of these matters is

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crucial, for it is not only pertinent, but also valuable to those who will be charged with leading the geographic discipline in the twenty-first century. Regardless, throughout the book, the authors seemingly seek to explain the path the discipline trod by providing glimpses of the history of geography with heavy doses of some key debates. Yet, the short shrift given cartography is unsatisfactory, for although Arthur Robinson at Wisconsin is discussed, other leading figures are not mentioned, such as Erwin Raisz, John Sherman, George Jenks, and Norman Thrower (Yacher 1982). “Human Geography as Spatial Science” is the book’s longest (and perhaps most unwieldy) chapter; it occupies sixty-eight pages. In contrast, “Humanistic Geography,” deeply rooted in historical and cultural traditions, takes up only twenty-seven pages, and a dearth of commentary on historical geography weakens this section. Certainly, ample scholarship in historical geography has not only withstood the test of time, but historical geographers have brought geography into public discourse, creating for the discipline muchneeded relevance to a large segment of U.S. society. For example, Brown’s (1949) textbook remained available from the publisher for more than forty years. Moreover, it is certainly telling that within days following Hurricane Katrina, National Public Radio interviewed Craig Colten, author of Unnatural Metropolis: Wresting New Orleans from Nature (Colten 2005), which was published eight months previously. Nevertheless, ideas pertaining to the notion of “sense of place” are adequately discussed in reference to the contributions of J.K. Wright, Anne Buttimer, and Yi-FuTuan (who the authors mistakenly place in Arizona rather than New Mexico at an early stage in his career; p. 179). Unfortunately, however, although commented on, the nature of field work is all too briefly addressed. A relatively evenhanded commentary on radical geography offers discussion, debate, and denouncement of the Marxist posture, although the authors might have drafted Brian Berry’s acerbic comment, rather than the one they present: I find particularly disgraceful, I have said it many times and in writing, the kind of left wing intellectual who moves from England to the USA, who lives very comfortably in the USA, making a comfortable living by being a left wing dialectician criticizing the very basis of his material confidence. It is remarkable how many left wing radicals who came to the USA from elsewhere were quite adamant about not becoming American citizens until just before the retirement age. They did it to defer the taxes they would have to pay if they were US citizens. In other words, they are not so much opposed to personal capitalistic accumulation and to personal material gain. (Trevino 2004, 15)


Nonetheless, a subsequent chapter, “Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism,” prompts the georeader to ponder social justice issues and consider whether or not human geography is (or should be) merely an intellectual exercise. “Feminist Geography” offers a broad view of this theme, but ignores some important aspects of the history of women in academic geography, as well as some of the more recent foreign area field work carried out by a number of feminist geographers, some of which is applicable to geopolitical issues. Special reference is made to the work of Gilbert White and the geographic discipline’s role in shaping public policy in the chapter on applied geography; however, like much of this volume, geography in Britain is center stage and practice in the U.S. domain is often ignored. Missing, for example, is discussion of historical and cultural geography in reference to applied geography. At base, after much thought and consideration, I agree the richness of this book is a given. After all, it is in its seventh edition. The reader is compelled to realize that along with the Beatles, Monty Python, and a number of academic geographers from the British Isles, Geography and Geographers is another element of the “British Invasion.” As I reflect on my tour through this most recent version, I notice that I have underlined numerous passages, marked many pages with notes, and find myself smiling as I am reminded of geographers mentioned here and there that have contributed to the shaping of our discipline and the debates concerning the essence of geography. Yet, it is an unwieldy read. The authors’ Anglo-centricity might make this volume apropos for postgraduate students across the pond; however, its suitability as the principal textbook for U.S. graduate students enrolled in a course devoted to the history of geography must be questioned. Still, it is recognized by many throughout the discipline as a key contribution.

Commentary by Lauren Rickards, Centre for Urban Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Like a pointillist painting, Geography and Geographers meticulously layers intricate conceptual discussions to gradually reveal the discipline as a whole. It is a skillful way of describing the discipline while avoiding subdisciplinary disputes. Perhaps because of my subdisciplinary, national, and personal biases, however, the result is an outline that is somewhat missing what I, like some of the geographers quoted, feel should be at its heart: human– nature relations.


Somewhat ironically, the book itself helps me understand the unease I feel about it. As I read it I kept wondering where nature was. Not as in “Why is there not more on animal geography?” (although that, too, did occur to me), but “Where is nature, the physical world, acting within this history?” This is about the presence of nature in the analysis, not merely as a specialized topic of interest, but as a force, a contextual factor, a collection of agents, a material outcome. Geography and Geographers is a history of intellectual endeavor grounded occasionally by social, institutional, economic, and political factors, but rarely intersecting with anything resembling an “environmental factor” or the physical world, despite that world’s historic upheaval over the period narrated. Of course, writing a history that accounts for the materiality of geographic scholarship—the interplay of geographic research, teaching, and nature (whether “the environment,” bacteria, animals, infrastructure, planes, or wind)—would be extremely difficult, not the least because of multidirectional, diffuse lines of influence. In keeping with the calls that Johnston and Sidaway humbly recognize for a “geography of geography” rather than just a “history of geography,” however, let us consider briefly what such an account might look like. To begin with, a more materialist view of geography’s evolution could draw from important moves in this direction by the likes of Sarah Whatmore, J. K. GibsonGraham, Donna Haraway, and those investigating “gritty materialisms” (Kirsch 2013). Second, a more materialist account of geography would balance the focus on intellectual work with one on field and body work, bringing to the fore the unsettling contingencies and visceral effects of “the real world” on knowledge production. Third, a more materialist account of geography would critically reflect on human geographers’ learnt recoil from anything resembling environmental determinism. Johnston and Sidaway lightly illustrate this in their discussion of the foundational debate between environmental determinists and possibilists, arguing that geographers who “strongly promoted environmental determinism” were afforded little respect, whereas possibilists “avoided the great generalizations which characterized their antagonists” (p. 45). Although this evaluation is likely accurate, and we obviously need to avoid excessive naturalism and determinism, we also need to ask whether we have gone too far in dismissing nature’s influence on society. Are we too set on distinguishing and distancing ourselves from physical geography? Is this implicitly reinforced by the sort of narrative about our history presented in Geography and Geographers? Although the book has important sections

on “Geography and Its Environment,” the environment in question is purely economic and social; the stuff of physical geography is nowhere to be seen. To the extent this communicates a presumed independence of humans from nature, this erasure of the physical environment is not merely a division of labor; it presents a particular universal perspective, inclined heavily to the possibilism of geography, at least when it comes to nature. Arguably, human geography’s disciplinary lean away from considering natural influences is unevenly distributed across human geography due to spatial variation in such influences themselves. This raises the well-recognized problem of the partiality of the human geography story told by Johnston and Sidaway. Not only does the AngloAmerican focus exclude many voices and particular experiences, it encourages a certain view of how the whole world works. This is outlined by a rare Australian voice in the book, T. Griffiths Taylor, described as “the doughtiest advocate of the determinist cause.” An outspoken critic of the frontier mentality in 1950s Australia, Taylor argued that such a view was not only deeply possibilist in outlook, but especially inappropriate for the Australian environment because “possibilists had developed their ideas in temperate environments,” whereas “in most of the world, as in Australia, the environment is much more extreme and its control over human activity accordingly much greater” (p. 45). Applying this to Geography and Geographers, we need to ask whether its unspoken temperate zone focus has ironically helped obscure such environmental influences, encouraging a false sense of academics floating free. More than just another intellectual dispute, this is a question of real significance. The subtitle of Geography and Geographers points to some of the implications. The period since 1945 that the book focuses on is clearly characterized by more than an upswing in geographic scholarship. As Johnston and Sidaway highlight, capitalism, technology, and urbanization, among other things, were also proliferating. This vision of exploding growth lies behind the recent designation of the period as “the Great Acceleration” (Steffen et al. 2015). Regardless of what one thinks about this particular term or the concept of the Anthropocene with which it is associated, what it attempts to draw attention to—the enormous, largely negative changes that have occurred to the planet during this time—cannot be shrugged off. Yet these changes— including anthropogenic climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as processes such as resource extraction, urbanization, and agriculture that underlie them—are strikingly absent from Geography and Geographers. Their

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absence might itself be symptomatic, reflecting the way the technology boom and urbanization of this era has tried to overcome nature’s constraints. In the book, some geographers’ work on environmental issues is usefully discussed. There is also a valuable section on the production of nature, including work by Margaret Fitzsimmons. But her vital point about human geographers’ neglect of the material reality of social Nature (Fitzsimmons 1989) is elided. That material nature in Geography and Geographers generally features as an external, specialized research object, rather than being acknowledged as an actual influence on all geography and geographers, then illustrates Fitzsimmons point. Such a gap is especially concerning given the myriad effects flowing from climate change, for example, that are looping back onto human life, and all life, in multiple and complex ways. This includes the unacknowledged influence of such effects on research and teaching, where they are not only opening up new research questions or opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, but are directly influencing geographers and their work in more direct and subtle ways, in the field and beyond. Perhaps the more important question prompted by the unacknowledged overlap between the book and the Great Acceleration is the relationship between geographers and the problems encapsulated by the latter. To what extent are geographers indicative of the Anthropos? As Johnston and Sidaway mention, Eden argued in her comprehensive review of twentieth-century British geography that the discipline has regularly taken its eye off the “environmental ball” and discouraged radical critique, allowing, we can surmise, environmental problems to proliferate. More generally, if the very limited role given to nature in Geography and Geographers is anything to go by, there has been a tendency to externalize and deny nature explanatory force in the discipline. Whether tethered to the concept of the Anthropocene or not, asking about the discipline’s impact on the planet, above and beyond its involvement in environmentalism per se, is an important move, which more recent scholarship in the discipline has begun to engage (e.g., Castree 2015a, 2015b). The Anthropocene offers yet another prompt to develop a more materialized geography of geography, one sensitive to not only all of the discipline’s impacts, positive and negative, but the related ways in which the physical world affects its knowledge production and self-knowledge. Such an embedded account of geography would demonstrate what the discipline has to offer, building on the masterful account of its intellectual debates presented by Johnston and Sidaway.


Responses by Ron Johnston, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, and James D. Sidaway, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore. When the first edition of Geography and Geographers was being written by one of us in the late 1970s the Anglophone discipline had recently passed through a major period of turmoil in which those committed to its transition from idiographic regionalism to nomothetic quantitative spatial science had fought a major battle for its core. They hadn’t totally succeeded, but had established more than a foothold in its central redoubt (Burton 1963; Gregory 1983)—and then were faced with battles to defend their newly gained position of dominance, if not predominance, against others who contested the value of their approach. Those battles were strongly fought, sometimes vituperatively and personally. The term revolution was often used as each party vied for the discipline’s heart and soul by disparaging their opponents’ views (as some personal histories illustrate; see Berry 2006). Kuhn’s paradigm model was frequently called on not only as a framework within which to locate those struggles (as in Geography and Geographers), but also as a rallying cry behind whose banners a struggle for hegemony could be mobilized. There was no revolution that displaced all existing approaches, however, and the struggles were never finally resolved in one group’s favor; but the battle cries went on for some years. Geography and Geographers was first written in that context. Over the succeeding decades the revolutionary fervor died away considerably and conflict rarely featured in the discipline’s journals—just intermittently resurfacing as somebody expressed discomfort, or more, with contemporary trends. Human geography didn’t settle down into a comfortable, unchanging coexistence between groups pursuing different agendas (some more incompatible than others), however. Instead, as more students—both undergraduate (in the United Kingdom) and postgraduate (widely across the Anglophone realm)—chose it as the focus of their work, this provided both stability and the grounds for expansion for many university departments. The resultant growing number of human geographers now occupied a more stable and recognized set of positions within the social sciences and related disciplines, and a wider range of perspectives was introduced—some totally new, others linked to existing approaches. There were fewer overarching battles for the discipline’s heart and soul, however, like those of the preceding decades, and few would-be revolutionaries wanted to take it over and


eliminate their “competitors.” Instead human geography broadened in its scope and in its links to a wide range of other disciplines and subdisciplines; it now has a “messy and unconventional profile” according to one professor of physical geography, with human geography rather surprisingly presented as “by nature, humanistic and qualitative” (Clifford 2016, 35). No longer were there proponents of a disciplinary core, with anything else committed to its margins; in many ways the discipline became a collage of margins, of groups coexisting and carrying on regardless (as suggested in Cresswell 2013). There were still conflicts, of course, although minor relative to what had gone before. Groups jockeyed for status within individual departments, when new positions were to be filled, for example, and there were examples of textbook writers seeking to define the discipline by promoting their own approaches and sometimes silencing others (Johnston 2006). For the most part, though, the different approaches to the discipline operated with their adherents not only not challenging those promoting other approaches but also being largely unaware of them in any detail (Johnston et al. 2014). This period of quiescent change and expansion was characteristic of the emergence of those portions of the discipline treated in the second half of the book within a book that most of our commentators recognize as a key feature of Geography and Geographers—with that altered situation also, and perhaps belatedly, recognized in the seventh edition’s revised final chapter. Strident debates are now rarer, and the discipline is characterized by growth through accretion; an ever-expanding Venn diagram with few substantial overlaps. So is Kuhn any longer relevant? In part, yes: there have been no more references to paradigmatic revolution since the 1970s but the discipline comprises a multiplicity of paradigms—at all three scales eventually recognized by Kuhn—coexisting as a myriad shared positions within a wide range of knowledge. Kuhn is also relevant in a historical sense, because of the ways in which references to paradigms and scientific revolutions were internalized within the discipline, having been adopted by some of those who sought to reshape it—with lasting consequences. Debates about the wider value and impacts of Kuhn’s ideas continue. A recent review and reevaluation of Thomas Kuhn’s Revolutions noted that, “Although the paradigm concept was not original with Kuhn—philosophers Georg Lichtenberg, Wittgenstein, and Toulmin used it earlier—Kuhn certainly made it popular . . . Indeed Kuhn’s concept eventually exploded in the literature, especially among members of various disciplines searching for epistemic legitimacy to justify their discipline, as scientific or at least comparable to science” (Marcum 2015, 177).

