What is geography? Author Alastair Bonnett attempts to answer this question in the book titled the

700 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
What is geography? Author Alastair Bonnett attempts to answer this question in the book titled the same. He states that geography is a “human enterprise...[that] is an attempt to find and impose order.”1 He explores the many facets of geography that include history, political power, climate, and the humans that live throughout the world. The first two chapters explain in more detail about how geography is knowing the world through both political order and nature. The first chapter of Bonnett’s What is Geography? explores geography through order and power. Bonnett asserts that humans have a “consistent desire to order their world.”2 This order accomplishes two things: it allows humans to find meaning in the world and helps to…show more content…
They relied on an understanding of the land to further their own economic aspirations. A nation that knows that maps are “a supremely practical tool”7 benefit immensely. An understanding of geography allows for a civilization to know exactly how, what, where, and when it is best for trade and excavation of resources. Bonnett finishes the first chapter by exploring a modern dilemma in geography. He believes that geography is used to explain not only the world, but also people. Unfortunately, explaining people can sometimes turn to racism and prejudice. In Africa, for example, European explorers began interacting with traders and other native people. Europeans saw the lack of tools, weapons, and western philosophy and science as “tangible means of distinguishing civilized peoples from savages and barbarians.”8 These early observations were the beginning of hundreds of years of racist thought and study into supporting this supremacist beliefs that expanded globally. Bonnett balances this by reassuring his reader that modern geography has many examples that show more understanding of the world and the people in it. Chapter two focuses on a second important area of geography. Nature has profound impact on human development. Bonnett draws upon the idea of Jared Diamond that “environment molds history.”9 This idea of environmental determinism is a powerful notion. Throughout history, humans evolve and change with the world, The environment and physical

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