The intoxications of geography

thanks to geographicalimaginations for this recommendation – our MSc group will be discussing this article quite a bit.

geographical imaginations

Adam Gopnik writing in the New Yorker discusses the revival of what he calls ‘geographical history’.  He starts with the prospect of a ‘history of spaces’ moving us beyond the intimacies of the sort of ‘place history’ displayed in Le Roy Ladurie‘s mesmerizing Montaillou, but then shoots over the cliff and into the waiting arms of Robert Kaplan.  Is there no escape from the man? And yet it turns out that Gopnik’s not as enthralled as he first appears:

Important as geography might be, the idea of geography’s importance seems still more important. Though geography is offered as a sobering up after the intoxications of end-of-history ideology, it soon reveals itself as another brandy bottle, with intoxications of its own. See, the Chinese are making a pincer move there, and—look!—the Indians are once again seeking to dominate the Gurdaspur-Kathiawar salient. Kaplan luxuriates in phrases of this kind: “Some years…

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