Marcum did not mention geography, although a key the reference he cited in developing this argument does (Perry 1977). That Kuhn’s ideas became entangled with the remaking of Anglophone human geography in the second half of the twentieth century seems undeniable, even if we might want to bring other perspectives to bear in interpreting how and why this happened. Would Kuhn play such a similar role if a new book were being conceived now? Undoubtedly not—but the seventh edition was not a wholly new book; it built on the foundations of one first conceived forty years ago and that, despite its age, our commentators still find valuable as a structuring of human geography’s recent history. Of course, there are silences, although we would like to think these are now more relative than absolute. We already accept that more might have been said in the seventh edition about cartography, military geography and militarism’s wider impacts, as well as considering further the relationship between human and physical geography, including debates about the Anthropocene—although recall that the book was being written in 2014, not 2016. (For a recent restructuring of human geography linking human and physical perspectives, see Dorling and Lee 2016, but more can be said.) Some issues and approaches, especially feminism, came later to the earlier editions than they should have. When James became a co-author on the sixth (2004) edition, there was an extensive reworking, especially in the second half of the book, that yielded the ten chapters retained in the seventh edition. We have never claimed to be universal, however, never argued that what we were doing was celebrating all that was being done; the focus was on change, however it happened. We were explicit that we were only covering work in English—although, apart from Hägerstrand’s adroit contributions, what was being written about in English from outside the Anglophone North Atlantic probably didn’t get the treatment it deserved. Nor have we ever claimed Anglophone superiority; a book that treated the discipline’s history across all language realms, drawing out their particularities and linkages—perhaps including physical geography, too—would be a massive task (probably impossible for a pair of authors, certainly this one). All we could provide is a particular perspective about a part of that total, about a margin full of its own margins. We have treated the North Atlantic Anglophone realm (basically the United Kingdom and Ireland with the United States and Canada) as a single unit because the parts are so interlinked, yet not creating a homogeneous whole. We have elsewhere recognized the trans-Atlantic

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heterogeneity (both for human geography as a whole [Johnston and Sidaway 2004] and for one of its smaller subdisciplines [Johnston 2005]); but we write largely on UK foundations, and that might well stand out in how we present the history we have experienced (and there are excellent alternative views; e.g., Cox 2014). Although work in English from Scandinavia and the Netherlands and some from Australasia (as well as Singapore) is present in Geography and Geographers, a history of geography from one of those sites or centred on Anglophone North America or just the United States (as in Martin 2015, which was not yet available when we finalized the seventh edition) would look different. So do we, and the students to whom Geography and Geographers is addressed, need to know our (recent) history: In whatever context we are writing, can we know who we are without knowing what we have emerged from? To quote Clifford (2016) again, if we are to “undertake a sober survey of the territory that we are now traversing—[in order to] . . . consider where we might go before we get irrevocably lost” then a conspectus of the present without some historical context will almost certainly be fairly unproductive. That context might not be set within the framework provided by Geography and Geographers, but some framework is definitely needed. There is some hint in the commentaries that by providing such a framework, which has been widely employed in teaching the discipline’s history for four decades, we have in one sense “invented” the (or perhaps more precisely, a) discipline—having accepted that a discipline is needed (recall the discussions as to whether the title of Livingstone’s [1992] essential book should begin with an indefinite rather than definite article!). That needs no apology, however: All sciences and the humanities move forward by both building on as well as challenging and sometimes revisiting the foundations already laid down. Indeed, the insights of fresh work on the histories of science (see Wotton 2015 for a recent account) and feminist science scholarship (which Geography and Geographers ought to have more carefully responded to, as Kim England notes in her commentary) points to the range of forces that need to be taken into account. We look forward to reading those new challenges, to visiting alternative stories. Moreover, institutionally “geography” needs those stories if it is to survive in challenging times. At this juncture, however, we thank Mark Boyle and our interlocutors here for unpicking some of the threads in the narrative that Geography and Geographers weaves, while anticipating continuing conversations and fresh patterns.


References Berry, B. J. L. 2006. Nihil sin labore: An autobiography. Baltimore, MD: Gateway. Brown, R. 1949. The historical geography of the United States. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace. Burton, I. 1963. The quantitative revolution and theoretical geography. The Canadian Geographer 7 (4): 151–62. Castree, N. 2015a. Changing the Anthropo(S)Cene: Geographers, global environmental change and the politics of knowledge. Dialogues in Human Geography 5 (3): 301–16. ———. 2015b. Geography and global change science: Relationships necessary, absent, and possible. Geographical Research 53 (1): 1–15. Clifford, N. 2016. Geography’s place in the world. Times Higher Education 24 March. https://protect-us.mime cast.com/s/DzxkBmIL42VzI4?domain=timeshigher education.com (last accessed 8 December 2016). Colten, C. 2005. Unnatural metropolis: Wresting New Orleans from nature. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press. Cox, K. R. 2014. Making human geography. New York, NY: Guilford. Cresswell, T. 2013. Geographic thought: A critical introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. DeVivo, M. 2015. Leadership in American academic geography: The twentieth century. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Dorling, D., and C. Lee. 2016. Geography. London, UK: Profile Books. Feyerabend, P. 1975. Against method: Outline of an anarchist theory of knowledge. Atlantic Highlands. NJ: Humanities Press. Fitzsimmons, M. 1989. The matter of nature. Antipode 21 (2): 106–20. Foucault, M. 1970. The order of things. New York, NY: Pantheon. Gregory, S. 1983. Quantitative geography: The British experience and the role of the Institute. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 8 (1): 80–89. Johnston, R. J. 2005. Anglo-American electoral geography: Same roots and same goals, but different means and ends? The Professional Geographer 57 (4): 580– 87. ———. 2006. The politics of changing human geography’s agenda: Textbooks and the representation of increasing diversity. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 31 (3): 286–303. ———. 2009. On geography, Geography and geographical magazines. Geography 94 (3): 207–14. Johnston, R. J., R. Harris, K. Jones, D. Manley, C. E. Sabel, and W. W. Wang. 2014. Mutual misunderstanding and avoidance, misrepresentation and disciplinary politics: Spatial science and quantitative analysis in (United Kingdom) geographical curricula. Dialogues in Human Geography 4 (1): 3–25.


Johnston, R. J. and J. D. Sidaway. 2004. The trans-Atlantic connection: “Anglo-American” geography reconsidered. GeoJournal 59 (1): 15–22. King, T. 2003. The truth about stories: A native narrative. Toronto, Canada: House of Anansi. Kirsch, S. 2013. Cultural geography I: Materialist turns. Progress in Human Geography 37 (3): 433–41. Kuhn, T. 1962. The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Lakatos, I. 1978. The methodology of scientific research programmes. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Lawson, V. 2007. Geographies of care and responsibility. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97 (1): 1–11. Livingstone, D. N. 1992. The geographical tradition: Episodes in the history of a contested enterprise. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Marcum, J. A. 2015. Thomas Kuhn’s revolutions: A historical and evolutionary philosophy of science? New York, NY: Bloomsbury. Martin, G. J. 2015. American geography and geographers: Toward geographical science Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. McKittrick, K., and C. A. Woods, eds. 2007. Black geographies and the politics of place. Toronto, ON: Between the Lines Press.

Mountz A, A. Bonds, B. Mansfield, J. Loyd, J. Hyndman, M. Walton-Roberts, R. Basu, R. Whitson, R. Hawkins, T. Hamilton, and W. Curran. 2015. For slow scholarship: A feminist politics of resistance through collective action in the neoliberal university. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 14 (4): 1235–59. Perry, N. 1977. A comparative analysis of “paradigm” proliferation. British Journal of Sociology 28 (1): 38–50. Steffen W, W. Broadgate, L. Deutsch, O. Gaffney, and C. Ludwig. 2015. The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The great acceleration. The Anthropocene Review 2 (1): 81–98. Trevino, C. J. 2004. Reasons to smile: Interview with Brian J. L. Berry, geographer and political economist. Urbana VII–VII:1–21. van Meijl, T. 2005. The critical ethnographer as trickster. Anthropological Forum 15 (3): 235–45. Wotton, D. 2015. The invention of science: A new history of the Scientific Revolution. New York, NY: Harper. Yacher, L. 1982. Erwin Raisz. In Geographers: Biobibliographical studies, ed. T. W. Freeman, 93–97. London, UK: Manswell.

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Nature, Choice and Social Power Erica Schoenberger. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. 224 pp. $52.95 (ISBN 978-0-41583387-5)

Introduction by Aman Luthra, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. There is little doubt that Nature, Choice and Social Power makes significant contributions to our understanding of environmental history. The book coherently shows the reader how social power has historically structured what appear to be individual choices, focusing specifically on the impacts of these choices on the human relationship with nature. Spanning a study of a diverse set of issues that range from mining to the automobile industry to urban sprawl, Erica Schoenberger’s lucid and entertaining writing style makes the book an utter delight to read. The histories of social choices such as the gasoline engine, gold, and the structure of contemporary U.S. cities are lengthy, rich, and complex. Schoenberger carefully unravels these histories. Her method weaves together snippets from extensive reading and research, giving the reader a sense of the richness and complexity that underlie the history of our social choices. Take, for instance, her discussion on mining. She alternates between antiquity and the modern, not in a linear fashion, but to make a very precise argument. Therein lies her power of persuasion. The reader is drawn in to

see what William Brewer, a member of the first Geological Survey of California in the years 1860 to 1864, had in common with Pliny the Elder, the procurator for Emperor Vespasian in the first century AD. Both knew of the devastating environmental impacts of mining technologies in use or being developed for use during the respective periods. Yet, knowledge of those consequences has never stopped us from mining. Similarly, Schoenberger shows us why despite the range of choices available at the beginning of the twentieth century for powering automobiles—steam, electricity, and gasoline—the internal combustion engine triumphed. As early as the late 1800s, air pollution that would result from mass usage of gasoline-powered vehicles was already being predicted. Schoenberger quotes Pedro Salom, an electric vehicle manufacturer: “All the gasoline motors we have seen belch forth from their exhaust pipe a continuous stream of partially unconsumed hydrocarbons . . . Imagine thousands of such vehicles on the streets” (p. 116). Salom might have had vested interests in advertising the ill effects of gasoline-powered vehicles to better market his own product. Nonetheless, he was not wrong in his assessment, as we now know well. Schoenberger shows us that despite knowledge of the environmental harms, the internal combustion engine won against competing alternatives. This happened not because of the “car itself” but because of the “way it was made” (p. 114). Her point here is that whether it’s mining or the automobile industry, knowledge (about environmental impacts) might be a necessary but certainly has never been a sufficient condition for action (or lack thereof).

The AAG Review of Books 5(1) 2017, pp. 62–73. doi: 10.1080/2325548X.2017.1257296. ©2017 by American Association of Geographers. Published by Taylor & Francis, LLC.

In the concluding chapter of the book, Schoenberger cautiously presents a way forward, declaring it decidedly as not a list of things “we must” do (p. 194). Instead, she asks us to consider how we might develop an “effective, countervailing form of social power” that allows us to make a “history that we can live with” (p. 196). Drawing on Iris Marion Young’s social connection model and her concepts of shared responsibility and deep democracy, Schoenberger urges us to think about how capitalism and democracy can work together. The answer lies in a system where people participate and engage in an accountable and representative form of democracy. Such a system requires “time for political work” and “organizing to be successful” (p. 197). Organizers in such a system are crucial and will need to be paid to do that work. Schoenberger’s efforts to urge us to start thinking practically about alternative systems of democracy are commendable. Much academic writing never goes this far. Yet, there is a sense of resignation in her otherwise optimistic conclusion. Capitalism as we know it, appears to be here to stay. Deep democratic engagement needs to rein it in. Schoenberger shows the reader that available choices are not and have never been foreordained. Yet, her conclusion might lead us to believe that capitalism as a system indeed might be foreordained. Getting rid of the system is out of the question. What is left to do is to figure out better ways to live within it. Yet, this should not detract the reader from what the book is able to accomplish. The central question that the book tries to tackle is quite commonplace and is discussed often in different media fora. The Guardian, for instance, recently published a piece by an anticonsumerist blogger about the “unbearable hyprocrisy” or “tension” or “cognitive dissonance” faced by those environmentally minded persons who must “exist within a system [they] hope to change” (Somerville 2016). Somerville is not alone in voicing this tension. Schoenberger asks the same question at the beginning of her book, referring precisely to writers like Somerville whose “environmentalist discourse centers on our personal choices—choices about things we consume and the way we live” (p. 1). Schoenberger takes us further, though, responding to writers like Somerville by arguing, “Our choice is free, but our degrees of freedom are limited by how a society works to produce and allocate social power” (p. 1). The difference between the two—Somerville and Schoenberger—is not only in how they frame the problem, but also how they approach potential solutions. Somerville’s solution is based on individual choice and an acceptance of our failures in making the right choices all the time. The answer for Somerville is in consuming less and urging others

to do the same, recognizing that you will fail sometimes. On the other hand, Schoenberger starts with the need for more consumption in much of the world without falling into Somerville’s trap of an apparent cognitive dissonance. That’s what Schoenberger’s political economy framework allows her to do and do convincingly. Consequently, Schoenberger’s solutions are not focused on the individual alone but on the social, where the individual plays a part but socially through deep democratic engagement. There is tremendous analytic power in her argument. More important, however, is her prowess of communicating that analytic rigor lucidly, succinctly, and entertainingly. The very same audience that is able to read Somerville’s blogs (and book) can easily also read Schoenberger’s book. To discuss, celebrate, and critique this book, I organized an Author Meets Critics session on 2 April 2016 at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in San Francisco. The commentaries that follow were first delivered at this session, sponsored by multiple specialty groups including Cultural and Political Ecology, Development Geography, Economic Geography, Energy and Environment, Historical Geography, Human Dimensions of Global Change, and Urban Geography. In addition to these specialty groups and the panelists, I would like to thank audience members at the session whose participation allowed for a lively discussion at the end of the panel.

Commentary by Yuko Aoyama, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA. To say Erica Schoenberger’s new book is a delight is an understatement. Meticulously researched and creatively crafted, with this book Schoenberger delivers a highly original volume that is multidimensional, highly informative, and accessible and readable. I have always admired Schoenberger’s work for her innovativeness, courage, and versatility, and this book demonstrates all these features. I have been recommending this book to everyone. The book begins with a deceptively casual introduction, followed by astonishingly well-researched and eloquently argued narratives on two very different commodities that have played a considerable role in the economy: gold and automobiles. By examining industrial history through a new lens of twenty-first-century environmental consciousness, Schoenberger uncovers evidence that lies outside our conventional knowledge, and skillfully repaints a

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familiar story to a new and contemporary interpretation. An outcome is a highly unique and convincing narrative of choices made and opportunities missed in the past, and energy and environmental consequences we face today. In my view, the book is among the first to effectively deliver in bridging the intradisciplinary divide between economic and resource geography. The cause behind the scant dialogue is obviously an outcome of their respective emphasis, which diverges between primarily economic (and often global) versus primarily environmental (and often local, at least until recently). Yet the current environmental crisis demands that this chasm be urgently filled. Schoenberger engages with nature but with a mind of an economic geographer, and paves a path for a far closer engagement between nature and economy. If you are an economic geographer but haven’t been able to find a book on mining that satisfies your interests, this is the book you have been waiting for! Schoenberger successfully puts materiality of resources under scrutiny of the techno-economic system in which it developed and evolved. As she claims in her book, “All natural resources have social histories” (p. 79). For economic geographers, the most vital aspect of mining is in its forward linkages (i.e., what mineral is being mined, where it is being transported, what it will become downstream), which determines how the mineral is valued, what technologies are being used, and how revenues are generated. Schoenberger’s analysis on the history of gold offers extensive coverage on the role of technology, labor cost and supply, competition, incentives, and value chains in the development of gold mining. Her analysis involves a detailed evolution of technologies that changed gold mining from early history to today, with all the implications and repercussions on its value and systems of labor deployment. She poignantly demonstrates how gold mining has depended on extreme low labor cost (or more accurately put, almost zero labor cost through slavery). She also includes a very insightful section on gold as currency, in which she demonstrates how gold’s natural scarcity is manufactured by its social use (“social scarcity”). Because gold is there to be hoarded, ritually or ornamentally, often buried in underground tombs, as a result, gold returns to the ground and supply becomes “selfcanceling.” From religious to personal seal to coins for exchange, the function of gold changes over the course of its history, but consistently serves its role as a symbol of power. Once the book turned to the subject of automobile and sprawl, I had expected that I would be in far more


familiar territory; I was mistaken. The second section of the book showcases the planning roots of Schoenberger’s intellectual foundation. Yet, what is covered in this book is a clear departure from the well-rehearsed story of how the automobile industry successfully lobbied to dismantle streetcars and trams from U.S. cities. Instead, Schoenberger takes us through a journey of interconnected business interests, the public sector, and available technologies of the time, and how they resulted in a perfect storm of suburban expansion in places like Los Angeles. From technology (septic tanks!) to the role of the state and developers (the federally funded sewer systems that supported the societal-ponzi scheme of sorts) to the yet-to-have-emerged women’s power in consumption decisions, Schoenberger masterfully pieces various and often independent processes into an intertwined web that results in contemporary nonrenewable energy dependence. In spite of complexities, she picks apart these various aspects of the structure one by one, demonstrating how each contributed to sprawl in Los Angeles, in a highly readable and convincing narrative. I marveled at her insights on how women consumers overwhelmingly preferred electric cars over combustion engine cars, that prices were comparable until Ford launched mass production assembly in full force, and how and why competing technologies were invested in heavily or scarcely considered. Above all, I appreciated her highly insightful speculation on the weak female consumer power of the time, noting that, had women’s suffrage come a decade earlier, it might have at least made a dent in an otherwise linear trajectory of the growth of internal combustion engines, which has locked us in on nonrenewable energy dependence. As we observe only among the most skilled of historians, Schoenberger shows that the “structure” emerges without intentions. The perfect storm of nonrenewable energy dependence demonstrated by Schoenberger is an important warning on the microdecisions we make as consumers, as innovators, as policymakers, and as citizens. So rarely do we analyze choices, incentives, and possibilities for a systemic change. By highlighting opportunities for change, Schoenberger gives us food for thought on how we redesign the system of governance we have today. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this book is its refreshingly constructive (albeit perhaps cautious) optimism about the future. Schoenberger writes, “particular choices that end up being available to us are not foreordained” (p. 194). By demonstrating how we had choices for technological and system selection, she convincingly argues that we have choices in shaping the future as well,


which calls for active engagements in the current political and policymaking processes. Schoenberger writes, “From a political economy perspective, the problem is not to decide between states and markets but to decide how we think states and markets should work together to promote our general welfare” (p. 13). She deters us away from a facile blame-placing on either the state or markets; instead, what is at stake is in our individual and collective capacity to develop a collaborative strategy that produces societal solutions that successfully divert us from disasters and crisis. It is difficult to critique a book as original and creative as this. Perhaps the only critique I can offer is that it is at times a challenge to follow the path Schoenberger takes, with all its unfamiliar routes and turns. Also, evidently Schoenberger has mastery of research methodology at the envy of the academic community, but the book offers little glimpse at what that entails. At the end of the book, you will nonetheless be glad that you have followed her journey with all its new encounters and discoveries.

this discussion to comment on some of the overarching issues that Schoenberger addresses in this book, also suggesting two ways in which her insightful analyses can be extended. One of the central concerns with which Schoenberger grapples is the relationship of knowledge to action, and in this respect, both of her case studies demonstrate a paradox. This paradox is that although the negative social and environmental impacts of gold mining and automobiledependent suburban sprawl have been well known, translating this knowledge into actions that would ameliorate these impacts has been very challenging. Said another way, in the face of well-recognized socioenvironmental problems, which we know to be the products of our own actions, we seem unable to change course; these problems seem intractable.

“This is an odd combination of topics,” Erica Schoenberger notes early on in Nature, Choice and Social Power (p. 14). The reference is to mining and the automobile, the socioenvironmental histories of which make up the book’s two main empirical sections. Indeed, for readers attracted to this book for its effort to understand the contemporary environmental crisis, and how we might address it, the ground that Schoenberger covers might be unexpected. Yet the rewards are many, for it is through her innovative analyses of the histories of mining and the automobile that Schoenberger presents a compelling reassessment of today’s environmental challenges. This is a reassessment that foregrounds the ways in which our environmental choices have been limited by systems and structures beyond our immediate control, while also insisting that the options available to us have never been preordained.

Schoenberger’s inquiry into the knowledge–action relationship resonates with several strands of work in political ecology. One is research on certification schemes for consumer goods that make use of so-called ecolabels. As Eden (2011) noted, the assumption behind ecolabeling strategies is that by increasing consumers’ knowledge of the provenances of their purchases, they will rationally choose to consume responsibly, buying the ecofriendly products, and thus steering the market in general toward sustainability. Yet, as Eden further indicated, this assumption often does not hold water (consumers might not respond straightforwardly to information; labels can be misinterpreted; the idea of the fully rational consumer is problematic from the start), and increased consumer knowledge often does not translate into actions we might expect, or into the systemic change that ecolabeling proponents desire. A similarly unexpected relationship between knowledge and action is found in Robbins’s (2007) research on the political ecology of lawns. In this work, Robbins reported that lawnchemical users are, on the whole, relatively aware of the ecological and health risks of chemical usage—in fact, chemical users tend to be even more aware of these risks than nonusers. Thus, as with Eden’s work on ecolabeling, Robbins’s findings challenge the idea that simply increasing consumers’ knowledge will lead to sustainable practices.

As a political ecologist with research interests in the mining industry, I was especially drawn to Part I of Nature, Choice and Social Power, in which Schoenberger provides a stimulating and extensively researched longrun history of gold and gold mining. Given my interests, I mainly focus in what follows on mining, although I use

Although Schoenberger’s interests in the knowledge–action relationship thus lead to some overlaps with these strands of the political-ecology literature, it is important to note that Schoenberger is not focused narrowly—or at least not wholly—on consumer knowledge, but rather on societal knowledge more generally. In this respect,

Commentary by Matthew Himley, Department of Geography-Geology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL.

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Schoenberger shows convincingly in Chapters 1 and 2 that knowledge of the negative effects of gold mining goes back a long way: In first-century Rome, Pliny the Elder wrote of the physical destruction occasioned by hard-rock gold mining; in the 1500s, Agricola wrote of the deforestation and water contamination generated by mining; also in the 1500s, Las Casas detailed the horrific treatment that indigenous peoples of the Americas suffered in the context of gold-driven Spanish colonialism. Today, as Schoenberger also examines, although it is no secret that mercury exposure can produce neurological disorders, mercury amalgamation continues to be employed in small-scale gold mining around the world, often with limited safety precautions. Significant in this discussion is that whereas the negative consequences of mining have been known, efforts to address them have been absent or uneven. Las Casas, as Schoenberger notes, might have succeeded in educating King Ferdinand of the devastation wrought by the Spanish in the Americas. For Ferdinand, however, these wrongs apparently were not wrong enough to merit their substantive curtailment. In more contemporary terms, Schoenberger’s comparative analysis of the Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea and the McLaughlin Mine in northern California (Chapter 1) illustrates vividly the unevenness of efforts to make large-scale mining less environmentally damaging. In the case of Ok Tedi, Schoenberger details a variety of environmental, political, and economic factors that contributed to make that mining project a disaster. In the case of McLaughlin, she analyzes the factors that coalesced to make that operation “the poster child for environmentally sensitive mining” (p. 39, italics in original). Through this comparison, Schoenberger’s analysis dovetails with the environmental justice literature. Importantly, for Schoenberger, understanding the history of gold mining, the distinct trajectories it has taken in different parts of the world, and why knowledge of mining’s negative effects has often not led to reform requires an analysis of what she calls social power. Or, as she puts it, it requires an analysis of “the constraints on action produced by social structures and systems in general” (p. 75). Here is where Schoenberger’s methodological approach—which blends long-run historical analysis with carefully detailed assessments of pivotal moments in these histories—is especially valuable. On the one hand, this approach allows Schoenberger to identify underlying patterns and trajectories. In the case of sprawl in Los Angeles (Chapter 6), for instance, these include a long history of planning that aimed primarily to provide


profits to property owners. On the other hand, Schoenberger’s approach allows her to show contingency—to show that the histories she traces were not the fixed outcomes of a relentless logic, but rather were the result of specific kinds of social power being exercised under particular circumstances. This contingency is demonstrated in the book’s discussion of Ford’s Model T and the ascendency of the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine (Chapter 4). Here, Schoenberger details how the rise of the gasoline-powered automobile was not the result of deep-rooted consumer preferences, or even the technical superiority of the internal combustion engine itself. Rather, this outcome derived from the superiority of Ford’s production technique, along with a constellation of contextual factors that drove competing technologies (namely the electric car) out of the market. For Schoenberger, it is at these moments in which things could have gone differently, but did not, that the various forms of social power to which she draws attention come into focus. This appreciation for contingency also influences Schoenberger’s thinking about socioenvironmental futures, lending the book an air of optimism. For what her historical analyses show is that although some trajectories might appear to us as unalterable, “the particular choices that end up being available to us are not foreordained” (p. 194). Returning to the knowledge–action relationship, there are ways in which Schoenberger’s compelling analyses can be extended (although these are no doubt beyond the scope of this book). First, on the issue of consumer knowledge, the case of gold raises interesting, and politically thorny, issues that are worth greater attention. Schoenberger notes that throughout most of history, the users of gold were a relatively tiny group of powerful people and institutions. Yet, as Ali (2006) observed, much of the gold produced today flows to consumers in the Global South, in countries like India, Pakistan, China, and Vietnam, where it is often bought in the form of jewelry that could carry deeply embedded cultural meanings. This suggests, on the one hand, that any effort to reform gold mining by increasing consumers’ knowledge of gold’s provenance would encounter a gold commodity chain that does not follow paths typical for the commodities usually targeted for this sort of strategy. On the other hand, this situation raises interesting questions about Schoenberger’s call in her conclusion to Nature, Choice and Social Power for “deep democracy” as a first step in countering the forms of social power responsible for our current situation, in particular by indicating, for the case of gold mining, the diversity of the political community that would need to be involved in this process.


Second, staying with mining, opportunities exist to assess in greater detail how knowledge about mining’s impacts gets constructed, how these constructions change over time, and the significance of these shifts for how solutions to the mining question are imagined. This suggestion derives from the idea that the particular form that knowledge of mining’s impacts takes tends to facilitate certain kinds of action or remediation, while rendering others less important, even inconceivable. This dynamic is illustrated in work by Li (2015) on the smelter town of La Oroya in Peru’s Central Highlands, where in the early 1920s the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, a North American company, built a metallurgy complex to process minerals extracted throughout the region. This centralization of mineral processing also concentrated waste generation, and the La Oroya complex’s toxic emissions have long been a concern. As early as 1923, landowners sued the Cerro de Pasco Corporation for damages caused to area lands and rivers. In 2006, in the context of studies showing that 99 percent of La Oroya children had blood lead levels exceeding World Health Organization limits, La Oroya was designated one of the most polluted places in the world (Blacksmith Institute 2006). Within this history of concern over pollution, Li traces several shifts in how this pollution has been constructed. For instance, although pollutants were once understood mainly as a workplace problem that affected workers’ bodies, more recently scientists and nongovernmental organizations have worked to reframe the complex’s emissions as “air pollution” that puts the whole region at risk (Li 2015, 55). Importantly, changes in how pollution has been understood have been closely entwined with shifts in how solutions to the problem have been imagined and rolled out—a dynamic on display in Li’s assessment of recent corporate efforts to address the pollution problem at La Oroya, which have shifted the focus back to the scale of the body through programs centering on area residents’ health and hygiene habits. I would propose, then, that the “knowledge politics” of mining deserve further study. In the Conclusion to Nature, Choice and Social Power, Schoenberger argues for the need to “grow toward” a form of capitalism that incorporates—rather than works against—our social and environmental objectives. Yet, for the case of capitalist mining, significant debate continues regarding what “good” (or “responsible”) mining actually constitutes. In this context, more focused investigation into the mechanisms through which some understandings of mining’s impacts (positive and negative) come to dominate holds the potential to reveal much about how and why mining economies take particular trajectories in the future.

Commentary by Matthew T. Huber, Department of Geography, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. This remarkable book by Erica Schoenberger can remind us that we are scholars. It is based on wading through secondary historical literature, using statistical data as evidence, and making fresh and compelling explanatory arguments. It is based on reading, thinking, and writing. As basic as this sounds, we too often denigrate this aspect of our scholarly lives. When I’m asked about summer research plans, I’m often asked: what I am doing or where I am going. No one gets excited about the response, “The library” or “My home office.” In a moment of unprecedented digital access to newspapers, journals, books, and statistical data, it is an extraordinary time to read, think, and write. Like this book, such scholarship also can free itself from the empirical tethering to a particular place (i.e., field site), allowing us to make important claims about large-scale issues of national and global importance. This book should allow us to defend a sedentary, low-cost, contemplative, and dare I say, “armchair” approach to geographic scholarship. This is certainly not the only way to “do geography,” but it is one worth maintaining. In essence, our role as scholars is to make compelling arguments that can help us better understand how the world works and how we might change it. This book does just that. We know—we have known—that we face a massively complex ecological crisis. What we don’t have is good explanations for why our ecologically destructive society persists. This book offers a much needed critique of explanations that focus on individual choice. In contrast, it suggests it is broader systems of social power that benefit from social and ecological destruction. In fact, the title of the book, Nature, Choice and Social Power offers a useful three-part conceptual organization to my comments.

Nature How does society rationalize and normalize the ecological destruction of mercury poisoning from gold mining and the climate-change-inducing patterns of internal-combustion-powered suburban sprawl? Schoenberger forcefully argues that we cannot solve our environmental ills by focusing on a single issue called environmental policy. Similar to Moore’s (2015) work, we need to understand our ecological problems as constitutive of the broader social, political, and cultural patterns of society as a whole.

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Thus, we cannot offer simple technological fixes, or reforms of individual behavior. We need a broader social and political transformation of society itself. Importantly, Schoenberger shows us that these kinds of transformations have taken place historically. Developing an entire society around privatized single-family homes and transportation took decades and powerful interests to make it happen. Those transformations were never called environmental policies or energy policies—but they were social and political transformations that had massive environmental consequences. Schoenberger refreshingly avoids the standard narrative that solutions to environmental crisis inevitably mean accepting limits, scarcity, and a politics of “less.”1 This of kind politics shares a remarkable affinity with the neoliberal imposition of austerity that also emerged in the 1970s. Schoenberger says we are being “self-involved” (p. 5) when we only focus on the wasteful consumption patterns of a minority of profligate Americans. The majority of Americans and, of course, the majority of the world’s population do not live excessive, wasteful lives. Schoenberger says, “Much of the rest of the world’s population needs to consume more. They need more food, more clean water, more sanitation, more electricity, more industry” (p. 5). What does an ecological politics of more look like? How can it appeal to poor, workingclass people who need a politics of more? Schoenberger argues that instead of a politics that rejects growth and industry, we need to build industrial systems that don’t produce these negative outcomes. “Rather than just shrinking from outcomes we don’t want; we could think about building the outcomes we do want” (p. 199). For example, much of the book details the horrific destruction of gold mining (mercury poisoning, landscape destruction, etc.), but she also examines the case of Homestake’s McLaughlin mine in Napa County, California. This case shows that in particular political conditions, mining can be done in a relatively ecologically sound manner. This reorients environmental politics from a wholesale rejection of industrialism and extractivism, and forces us to seek a politics that imagines industrial extraction oriented toward social and ecological needs rather than simply profit.

Choice This book is a critique of what I’m going to call the additive approach to social and ecological problems. This perspective argues that our problems are produced by adding up the millions of individual consumer choices that


are linked to ecological destruction. It is these choices that create large-scale processes like suburban sprawl and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Schoenberger shows how these “choices” are structurally constrained by powerful forces who produce the conditions through which choices are made. Once the majority of white middle-upper class people moved out to the suburbs, they didn’t “choose” to consume lots of oil to drive around for fun. The everyday practices of social reproduction required new “necessities,” not choices— car purchases, gas stations, oil changes, and tire changes (Harvey 1989, 39). Much of our lives are determined by how material production is organized and the unequal divisions of power and wealth that shape which products become necessities. In fact, much of what Schoenberger calls “social power” is what many others would call “class” as defined by who owns and controls the means of production. It is capital that produces the commodities that are given to us as “choices.” Schoenberger offers a fresh take on the well-worn story of Henry Ford by showing the societal “choice” of the internal combustion engine is based in revolutions in the labor process—in the production of cheap, standardized cars that millions could afford. One anti-Semitic, antiunion white man, and his one company, helped shape the “choices” of millions of consumers for over 100 years.

Social Power The main concept anchoring the entire book is social power. The book shows that most of the ecological destructive patterns and choices of society are a product of systems of social power that in her words come from, “Control over resources, both human and natural” (p. 2). Much of the book is a critique of systems of social power. I want to focus, though, on one comment she makes in the introduction. “Power is not per se evil. Power over is often different from power to do things, often good and great things” (p. 4). Over the last three decades, too much of the left—particularly the academic left—has only wanted to critique forms of power. Power is inherently problematic. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We need to change the world without taking power, as Holloway (2002) said. Schoenberger rescues John Galbraith’s important concept of “countervailing power” (p. 202). We need more countervailing power for sure, but it will start by developing a left that strives for power—in her terms “power to do things.” I will also say that this necessarily will mean “power over”—we need power over corporations; power over a reactionary populism that hates taxes or wants to


build walls. We need to win to make our power strong and their power weak. I think it is a mistake to think we can make the world livable for the poor and working class without developing the left that seizes power and uses it for socially progressive and ecologically sane ends. Yet, it is on this question that I base some critical comments. The book is a bit muddy about which kinds of social power might be useful for us trying to solve issues of poverty and ecological crisis. The book often pairs what she calls “impersonal institutions such as the market and the state” (p. 194). I think the market is a very different kind of impersonal institution—the abstract domination of value, competition, and price movements is different than the often personalized force of state power (even if the state is itself ruled by rationalized and bureaucratic logics that appear impersonal). This book too often collapses this important distinction between private market power—which only seeks profits, and must grow or die— and public power—which often does horrible things, but at least has the capacity to do things that respond to democratic pressures with the goal of improving the social welfare. Yes, as the book shows, federal housing policies were written by and for the real estate developers, but that same state also passed labor laws that gave unions the power to collectively bargain. It is the same state that passed laws to tax the rich at levels above 90 percent. That is the kind of “power over” we need to think more about. The power to actually achieve massive wealth redistribution is not likely to happen without a strong state and public sector. Thus, public power should not always be collapsed as a simple handmaiden of capital. Markets and states are two very different forms of power. It is public forms of power that are built to respond to the democratic pressures and organizing of what Schoenberger proposes as the solution to our current impasse in the conclusion—what she calls “deep democracy” (p. 199). She suggests we need “an institutional docking point” (p. 198) for this democratic and political organizing and points to sites such as living rooms, community centers, and, of course, the streets. I might disagree, but Schoenberger also suggests “a different kind of capitalism” (p. 201) is the only imaginable and achievable end given our current political conditions. If reformed capitalism is our best hope, then the major “institutional docking point” we need to focus on is the state—not only a revival of the public sector, but a cultural political revival in the idea of the public good. As Dean (2016) suggested, perhaps the conduit to capturing state power is a very old-fashioned idea—the party.

Again, for too much of the left, political parties seem staid, inherently corrupt, and unable to harness the power of the “grassroots.” Yet, the “party” is an organized form of social power that can actually win power. In response to Bernie Sanders’s attempt to transform the Democratic Party in the United States, a provocative online article called on us to “Occupy the Party” (Not an Alternative 2016). It suggested, “Instead of treating the Democratic Party as some kind of authority with the power to coopt our message, we should treat it like any street or park and occupy it.” I must admit, for decades it’s been hard to imagine the Democratic Party as anything that could advance progressive ends, but that has not always been the case—and it need not be our eternal predicament into the future. Overall, this book pushes us to actually understand the social and political forces that have produced our ecological impasse. It combines economic geography with environmental analysis that cuts through still existing problematic disciplinary divides. On a smaller scale and practical level, the book is very accessible and clearly written. It could work for undergraduate and graduate students.

Commentary by Michael B. Teitz, University of California, Berkeley, CA. I love reading Erica Schoenberger’s prose. Whether she is describing the horrors of gold mining slave labor in Roman Spain, or presenting a radically new theory of the origins of money, she speaks with a clear, cool voice that is always modulated. The facts are marshaled like a disciplined army, ready to do her bidding, which is to convince the reader’s rational mind that her argument is sound. The sources are legion and often surprising. Where does she find them? Surely in a lifetime of quiet and profound study. Even in a book that is intended for an undergraduate audience, she does not speak down to her audience, but rather challenges them to rise and to consider the power of historical thought in addressing the reality of social power and collective and individual choice. I will not try to recapitulate the fullness of Schoenberger’s argument, or the historical cases that she elaborates. It is enough to say that she shows that simple remedies to our environmental disaster (my term, not hers) will not be sufficient. Our predicament is much deeper than standard technical or political remedies might address. The power of her argument, though, leads inevitably to

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the question of what can be done. The book’s concluding chapter is short and lacking specifics, but it illustrates the profound dilemma that is the consequence of her brilliant analysis of our predicament. If the situation that we face is the product of deep social forces, how can we possibly change? A most interesting insight into Schoenberger’s thought is provided by the fact that she seems to have given up on the idea that capitalism will fall of its inherent contradictions, at least in the foreseeable future. I have always understood her to be a lifelong student of Marx, and committed to the power of his analysis, yet her conclusions do not envision a collapse of the capitalist mode of production, even in the face of the greatest challenge that it has ever faced. Yet history tells us that all systems and empires ultimately change, either catastrophically or gradually. Capitalism, as we know it, dates roughly from the fifteenth century, although its flowering came two centuries later. Six hundred years is well beyond the time span of the Roman Empire, although less than those of the medieval period in Europe, or the common civilization of successive Chinese empires. So, perhaps it is not unreasonable to expect that capitalism will continue, at least into the next centuries. The aggressive adoption of capitalism in China and India seems to support this view, given their huge potential for growth driven by rising aspirations and enormous populations. Both in Asia and in Africa, the pressures of poverty are immense as people come to realize that their lives could be different. This revolution of imagination drives both politics and migration. The demand for resources is likely only to grow, with all the environmental harms that Schoenberger describes so well. If the forecasts of climate change are real, however, the earth faces limits on future economic growth. Despite hesitant steps toward curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the pressure to continue on our current path might be irresistible. What then? A collapse scenario is not out of the question. The problem is that we have little idea of what will actually precipitate a collapse, and what form it might take. For example, accelerated melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, leading to a rapid increase in sea levels, would cause enormous disruptions worldwide, straining resources of governments and producing migrations on a huge scale. A major war involving nuclear weapons might have the same effect, as would a global heat event that destroyed a large part of the food supply for one or more densely populated countries. A worldwide recession beyond the capacity of governments and central banks might have the same effect. Although


the specific events cannot be predicted, one or another is quite possible. How might such a scenario work out? For the most part, people live out their lives, seeking the welfare of their families, and responding to the social beliefs of their times. They are moved toward radical change by crisis, but we know only too well that their response is as likely to be irrational as rational. Grasping for immediate answers often leads to repression, even if the first impulse is revolutionary. Erica Schoenberger does not explore collapse scenarios, yet they remain a real and possible consequence of the phenomena that she describes with such precision. It is at least as likely as the path toward democratic awareness that she advocates. There is a profound difference between description of potential paths and advocacy of alternative policies, however. Does a collapse scenario offer viable policy directions? The obvious one would be to strengthen the institutional capacity to respond and weather whatever calamity might occur. To some extent, the recent focus on resilience is encouraging. Across a wide array of potential hazards, agencies have been actively pursuing policy innovations that have already shown their value. It is true that natural catastrophes are more susceptible to these approaches; so perhaps, it is time to take up seriously the question of economic resilience. Even if a global catastrophe does not occur, the present path of climate change will produce major regional problems in the foreseeable future. This is an area where young planners can make a real difference. If Erica Schoenberger can inspire them, this book will have served its purpose.

Response by Erica Schoenberger, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Here is a line from Marx (1963) that I particularly treasure: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past” (15). In a way, this is the motivating argument of the book. We do make choices and our choices matter, but in making them, we do not have unlimited degrees of freedom. The array of options from which we choose is structured by a particular history, and this history is structured by how a


society operates. The outcome—the history and the array of options that we inherit—was not, perhaps, intentional, but it was by no means accidental. Real interests were being advanced and defended, the winners of class and other struggles amassed more power to shape the trajectory into the future than the losers, and along the way some very good possibilities were foreclosed. My principal targets here are mainstream economic analysis and mainstream environmentalist discourse. Both are primarily concerned with individual choice, the economist celebrating “consumer sovereignty” and the environmentalist deploring heedless consumerism that has brought us to the brink of catastrophe. This “additive approach to social and ecological problems,” as Matthew T. Huber refers to it, leaves us with the paralyzing conclusion that no one and everyone is responsible for our environmental problems and our only way to tackle them is by convincing people to consume less. This policy, though, ignores the billions of people on the planet who seriously need to consume more and it does nothing to ameliorate or remediate the tremendous damage that has already been done, let alone alter our trajectory into the future. Doing that will require truly massive investments—large enough to counterbalance the massive private and collective investment that got us into our predicament in the first place. A second thing that ties the focus on consumer sovereignty and consumerism together is that they are about consumption choices. It is the untheorizable preferences of the sovereign consumer that drives the supply response, and the “choice” about how to make what is being supplied is a function of factor prices and exogenous technological change. I think it is critical to consider how things are made and how an economic and ecological landscape is produced, because these processes greatly influence the array of options that consumers get to choose among. A third thing that ties (many) economists to (many) environmentalists, in my view, is that they are unrealistic about capitalism and how it works. The economist imagines an unattainable equilibrium. The environmentalist imagines a no-growth capitalism or, perhaps, overthrowing capitalism altogether. I’m all in favor of the latter, but I don’t think we should wait until we do that before tackling the environment. My secret hope is that, by dealing with the environment first, we might be led to tackle the whole capitalism thing. If I read them correctly, the lingering question for all these critics is this: What really are the politics and policies of

the book? Michael B. Teitz observes, correctly, that I am a lifelong student of Marx, yet seem to have given up on the idea that capitalism will fall of its own internal contradictions. Adding in an environmental crisis would seem to make the possibility of system collapse that much more likely. Huber argues, correctly, that I am a little loose in my treatment of the market and the state, and urges us to focus on taking back the state. Matthew Himley suggests, correctly, that I have fudged a bit on the question of knowledge politics and the diversity of communities that need to be organized. Yuko Aoyama appreciates the way I encourage collaborative solutions to our current dilemmas and is just a little too kind to add “but how on earth do we get there?!” Aman Luthra notes that I am all about nothing being foreordained except that I appear to think that capitalism is foreordained. As for policies—what concrete steps should we take now—there is no shortage of ideas. Another motivation for writing this book was that we already know accurately and in detail how we have created the many environmental problems that we face, and we also know what we need to do about them, broadly speaking. Here is an example of early and accurate knowledge of global warming. It is a newspaper clipping from the Braidwood Dispatch of 17 July 1912, headlined “COAL CONSUMPTION AFFECTING CLIMATE,” and it reads: The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year. When this is burned, uniting with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly. This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperature. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries. (133)

Braidwood is located some 90 km east of Canberra, Australia, with a population today of about 1,100. I feel certain that it was not in the vanguard of scientific reporting in 1912 and yet there the whole problem is neatly and concisely laid out. Looking forward, the picture is admittedly complicated and full of difficult choices. An emblematic one on the issue of climate change is the role of nuclear power in a low-carbon world. There are easy decisions, though, that would make a significant difference. We know that infrastructure in the United States is in frighteningly fragile condition. Investment in rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure on the scale of the New Deal and the National Highway Program would provide an amazing opportunity to lay down the substrate of a low-carbon society and to

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do so relatively inexpensively given current interest rates. Think of it as environmental Keynesianism. An environmental Marshall Plan might seem like an absurd proposal in the current political climate, but if people realized how much of that money flowed immediately back to U.S. companies, they might see it differently. A crucial first step in any case is to bring these discussions into the public realm. This brings us to the politics of the book. I am, in truth, a lifelong student of Marx and I think his critique of capitalism is a work of real genius. I am less sure about his theory of history. Yes, capitalism necessarily creates poverty, injustice, environmental degradation, and crises as part of its normal functioning. I’m not sure that I see the oppressed rising up against the system any time soon, and I’m also not sure these days what the outcome of such a revolution would be. I’m old enough that I’ve seen a number of revolutions about which I had very high hopes go south. Bernie Sanders’s success revived some of these hopes, and Donald Trump’s success (this is being written in the summer of 2016) is a terrible reminder that reason and justice do not always prevail. Despite what we might wish, I don’t think we can count on capitalism going away any time soon. We cannot responsibly make our environmental politics and policies conditional on the overthrow of the capitalist system. We can use our knowledge of how the system works, however, to intervene in the discussions about society and environment in important ways. For example, we can show people that the free market is not so free, that it relies on the state for its functioning, and that government regulations are legitimate and necessary. In the book, I quote Adam Smith at least as often as Marx because Smith understood perfectly that businessmen are not to be trusted, that as a class their interests are not aligned with the interests of the nation, and that the government has a vital role to play in regulating the system. He was even in favor of progressive taxation. Despite my doubts about the imminence of the revolution, I believe that people are generally and fundamentally reasonable and well intentioned, even generous. Given the right circumstances, they will make good decisions. A big problem is that our way of being a democracy makes it unlikely that these virtues will win the day. In a sense, what I’m calling for is a movement to occupy democracy. In line with Young’s concept of “deep democracy,” this would entail a kind of permanent political engagement


at all levels of society and on all kinds of issues. Ancient Athens paid citizens a stipend for this sort of work. We could do the same and, in so doing, go at least part way toward the goal of a guaranteed minimum income. This kind of democratic engagement would unavoidably be a tremendous learning experience. People who are responsible for weighty decisions would find out all they could about the pros and cons. People who are engaged in discussions of this sort would have to listen to others and have to think beyond slogans and sound bites. My thought is that, as people educate themselves and others, as they reason together about important things, they will come to see both that the system needs to be changed and what they would like to see in its place. They will see that draining 99 percent of the surplus into the pockets of the 1 percent prevents them from accomplishing any number of goals. They will see that directing more of the surplus toward collective investments—including, for example, massive commitments to renewable energy while not abandoning coal miners—makes a lot of sense. This would constitute a highly dispersed kind of social power that would need to be continually organized and mobilized to accomplish anything. “Occupy democracy” would not replace the state, but it would force the state to be more responsive to an informed and engaged public will. I am aware that deep democracy is unlikely to happen any more rapidly than overthrowing capitalism, so why is this any better? It is better, I think, because people will be actively and democratically choosing their future. I have to think they will choose a livable future and that, because it is genuinely their choice, they will find a way to get there.

Note 1. Even the most radical of ecological critics seem to accept a politics of consuming less (see, e.g., Klein 2014).

References Ali, S. H. 2006. Gold mining and the golden rule: A challenge for producers and consumers in developing countries. Journal of Cleaner Production 14 (3–4): 455–62.


Blacksmith Institute. 2006. The world’s worst polluted places. New York, NY: Blacksmith Institute. Braidwood Dispatch. 1912. Coal consumption affecting climate. 17 July. https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/8JQ wBdfY6mDZuE?domain=trove.nla.gov.au (accessed 7 December 2016). Dean, J. 2016. Crowds and party. London, UK: Verso. Eden, S. 2011. The politics of certification: Consumer knowledge, power, and global governance in ecolabeling. In Global political ecology, ed. R. Peet, P. Robbins, and M. J. Watts, 169–84. London and New York: Routledge. Harvey, D. 1989. The urban experience. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. Holloway, J. 2002. Change the world without taking power: The meaning of revolution today. London, UK: Pluto. Klein, N. 2014. This changes everything: Capitalism vs. the climate. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. Li, F. 2015. Unearthing conflict: Corporate mining, activism, and expertise in Peru. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Marx, K., 1963. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte New York, NY: International. Moore, J. 2015. Capitalism in the web of life. London, UK: Verso. Not an Alternative. 2016. Occupy the party: The Sanders campaign as a site of struggle. Roar Magazine. https:// roarmag.org/essays/occupy-democratic-party-sanderscampaign/ (last accessed 1 June 2016). Robbins, P. 2007. Lawn people: How grasses, weeds, and chemicals make us who we are. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Somerville, M. 2016. How I deal with the unbearable hypocrisy of being an environmentalist [Blog post]. The Guardian: All You Need Is Less. http://www.the guardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/05/environmen tally-friendly-green-living-ideas (last accessed 1 June 2016).

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Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Caribbean Marion Werner. Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. xii and 215 pp., maps, figures, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95 paper (ISBN 978111894198).

Introduction by Matthew Sparke, Department of Geography and Integrated Social Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. How, in the present, have the lands of no one emerged and normalized a mode of organizing the planet according to life and lifelessness? —Katherine McKittrick (2013, 8) He was staring out at the impounded waters of the Artibonite. They stretched off to the east and the west and out of sight among the mountains. From here the amount of land the dam had drowned seemed vast. Still gazing, [Paul] Farmer said, “To understand Russia, to understand Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Boston, identity politics, Sri Lanka and Life Savers, you have to be on top of this hill.” The list was clearly jocular. So was his tone. But I had the feeling he had said something important. I thought I got it, generally. This view of drowned farmland, the result of a dam that had made his patients some of the poorest of the poor, was a lens on the world. His lens. Look through it and you’d begin to see all the world’s impoverished in their billions and the many linked causes of their misery. —Tracy Kidder (2004, 44)

It is an honor to introduce this book review forum on Marion Werner’s important monograph Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Caribbean. It

is an important book in part because of the way in which it offers empirical answers to the question posed so hauntingly by McKitrrick (2013) about the life and death divisions of the colonial present evident in lands scarred by colonial pasts of plantation slavery and racialized dispossession. At the same time, Global Displacements is also an important intervention because of how it reflects on these spaces of division in a way that treats them as fabrics of contemporary uneven development, fabrics in which the fates of impoverished people across around the world are stitched together, and fabrics that thereby also present all sorts of rough cut seams that any global studies worthy of the name should study closely. Rather like Paul Farmer’s treatment of a flooded valley in central Haiti as a lens onto a world of structuralturned-personal violence, Werner’s writing takes us to a region less than fifty miles away where the seam scenes of the border region linking Haiti and the Dominican Republic reveal the economic inequalities, political asymmetries, and embodied survival work of a world that isn’t flat. Instead of the “mountains beyond mountains” of the global struggle for health that Kidder (2004) traced in his account of Farmer’s work, Global Displacements disrupts flat-world fantasies of globalization by tying the divided local landscapes of garment labor on the northern side of Hispaniola to the global struggle for economic development. Although an identity politics discourse about the Dominican Republic as a budding global entrepreneur is a major thread of her analysis in Chapter 2, Werner can be read as also sewing in all sorts of substitutes that displace Farmer’s already displaced points of personal–local– global connection. Instead of Russia, Cuba, Boston, Sri

The AAG Review of Books 5(1) 2017, pp. 74–85. doi: 10.1080/2325548X.2017.1257298. ©2017 by American Association of Geographers. Published by Taylor & Francis, LLC.

Lanka, and Life Savers, then, Global Displacements gives us Mexican maquilas, Jamaica, Washington, Bangladesh, and “livelihood strategies.” Just as in Farmer’s self-situating worldview, the personal–local–global connections are also made with painstaking attention to embodiment, personal experience, and enduring coloniality. In Werner’s hands, though, this scholarly work of geohistorical connection becomes itself a kind of fabric work, and as the four reviews of the book gathered here make clear, the seam scenes that are thereby stitched together are many. For the same reason, I am very grateful to the four reviewers for providing their own diverse perspectives on the book, its achievements, and its implications for future work. Switching from the metaphor of Farmer’s hilltop lens to metaphors tied to textile labor, Beverley Mullings underlines how Global Displacements threads places together by tracing the moves women workers make from “lands of no one” to spaces that might sustain personhood. “This book does not traverse a straight line,” she says, “but rather, weaves across places, scales, and moments in time to capture processes that could otherwise appear simply mysterious or self evidential, and stories that gesture to the efforts of people to maintain their personhood, their self worth and to live lives abundantly.” Relatedly Mullings emphasizes that there are important lessons here for both policymakers and students of development alike. “[F]ew will read this book,” she argues, “and not question the continued faith of governments and aid agencies in the global factory as a solution to the challenges of debt, economic restructuring, and colonial legacies.” As Melissa W. Wright further highlights, both the book’s ethnographic account of personal journeys through precarity by young women workers, and its implications for ongoing debates about development, will “resonate with feminist scholars of the Mexican maquilas.” Wright argues that this border-crossing reach of the work is also explained in part by Werner’s weaving together of feminist, Marxist, and postcolonial theory, “fully integrated” theoretical seam work that also notably combines the lessons of critical race theory and critical development studies with an impressively multisited and multilingual ethnography. Kate Derickson suggests in turn that the situated and difference-aware qualities of Werner’s feminist ethnography mean that the book offers a causally consequential analysis while simultaneously avoiding the god-tricks and philosophical abdications associated by critics with a caricature of touchy-feely feminized research. Using Global

Displacements as her example of the actual alternatives being developed by feminist geographers, Derickson insists that “feminist political economy isn’t just politically better political economy—it’s just better political economy.” Derickson also ends, though, by complicating this as a claim about intellectual merit by asking, “If we perfect our analyses, then what?” To Derickson’s question, Bradley R. Wilson offers at least one answer: namely, the vital work of guiding activism about global production networks. Reflecting on his own student activism in the 1990s, Wilson remembers that: “The global factory . . . served as a key target of moral indignation, a kind of fetish object of my generation’s rejection of the race to the bottom around the globe. Yet, even with the successful antisweatshop ‘wins’ in the 1990s my colleagues and I were not prepared for what followed. Like the stories told in Global Displacements, some factories closed and competition continued . . . yet the garments kept coming.” Amidst this relentless global flow of apparel and the unending global shifts it both reflects and causes, Wilson suggests that we and our students need more of the sorts of study offered by Werner, more fabric work that pieces together the ties between new rounds of restructuring and how people living and working on older seams of globalization themselves survive decline. As all four reviewers suggest in different ways, though, this still begs more questions about what is to be done instead. Of course, questions about alternatives continue to be asked by our students, too, and not only just by the cynical ones who have been trained by TINA (there is no alternative) touts to think that unending uneven development under market rule is inevitable. More activist hopes are not always naively panglossian about the future (or plantation futures), and they challenge all of us who contribute to critical global studies to explore, evaluate, and imagine real change for the better. Werner’s support for reparative justice is itself a good example in this respect. It is an example of the anticipatory-emancipatory element that critical theory has always demanded alongside all the diagnoses of what is going wrong. Yet critical theory also teaches us how dangerous false solutions can be, and how easily development plans can be recuperated into the compensatory cover-up of ongoing structural violence. As Global Displacements shows so well with its critique of the conceit of the “global factory” as a development solution, dominant development plans are much better at delivering cheap commodities and wealth for consumers

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and elites than secure and sustainable development for workers in spaces of production. It is with her sobering arguments against the global factory as solution that Werner also comes to take issue near the end of the book with Paul Farmer over how to develop jobs in Haiti outside of the agricultural sector. Because this brings us back to where I started this introduction—the connection points between Farmer’s lens and Werner’s fabric as ways of mapping McKittrick’s “lands of no one”—it is a fitting place to end. Acknowledging the criticality of alternatives herself, Werner writes that “Farmer’s point is an important one: no matter what kind of support for domestic agriculture can be marshaled, other alternatives are necessary” (p. 157). But—contra Farmer—she then proceeds to argue that support for the export-focused factory development model does in fact jeopardize support for genuinely postcolonial alternatives. Werner persists thus in critiquing the way that the search for alternatives can come to operate as a justification for business as usual, even if—as with Farmer—it’s a justification that seems largely geared to maximizing new sources of nonbusiness investment at the same time. Such insistence on persistent critique might frustrate some and might make others feel that the ties of critical global studies with a more interventionist field such as global health are doomed only to break apart. I think, however, such disputation along the seams of public scholarship is salutary given the ongoing dangers of recuperation by dominant discourses of development. In global health, for instance, the sorts of cross-border partnerships that Farmer has done so much to advance stand at risk of being restructured today by philanthro-capitalist schemes that turn global solidarity into social entrepreneurship (Mitchell and Sparke 2016). Against such dangers we need the warnings of Global Displacements about coloniality’s continuities in contemporary development. As the reviews that follow explain in different ways, its reworking of the worn fabric of uneven development is valuable in multiple other ways, too. Reminding us of the multiple codings of value in global production networks, the book repeatedly shows that much more than production is at stake in the global factory of global development. Instead, by stitching so many difference-aware perspectives together—including Farmer’s own indictment of U.S. security values in earthquake relief in Haiti—it shows that geographers can contribute to global studies by mapping the diverse seams of value in globalization. By showing how these seams link life and lifelessness, Global Displacements, like a view of drowned farmland, makes us think again through a place where the threads of development come apart.


Commentary by Beverley Mullings, Department of Geography, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada. Marion Werner’s Global Displacements is an ambitious exploration of the making of uneven development on the Caribbean. Focusing on the Dominican Republic and Haiti and their emplacement in global production networks, Werner offers a carefully considered and broadly encompassing analysis of the production and reproduction of inequalities. Drawing on postcolonial, feminist, and political economy frameworks, Werner has produced an account that demonstrates how seemingly clear-cut rational economic strategies are entangled in rather more complex sociospatial relations that draw on and reproduce both prior and ongoing inequalities. Focusing on the garment industry, she traces in exhaustive detail the role labor plays in shaping the workings of this global production network. Over the course of 215 pages she takes us behind the scenes, linking abstract understandings of the organization of the labor process to the real lives of men and women who act in ways that not only respond to the hierarchies of differential value that animate production networks, but at times transgress and actively resist them. This book does not traverse a straight line, but rather, weaves across places, scales, and moments in time to capture processes that could otherwise appear simply mysterious or self-evidential, and stories that gesture to the efforts of people to maintain their personhood, maintain their self-worth, and live lives abundantly. Werner sets out to demonstrate how “places and the global arrangement of production dynamically reproduce one another” (p. 185), through a careful interrogation of the multiple intersecting circuits of power that have contributed to the patterns of uneven development associated with the region’s imbrication in global production networks. She is successful in this quest, because few will read this book and not question the continued faith of governments and aid agencies in the global factory as a solution to the challenges of debt, economic restructuring, and colonial legacies. I now want to highlight a couple of these haunting considerations with a view toward highlighting how this book helps us to move forward. I am part of a generation of scholars who became interested in the global factory, global production networks, and the lives of those who labored within them during the 1990s. Drawing on the works of scholars like Ruth Pearson and Diane Elson, Maria Mies, Helen Safa, Lourdes Benería, Victoria Lawson, and Aihwa Ong, we were committed to understanding the way in which women, in particular, came to be incorporated into factory production as more


than a reserve army of labor. We were interested in the changing economic and political landscapes that made particular places attractive to transnational capital and the ways in which investors not only “chose” sites deemed appropriate to their operations, but also the bodies most appropriate to particular tasks. Most of us focused on actually existing factories and their imprint on the places and people where they “chose” to locate. Very few of us at that time offered analyses that offered a deep interrogation of the racial scripts embedded in these global production processes. This is not because we weren’t aware of, or interested in them, but rather that our theoretical toolkits rested heavily on feminist critiques that tended to focus, at a microlevel, on the lives of women. In addition, few of us sustained our analyses after the factories left. It is therefore with deep appreciation that I write about this book, because it is one of the very few that offers the conceptual tools needed to understand how constructions of “race” contribute to the uneven geographies of the global factory, and how racialized subjects in their struggles to reclaim or preserve social worth, negotiate these embodied emplacements. This is also one of a handful of books that offers us some insights into the ongoing circuitries of inequality that persist and reemerge long after the closure of the factory. Global Displacements offers us a clear framework for understanding the ways that uneven development evolves and gets remade when global factories enter the picture. Werner argues that global production networks operate by rearranging the functions of the labor process within and across firms and places. These rearrangements are dependent on hierarchies of difference that, when mapped onto socially constructed notions of skill, determine how different bodies come to be valued and desired to fulfill particular functions in the production process. These value-bearing bodies, however, are more than abstract units of labor. The men and women who become part of global production networks must constantly engage in livelihood struggles aimed at maintaining or increasing their social worth. These struggles can be understood simply as an outcome of the necessity of social reproduction, or as responses to the dispossessions and alienations of low-wage factory work. Either way, they point us toward alternative sites of subjectivity and resilience with the potential for alternative futures. Scaled to the level of nation-states, Werner demonstrates how the process of embodied differentiation is a significant part of the process that gives rise to regional differences in the division of labor across the global factory. These embodied differentiations are also reflected in the durability of policies like free trade zone development,

despite the fact that they have proven to offer little or nothing to the long-term challenges of under- and unemployment, weak sectoral linkages, and technological gaps in the Caribbean. Common sense understandings of race and gender that assign differential value to the labor performed by different bodies have been instrumental in shaping the migration of the global factory model from the Dominican Republic to Haiti, and with it the division of labor, wages, and work processes and bodies demanded for work across the border between these two countries. Scaling her analysis to the place of knowledge, ideology, and discourse production. Werner draws our attention to the uneven sociospatial relations that persist beyond the factory floor—in the specific regions where factories touch down, and in the government spaces where national policies are negotiated and made. She argues that the making and remaking of uneven development across the Caribbean requires the ideologies and discourses that assign value, worth, and potentiality to particular places and people, to be either continuously revived, or continuously forgotten. It is easy for discourses that revive concepts like the “failed” state, “the crisis,” or the need for austerity to be unhinged from the social relationships that produced, “slavery,” “debt,” and legacies of violence. When linked, however, these ideologies and discourses open up questions, as Beckles (2013) argued, of ethics, moral responsibility, and reparative justice defined here as “the full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences,” to quote Coates (2014). Linking these ideologies and discourses also raises the specter of noncompliance and resistance, all of which ultimately threaten the possibility of continuity without change. By juxtaposing these discourses and ideologies with the material arrangements that structure life within and beyond specific global factories, Global Displacements offers a roadmap of sorts, for identifying and choosing among alternatives futures. Werner’s argument is a clear one that recuperates and lays bare the racial and gender ideologies that supported the colonialities that drive the idea of the global factory and the practices that give rise to it. Perhaps even more so than Latin America, the Caribbean is currently at a place and time where structural narratives that locate uneven development in the dispossessive logics of capitalist accumulation, and the devaluating and differentiating logics of racialization and sexism are easily eschewed in favor of pragmatic policies like the free trade zone, or microfinance, where the language of crisis justifies the abandonment of any notion of looking back to tackle the roots of unjust historic structures and relations. Nowhere is the conversation that Global Displacements instigates more needed than in Hispaniola, where Dominicans of Haitian

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descent are actively being dispossessed of their citizenship by a state intent on revitalizing the racial terror and “purifying” strategies that produced uneven development in an earlier period. This book, with its attention to the many ways that old patterns of uneven development are remade through global production helps us to keep this message intact so that it doesn’t dissipate into endless pragmatic positions aimed at territorialized solutions. Global Displacements does not offer specific solutions, but instead alerts the reader to the importance of understanding the global factory as both “a mechanism of capitalist accumulation and a set of assumptions, discourses, and spatial imaginaries that reproduces the notion of development as one traversing a stage of industrialization” (p. 185). By demonstrating how gendered and racial inequalities complicate and reproduce patterns of uneven development, this book provides a sense of the magnitude of the challenge that global production poses to places that were integrated into the global economy as colonial outposts in earlier periods of imperial expansion. I found myself wanting a clearer sense, however, of how this knowledge might be used to challenge or chart alternative paths toward social transformation for Caribbean and other small island states. If the global factory and integration into global production networks are not sustainable solutions to the repeating histories of inequality and poverty in the region, then what are the alternatives? Are there counternarratives capable of unsettling the global factory with its promise of investment, employment, and economic growth? Is there a place where commitments to ideals such as managed trade, a regional basic income, or food sovereignty can be pursued? Is there a place for deterritorialized thinking beyond free trade pacts? Can we imagine the sort of space where conversations such as the unfinished legacies of coloniality—the plantation and its dehumanizing ideologies—might be honestly broached alongside strategies for more equitable economic geographies? These are some of the questions that Global Displacements leads us to that will haunt as well as motivate every scholar who reads this book, long after the final page.

Commentary by Melissa W. Wright, Department of Geography, Penn State University, College Station, PA. One of the most enduring questions within the discipline of geography is this: How, in a world full of so much dynamic change, do familiar geographic patterns persist?


How, in other words, do old geographies materialize in new times? Such questions within critical geography gain particular specificity in relation to social justice concerns that seek to expose how relations of power re-create patterns of exploitation. Rather than approach this issue as related to an enduring past that persists, in spite of changing times, into the geographic present, critical geographers ask how patterns of injustice emerge, newly, and in recognizable form in relation to ever-creative measures for reproducing them. In other words, how do dynamic societies reproduce old hierarchies of power across diverse geographies and into the future? In her book, Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Caribbean, Marion Werner exposes the urgency behind tackling this abiding question as she delves into how uneven development, with its persistent signature of sociospatial hierarchies, is re-created, time and again, across this capitalized planet. As she elegantly demonstrates in an engaging account of workers’ perspectives regarding an economic collapse in the Dominican Republic, and in relation to economic promise along the Haitian side of its island border, there is nothing foregone about uneven development. In spite of its historical continuities and familiar geographies, uneven development is constantly being reproduced anew, and it is a painstaking process every time. The task of the critical scholar, therefore, is to dig beneath the surface of the familiar and against tendencies to accept such familiarity as a foregone conclusion, and expose how these old patterns of exploitation emerge in new situations and times. As she writes, “An analysis of these historically patterned and contingent geographies offers us a way to understand global production networks as arrangements that exist in dialectical tension with regional trajectories of change” (15). Her fully integrated feminist, Marxist, and critical postcolonial approach to understanding these tensions draws her attention to how people directly engaged with global capitalist cycles in the everyday humdrum of factory life, including those devastated by the silence of shuttered workplaces. As such, far from an abstract exercise, Werner illustrates how uneven development comes to life, over and over again, in very place- and time-specific ways, “through the stitching together of the wage relation with other forms of labor control, structured by the value hierarchies of racialized and gendered labor . . . rooted in colonial legacies and exerting a structured effect on the global division of labor of our times” (p. 12). Through a multisited ethnography of garment factory work in Santiago and livelihoods in the Cibao regions of the Dominican Republic in addition to interviews with managers


and labor leaders in the industrial border city of Ouanaminthe, Haiti, Werner provides grounded material for understanding uneven development as daily practice. She first contextualizes this study in a critical account of development studies to situate the apparel industry as “the centerpiece of trade policy and development narratives in the circum-Caribbean in the late twentieth century” (p. 21). This accounting serves two significant purposes: One is to challenge linear accounts of capitalist development as social modernization and the second is to illustrate how the gendering of garment labor is fundamental to regional economic restructuring and transnational factory production. She then turns her attention to worker strategies for navigating a constantly changing economic landscape that, nevertheless, continually reproduces the patterns of uneven development with direct repercussions for their families and communities. Here, in Chapters 4 and 5, Werner’s research within these communities exposes the human dimension to the global and historical structures that dominate her discussion in the preceding chapters and that reconnect with the book’s opening story of Ambrosina and Leidy who left their rural homes and communities, as two young women optimistic about their chances as garment workers in the Santiago trade zone. Like so many Dominican migrant laborers, Ambrosina and Leidy encounter an unstable economic reality in the big and messy industrial city. By the time Werner introduces them to the reader, these women are either looking for work or trying to get used to another precarious job. The boom of Dominican Republic manufacturing is closer to bust as more factories close their doors, often without forewarning, and head across the border into Haiti—the new boom area, beyond the reach of people like Leidy and Ambrosina. One of the initial questions Werner poses in the book is to ask why Leidy defies her parents’ wishes and heads to an uncertain employment situation in the trade zone. In these latter chapters, the answer emerges through her conversations with several women who describe how, even in spite of economic uncertainty and social precarity, the independence from their families is often worth all the risk and loneliness. These conversations resonate with feminist scholars of the Mexican maquilas, such as in the benchmark ethnography by Fernández-Kelly (1983), For This We Are Sold: I and My People, in which she describes how women and girls put up with all manner of hardship to have some freedom from suffocating family control. In the case of men, as Werner shows through her own ethnographic study, their concerns have less to do with gendered constraints (although they are trying to live up to gendered expectations for working-age men),

and more to do with their strategies for overcoming racism. For Ramón, Andri, and Hector, three Dominican migrant factory workers, their urban employment effectively “lightens them up.” As another worker, Mónica, explains, Before finding urban factory work, Ramón “was prieto [dark] and now he is rubio [blonde]” (p. 98). To return to the campo (rural areas), to their families and to their home communities, would mean, in effect, to slide down the racial scale—they therefore prefer to hazard hard times in the city to returning to the countryside as “black men.” These stories illustrate one of Werner’s central points, that there is nothing strictly capitalist about uneven development—it is a human story with all of this means as people try to figure out who they are, how they fit, and how they can make it in an uncertain world with few opportunities. Werner relies on feminist scholarship to constantly remind the reader that to become a worker is not only about turning oneself into a saleable commodity of labor power; it is also making “cultural meaning” as women and men negotiate their many positions as social subjects who come to life at the intersections of racial, gendered, sexualized, and colonial norms. As Werner moves her discussion to the Haitian border and focuses more on the perspective of managers who justify their companies’ spatial strategies, it is clear that the boom along the border is a gut-wrenching bust for the workers in Santiago. Although perhaps less theoretically nuanced than other sections, this part of the book is a necessary reminder of the endless cycling of capital not only through people but also through places. People and places once valued—in the boom—appear discarded like so much industrial waste—in the bust. In the end, what emerges is a portrayal of uneven development as a common and extremely devastating process that takes shape through the production of place and social difference as people try to make a living for themselves and their communities in a capitalized world that as Marx (1967) aptly described, “lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks” (233).

Commentary by Kate Derickson, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. As I was reading Marion Werner’s Global Displacements, the very first geography course I took was on my mind. In 2004 I enrolled, somewhat randomly, in Susan Hanson’s

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Feminist Geography course at Clark University as an MA student in a different program on campus. Susan came to the first class with a large box full of photocopied articles that we assembled into the single best course reader I have ever been assigned. We read Doreen Massey, Gillian Rose, Melissa Wright, Gerry Pratt, Audrey Kobyashi, Linda Peake, Jody Emel, Diane Rocheleau, Susan Ruddick, Melissa Gilbert, Cindi Katz, Vicki Lawson, Linda McDowell, Richa Nagar, J. K. Gibson-Graham, Laura Pulido, and many, many others. The central theme in that course was that thinking from the lives of women invites reflection on the limitations of existing ways of knowing, including second-wave feminist approaches that insist that woman are a unitary category or share a standpoint and other discourses of mastery that attempt to subsume forms of difference. Moreover, the authors we read argued that how we know matters intimately for our ability to understand the present and imagine alternative futures. What I took away from these readings and this course was that feminist approaches can make interventions in two registers, both the political and the empirical. Many are familiar with the arguments regarding the political value of feminist approaches. The liberal version is that we ought to produce scholarship about the lives of women because women matter and historically their concerns have been underrepresented in the realm of scholarly inquiry. Second-wave feminist approaches promote feminist scholarship that studies women’s lives and concerns so as to promote political and policy interventions that can improve them accordingly. Third world feminism, feminists of color and queer feminists, amidst the poststructuralist turn in social theory more broadly, offered a critique of the unitary category “women” and “woman,” and in the process, raised serious and enduring questions about knowledge production more broadly. Among them included the claim that difference matters, not only for shaping how we experience the world, but also for what we can know about the world. This position and line of argumentation tends to get caricatured as a form of touchy-feely relativism or anti-intellectualism. Sayer (2000) wrote, “appealing to one’s own subjective values as arbiter is simultaneously a way of hiding dogmatism (a ‘god trick’) behind apparent modesty (‘it’s merely my view’) and arrogantly evading philosophical argument” (50). There is no one who could read Werner’s book and come away with the criticism—this is a carefully and meticulously evidenced book—a master class in evidencing what can at times be quite abstract theories. The straw man argument Sayer mobilizes, however, doesn’t address the second, equally powerful point about difference that


feminists have made: that it matters empirically and causally. That is to say, feminist political economy isn’t just a politically better political economy—it is just better political economy. Global Displacements exemplifies this principle. Werner masterfully mobilizes the breadth of feminist geography and feminist political economy to better understand how the matrix of power, capital, and resistance comes together to make globalization. In this sense one can see clearly in her analyses the influences of critical realism, including the impulse trace the contingent trajectories of economic and political change through dynamic but no less real power structures. What makes Werner’s work so compelling and substantively different from much work in the critical realist tradition, however, is that difference is afforded causal power to redirect, rework, enable, and constrain these trajectories. Reading the book is like seeing theories of difference and power articulated by third world feminism and feminists of color overlapped with the spatially sensitive political economy that has come out of geography in the past few decades. The result is analysis that reads against the grain of both contemporary mainstream discourses we might find in the Financial Times, and those we might find in the pages of Economic Geography. For example, Werner finds that global production network restructuring depends on rearranging the functions of the labor process by mobilizing hierarchies of difference. Crucially, though, she shows these hierarchies are not only mobilized in these moments; they are made in relation to the realm of production or materiality more broadly. One of the key contributions of the book is to show us that the broader sociocultural context is in a mutually constitutive relationship with the factory to produce and reproduce hierarchies of difference, and that those relationships are in important, and at times causal, relationships with the formulation and expression of difference. As Werner puts it, “reworking of the functional division of labor in global production arrangement and the production of workers to fill these jobs shape one another and this process both depends upon—and refashions—geographies of uneven development” (p. 183). Crucially, Werner doesn’t merely argue this, she shows it in careful detail, paying attention to and weaving together the body, the local, the regional, and the global over time. She is also attuned to the everyday in ways that we don’t always find in economic geography to show us how subjects make globalization just as globalization makes subjects. Drawing on the work of Wright, Werner writes:


Far from fixed objects and positions, a feminist approach to uneven development calls for the continual interrogation of the dynamic base of domination, exploitation, and creative forms of subject-making within and between places. An analysis of these historically patterned and contingent geographies offers us a way to understand global production networks as arrangements that exist in dialectical tension with regional trajectories of change, and the collective labor and subaltern struggles that shape and are shaped by these processes. (p. 15)

In other words, we understand global production networks better when we are attentive to difference. This is the underemphasized promise of feminist political economy: It has the advantage of providing better accounts of how the world works. I want to conclude with a question that arose for me as I read Werner’s book with Susan Hanson’s class on my mind. When I first encountered feminist geography, taught by a woman who spearheaded, along with so many others, the creation of feminist geography as a subdiscipline in its own right, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of inevitability and immanence. I left that class believing that if only we had more of these kinds of accounts of the world, the world would be better. Twelve years later, I’m less convinced, but still hopeful. I want to conclude by reading this through my own particular obsessions at the moment, which might be a hair outside the internal logical of the book. I want to be clear this isn’t begged or invited by any kind of shortcoming of the book as such. After reading the book, I want to have the conversation: scholarship to what end? If we perfect our analyses, then what? How attached to a liberal enlightenment narrative of social change is the drive for better knowledge? Werner writes eloquently, drawing on Melissa Wright and Gayatri Spivak, “racism and patriarchy are obviously not unchanging structures and if we are to understand their reproduction in relation to capital accumulation, our accounts must continually ask the question of what difference social difference makes to capitalism?” (185). I agree with her—and Wright and Spivak—that this is the question. Increasingly, however, I think that built into how we ask and answer that question must be another question: Knowing to what end? What if every single economic geographer started doing this kind of scholarship? What if we mapped the whole social structure and globe with these kinds of right-thinking takes, which have the convenient effect of being accurate and politically enabling? I want to be clear: I am not asking the “so what” question. Werner makes clear the stakes of this book, her findings, and the relevance of the case. Readers will not be disappointed. The question that I’m asking is not “So what?”— it is “Now what?”

Commentary by Bradley R. Wilson, Department of Geography, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. Global Displacements is a challenging ethnography that breaks new ground in the literature on global production networks. Through a multisited ethnography of garment manufacturing zones in Santiago and the Cibao region of the Dominican Republic and the border town of Ouanaminthe, Marion Werner demonstrates how working lives are made and remade through relational place-based historical trajectories, the social architecture of gendered and racial hierarchies, subaltern livelihood struggles, regional regulatory interventions, and patterns of capital accumulation that shape the global production of garments. Werner does not set out to do a comprehensive history of garment manufacturing in the Caribbean, nor has she merely conducted a comparative study of global production networks for garments. Rather, her purpose is “to develop a set of conceptual tools to engage with the complex geography of global production restructuring” with a focus on the garment industry. Every student of capitalist development will benefit from a close reading of Global Displacements and training in the use of Werner’s critical toolkit. In an era where books often read like a series of disjointed essays, I found that each chapter in Global Displacements folded into the others, encouraging the reader to work back and forth throughout. As the title might suggest, the reader is progressively displaced and replaced in the argument. Werner is methodical in this way, laying out her arguments relationally. She never lets up. We are led chapter by chapter through a dialectical reading that moves us from globalization rhetoric to the politics of everyday life. Werner’s mode of explanation placed this excellent work among great scholars such as Gillian Hart, Melissa Wright, Anna Tsing, and Tania Murray Li, to name a few. Global Displacements is an astonishing feat executed by a talented author. From the outset, Werner describes the global factory as a dominant symbol of globalization and sets off to defetishize its various incantations as development savior, supervillain, or regional entrepreneurial miracle. It is a fresh take. Literatures on global production networks tend to give primacy to factories or other production units in the mode of analysis. Taking a different tact, though, Werner asks what happens if “we displace the global factory as the primary entry point into our understanding of globalization.” Her book answers this question by illustrating that the global factory is prefigured by coloniality and that the

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factory complex itself is a temporary or impermanent social and spatial formation that enables capitalist accumulation. Rather than a node in a chain, she shows how the global factory is a site of meaning making, of policy posturing and shop floor micropolitics, of everyday lives and regional histories. Indeed, the global factory, she argues, is not just a “site of investment and exploitation,” but it is also a site of “unstable arrangements” and internal contradictions, which must be interrogated all the way down to the very ways they manifest in people’s lived experiences. Dispensing with the global factory as a fetish, she then suggests that now “we face the task of grappling with the political and ethical dimensions of old and emerging patterns of uneven development” (185). And grapple we do. As we learn from Werner’s informants, there are no guarantees under conditions of uneven capitalist development, not the dominant development narratives, not the regional policy prescriptions, not the tried and true assumptions about class formation and labor processes, and not even the simple spatial coordinates that delineate the country and the city. Manufacturing industries in the Dominican Republic and Haiti are evidence of the broken promises, unemployment, underemployment and devalued labor produced through capitalist processes. Yet, as I was reading this trenchant critique I wondered why her commitment to a processual or dialectical analysis of uneven development seemed to be new, fresh, and honest. Having worked with Werner on the American Association of Geographers (AAG) sessions and special issue focused on disarticulations, I recognized her commitment to a processual analysis of dispossession, incorporation, and devaluation. I still wondered why, though. I found my answer in a seemingly unremarkable endnote (2) in Chapter 4 where she reveals a haunting fact about scholarship on global production networks. She writes, “the factories that are the basis of many widely read studies on global production are oftentimes closed by the time the monographs are published. Despite this fact, few authors incorporate factory closure into their studies” (p. 50). It is a staggering hidden revelation that speaks to the ways our studies of capitalism are biased by particular spatial and temporal assumptions. Is studying a single commodity chain sufficient for comparative political economic explanation? Should our economic geographies end at the factory gate? What is the proper scale and scope of critical political economic analysis? In Global Displacements we are led beyond the garments, the gates of the factories, and into the precarious lives of workers. For instance, Ambrosina and Leidy, whose


stories open the book, are struggling to find or maintain stable work in the trade zones where the factories have idled. Their story seems almost too normal, too banal for the introduction of a book. Yet, we learn the inverse. Ambrosina and Leidy tell a different kind of story than we are presented in the global production network literature; one of the everyday negotiation of their livelihoods and migration from home amidst the uncertainty of short-term contracts and factory flight. These scenes and stories of Dominican and Haitian women and men negotiating life and the geographies of work in the campo and the shop floor are powerful universal stories of dignity in their own right. Like Ferguson’s (1999) Expectations of Modernity, an ethnography of unemployed workers following the closure of copper mines in Zambia, Werner will not let us turn away from the extraordinary realities people confront as they are incorporated into and expulsed from global production networks. The precarious situation that Ambrosina and Leidy inhabit, she asserts, is the place where our analysis must begin. Indeed it is a place to which we must continually return as well. We all come to read books from certain social experiences and positionalities. My engagement with Werner’s book is no exception. One aspect of the book that left me wanting more was her critique of ethical consumption campaigning as a reformist posture in the final section of Chapter 7. I found her critique spot on, yet still I wondered whether this could have been an opportunity to move beyond ethical consumption and connect her analysis of uneven development to debates about the nature of local, regional, and transnational solidarity in this context of seemingly perpetual differentiation. Again, this is perhaps outside the scope of the book, but given the powerful story of labor organizing on the Haitian border and the complexities of inter-and intrafirm inequalities in Chapter 6, I wondered how Werner might approach the problem of solidarity as a basis for resisting the violence and precarity of uneven development. Where are the cracks, footholds, and opportunities? In other words, how might we wield Werner’s feminist, Marxist, and postcolonial toolkit to forge new solidarities? These questions are no doubt urgent for the students who will read this book. With the tools Werner offers, they will be very satisfied. As an undergraduate student in the midto late 1990s, I was a committed participant in the antisweatshop movement on my college campus. Naive and full of passion, like many young people of that era (and still today), I was searching for an outlet to translate classroom learning about globalization into solidarity action for workers’ rights. The global factory, or the sweatshop


as it was often called, served as a key target of moral indignation, a kind of fetish object of my generation’s rejection of the race to the bottom around the globe. Yet, even with the successful antisweatshop “wins” in the 1990s, my colleagues and I were not prepared for what followed. Like the stories told in Global Displacements, some factories closed and competition continued. Restructuring, job losses, and precarity resulted as manufacturers and brands shifted production, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean region. Yet the garments kept coming. At twenty, I did not have the intellectual tools to make sense of such dynamic political economic change and to evaluate whether or not our strategies were effective. Now I am pleased to say that my students and I finally do. Werner’s book is excellent. It will be required reading in my Economic Geography course for many years to come.

Response by Marion Werner, Department of Geography, State University of New York– Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. I am extremely grateful to Melissa W. Wright, Kate Derickson, Bradley R. Wilson, and Beverley Mullings for these incisive reviews of my book, and especially to Matthew Sparke for convening this forum, penning a powerful introduction, and organizing the Author Meets Critics session at the AAG that formed the basis of this discussion. It is a rare privilege to have scholars whose work has deeply influenced my own engage a set of concerns that I have developed over many years, outside and within the academy, and to do so with such generosity and insight. Let me take this opportunity, then, to respond to the reviewers’ comments and to expand on our discussion by developing two themes: The first is the stakes of centering uneven development in the Caribbean for geography; the second is the question raised by all of the reviewers of “what now,” as Derickson puts it with such pith, or what can be done. In fact, the question is parsed in two ways: What sorts of alternative development possibilities exist for the Caribbean given the critique of global production laid out in the book, on the one hand, and what kinds of political engagements follow from the book’s analysis for scholars teaching and writing about the Global South to and for students and others primarily in the Global North? My motivation for writing Global Displacements was to understand how uneven development works as a process, one shaped in part by how workers navigate the vicissitudes of capitalist devaluation, disinvestment, and exclusion within constraints not of their own choosing

to produce positions of social worth. Similar to Wilson, I became preoccupied with the process of uneven development from my experiences in student and labor movements that contested the globalization of production and the race to the bottom in the 1990s and early 2000s. Over several years, I worked closely with women garment workers in Central America and the Dominican Republic, spending many evenings and weekends in their homes listening to their stories, aspirations, and disappointments. I observed a complex cycling of labor and capital, trajectories that Wright so aptly captures in her review and her work as both “common and extremely devastating” at the same time. Workers, on the one hand, cycled in and out of factory work, a rhythm determined by a multitude of needs, desires, and frustrations. Factories, on the other hand, also circulated, in and out of different trade zones and neighborhoods, to dodge taxes and obligations such as severance pay or an organizing drive, as well as in and out of countries and subnational regions for similar reasons or, more simply, to defer devaluation. Although foundational texts that studied gender and export factories adroitly captured labor’s trajectory (indeed, Fernández-Kelly [1983] dubbed it “the maquila cycle,” which matched the life cycle of female workers), these studies generally took the stability of the factory itself for granted. As global production has extended and intensified over the last three decades, there have been numerous, incomplete geographical shifts between and within macroregions and countries, and yet, as Wilson puts it so powerfully, “the garments [have] kept coming.” We simply cannot imagine each site as “a transition” or a form of “development,” nor should we accept the fallacy that such arrangements are determined by capital alone. How do we make sense, then, of the linked forms of exclusion and inclusion that comprise circuits of capital accumulation and commodity production? What are the political implications? The Caribbean is a key location to think through this problematic, and to disrupt sequentialist, transition narratives and their presumed relationship to the subject. Developing situated Caribbean geographies allows us to examine what centuries of iterative inclusion and exclusion produce socially, culturally, and politically. Despite this generative potential, few scholars in critical geography—Mullings together with UK-based Anglophone Caribbean scholarship being key exceptions—have engaged significantly with what appears instead as a place largely irrelevant to our understanding of capitalist accumulation. This lacuna is unfortunate, for the Caribbean might well be understood as the region with one of the longest trajectories of colonial capitalism. What sorts of limits and possibilities emerge from

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500 years of spatiotemporal flux, marked by violent accumulation and dramatic abandon? It is in the Caribbean that we can observe capitalism’s enduring echo. Far from the picture of “(under)development” or “backwardness,” the region represents the kinds of actually existing futures forged through the modal condition of the postcolonial: one of iterative incorporation and exclusion. My own work takes inspiration from Latin American and Caribbean studies and feminist geography to make sense of how hierarchies of racialized and gendered difference are produced through this process of uneven development. This work has led me to conclude that more dialogue between the growing field of critical race studies in geography, which remains largely U.S.-centric, and Latin American and Caribbean studies would be extremely productive. Gilmore’s (2002) argument to defetishize the violent abstraction of race to reveal racial hierarchies as processes is an excellent starting point for this dialogue, in particular, how the process of producing such hierarchies emerges through coloniality. Crichlow’s (2009) work in Caribbean studies is one example of how that dialogue might proceed. Crichlow (2009) argued for an understanding of “creolization” not as a culturalist identity, but rather as a material and “genealogical process of selective creation and cultural struggle—beyond the plantation” (22). Rather than reify the plantation as a rigid term in a strict binary of freedom–unfreedom located in the past, Crichlow challenges us to understand the plantation and slavery as starting points for exploring the deeply imbricated forms of subjectivity, domination, and exploitation that produce the Caribbean. Similarly, McKittrick (2006) offered black geographies that conceptualize “‘difference’ beyond domination” (53) by attending to the situated ways that black women produce knowledge and place it in a variety of postemancipation contexts. In short, Caribbean racial formations offer a window through which to destabilize fetishized categories not only of race, but also of nation. How might our understandings of racialized abandonment in post-Katrina New Orleans be informed by a Caribbean perspective on racial formation, for example? Given the premise of Global Displacements to specify the difference that social difference makes to capital, reviewers here insist correctly on asking where such a project takes us politically. If, as Mullings insists, we indeed link enduring colonial legacies to contemporary forms of the state, sovereignty, and development, what are the possibilities for alternative paths toward social transformation for Caribbean countries? Critical engagement with the problematic of development is first and foremost one of


keeping these deeper questions on the table, rather than, as both Sparke and Mullings point out, acceding to their banishment in the name of pragmatic solutions “now” that only repeat old and enduring patterns. In the months following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, I remember that René Preval, Haiti’s Prime Minister at the time, exhorted the international development community not to adopt short-term solutions; Haiti did not have time for these, he argued. Preval’s demand was neither elitist nor academic; his utterance sought to interrupt the logic of disaster capitalism, which unfortunately played itself out in all its horror in the months and years to come (as documented and contested with incredible tenacity by the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch, among many others). The “what is to be done” question looks somewhat different, however, over the border in the Dominican Republic. One way that accumulation proceeds on the island today is precisely through the kind of uneven development that I describe in the book, wherein Dominican capital acts as contractor for global capital and international development, brokering access to Haitian labor and nature, not only in the garment industry, but also in the economies of Haitian reconstruction and management. At the same time, the Dominican state, while enabling this position for capital, is intent on restricting membership to the Dominican nation by excluding those of foreign (primarily Haitian) ancestry. Overall, and in ways that require further development, the Dominican state and the ruling party manage the economy to a degree, marshaling rents and benefits to their clients. Relative political and economic stability is managed at the exceedingly high cost of exclusion, both of poor Dominicans and Dominicans of Haitian descent. Alternatives, then, must be conceived in their specificity in both countries, and, as Mullings gestured to in her comments at the panel, our frameworks for understanding political possibilities cannot devolve into simplistic North–South as bad–good binaries given the complex geographies of uneven development that have emerged in the Caribbean, especially since the neoliberal turn. Finally, Derickson and Wilson offer parallel provocations to draw out the political implications of the book for a readership located in the Global North. Particularly for pedagogy, how can educators, as Roy (2010) suggested, “teach in the impossible space between the hubris of benevolence and the paralysis of cynicism” (40)? My intention has been for Global Displacements to inhabit that space. The kind of work we do in our classes to transform the commodity into a tool for critical engagement should


aim to motivate our students to imagine a politics beyond consumption. My desire for alternative political subjectivities beyond consumption, however, might well need to pass through consumer politics. Not only do consumer politics clearly make a difference in the lives of workers whose campaigns make the strategic decision to “scale up” their struggle in this way, but they also have the potential to open up new horizons for those who engage them. Nonetheless, if this is the end game of our endeavor, as I believe the reviewers here would agree, then we diminish the potential for transforming subjectivities in the Global North whose very position as “global consumer” must be challenged. Here, by way of conclusion, I turn to Massey, whose careful political engagements have so inspired my own journey, and whose untimely death this year is a great loss to feminist geography and left politics in general. Our efforts must be to link the project of extending responsibility in time—by supporting reparative justice, for example—to the project of extending responsibility in space to the “outside” other. In short, those who inhabit sites that concentrate global wealth and consumption “are responsible to areas beyond the bounds of place not because of what we have done, but because of what we are” (Massey 2004, 16). References Beckles, H. 2013. Britain’s black debt: Reparations for slavery and native genocide. Jamaica, West Indies: University of West Indies Press.

Coates, T.-N. 2014. The case for reparations. The Atlantic 313 (5): 54–72. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/ (last accessed 5 December 2016). Crichlow, M. A. 2009. Globalization and the post-Creole imagination: Notes on fleeing the plantation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Ferguson, J. 1999. Expectations of modernity: Myths and meanings of urban life on the Zambian Copperbelt. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Fernández-Kelly, M. P. 1983. For we are sold, I and my people: Women and industry in Mexico’s frontier. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Gilmore, R. 2002. Fatal couplings of power and difference: Notes on racism and geography. The Professional Geographer 54 (1): 15–24. Kidder, T. 2004. Mountains beyond mountains. New York, NY: Random House. Marx, K. 1967. Capital: A critique political economy. Vol. 1. New York, NY: International. Massey, D. 2004. Geographies of responsibility. Geografiska Annaler 86B (1): 5–18. McKittrick, K. 2006. Demonic grounds: Black women and the cartographies of struggle. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. ———. 2013. Plantation futures. Small Axe 17 (3): 1–15. Mitchell, K., and M. Sparke. 2016. The new Washington consensus: Millennial philanthropy and the making of global market subjects. Antipode 48 (3): 729–44. Roy, A. 2010. Poverty capital: Microfinance and the making of development. London and New York: Routledge. Sayer, A. 2000. Realism and social science. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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