9780131015326: World Regional Geography: A Development Approach, Eighth Edition

Organized around the theme of human development, this book is written by experts on each region of the world to create a comprehensive volume on world regional geography that presents a vital overview of the topic, providing a deep understanding of the character of the world's people. A rich art package assists the reader in gaining a personal feeling for the inner essence of each world region. This book covers the geographic, social, and economic issues for each world region, including the United States and Canada; Europe; Russia and the Eurasian States; Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands; Asia; the Middle East and North Africa; Africa south of the Sahara; and Latin America. This book can serve as an excellent tool for any reader who is interested in the world's regions and its people; it is an excellent reference work for geographers, cultural anthropologists, and others working in those fields.

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About the Author:

David L. Clawson. Editor Part One, Basic Concepts and Ideas, and Part Nine, Latin America. David L. Clawson is a Professor of Geography in the College of Liberal Arts, University of New Orleans. He has a B.A. from the University of Utah, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Dr. Clawson has served as Chair of the Department of Geography and as Director of the Latin American Studies Program at the University of New Orleans. His research interests center on third world agrarian development, the geography of religions and belief systems, and geographic education and thought. In addition to his work on World Regional Geography, Dr. Clawson is the author of Latin America and the Caribbean: Lands and Peoples, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill, 2004), has served as editor of a number of scholarly volumes, and has published numerous journal articles. In addition to world regional geography, he teaches courses in geographic education, Latin America, agricultural, cultural, and environmental geography. Dr. Clawson has held Fulbright grants to Mexico and the Philippines and is also a recipient of the University of New Orleans Alumni Association's "Excellence in Teaching Award."

Merrill L. Johnson. Editor, Part Two, United States and Canada. Merrill L. Johnson is Associate Dean and Professor of Geography in the College of Liberal Arts, University of New Orleans. He has a B.A. in International Relations from West Texas State University, an M.A. in Geography from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Georgia. Dr. Johnson joined the faculty of the University of New Orleans in 1981, was Chair of the department from 1989 to 2000, and was appointed associate dean of the College in 2001. Dr. Johnson is an expert on the United States South, with emphasis on its industrial and political geography. Secondary interests include cartography, Europe, and Latin America. While Dr. Johnson has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in political, economic, and regional geography and in cartography and geographic thought, he remains passionate about teaching introductory world regional geography. Indeed, he has taught several thousand students in more than 60 world-regional sections in his career at the University of New Orleans.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

We live in a most remarkable age, when satellites can circle the globe in a matter of minutes and electronic messages can be sent halfway around the world in just a few seconds. For many, these are the best of times, with rapid advances in health care extending human life expectancies to record high levels and material comforts that were unheard of even a generation ago now being commonplace. It is easy in such conditions to overlook the fact that most of the world's people live in less industrialized regions characterized by hunger, malnutrition, poor health, and limited educational and economic opportunities. Many also live under circumstances of restricted personal freedom owing to political, racial, religious, or gender-based prejudice. What is even more troubling is the fact that the income gap between the technologically more developed and less developed nations is increasing.

The purpose of this volume is to introduce students to the geographical foundations of development and underdevelopment and to help us recognize the contributions that the study of geography can make to environmentally and culturally sustainable development. As we study the lives of others through this text, we will learn not only about them but also come to better understand ourselves. We will come to realize further that development, or the improvement of the human condition, consists of far more than increased economic output and that each person and society contributes in a positive way to the cultural diversity and richness of the earth.

College students are in a unique position to increase their understanding of the world and to use that knowledge to benefit themselves and others. Through the study of world regional geography, we begin to comprehend the issues involved in the pursuit of world peace, preservation of the environment, improved health, and higher levels of living. In fact, the Association of American Geographers, the National Geographic Society, the American Geographical Society, and the National Council for Geographic Education have devoted significant resources and effort to improving geographic awareness. Even the U.S. Congress has cited geographic education as critical to understanding our increasingly interdependent world.

This eighth edition of World Regional Geography is dedicated to college students who are seeking a better understanding of our complex and challenging world. It is written for both majors and nonmajors and does not require an extensive background in geography. The basic regional structure of the seventh edition has been retained, including a multiple author approach that permits each region to be discussed by a scholar who is an expert in that area. Although our regional specializations vary, we are united in our dedication to expanding geographical awareness and to contributing to the development of the peoples of both the more and less industrialized nations.

World Regional Geography opens with four chapters that consider geography as a discipline, population and resources, physical and cultural elements of the environment, and the world condition as it relates to economic and human development. Eight additional parts—organized into twenty-three chapters—follow, structured within a regional framework. Within this regional framework, students are introduced to basic geographical and developmental concepts.

Although the use of this text as an entity is encouraged, its organization allows a variety of teaching strategies. As time requires, sections treating historical or environmental processes, or specific regions, can be selectively emphasized or deleted. In a two-term sequence, the book facilitates consideration along continental or regional divisions or along the lines of more industrialized-less industrialized countries. The suggested further readings at the end of each part can then be used to supplement the text; table and figure references can encourage students to pursue external data sources and analysis.

World Regional Geography contains numerous features that are designed to assist and stimulate students:

  • More than 200 full-color maps and diagrams have been rendered by a professional cartographic studio, incorporating the latest boundary and name changes and physical, cultural, and economic data. The maps are carefully integrated into the text in order to convey spatial relationships and strengthen our understanding of geographic patterns and concepts.
  • More than 300 specially chosen color photographs help communicate the personality of individual regions.
  • Informative tables, graphs, and charts supplement textual material.
  • Every chapter includes at least one boxed feature on a subject of special regional and topical significance, such as cultural diversity, gender and development, environmental issues, health and nutrition, migration, natural resource utilization, or distinctive regional features.
  • Key terms are presented in boldface type within the text and at the end of each chapter; they are defined in a convenient glossary at the end of the book.
  • Review and Geographer's Craft questions have been added at the end of each part to help students identify key issues and to enable them to understand how geography can contribute to the solution of development challenges.
  • Each part ends with an updated list of further readings for students who wish to deepen and broaden their understanding of particular topics.

New to This Edition

The eighth edition of World Regional Geography represents a thorough revision. Every part of the book was examined carefully with the dual goals of keeping topics and data current and improving the clarity of the text and the graphics.

The eighth edition features a continuing updating of all of the data, maps, and illustrative material. These changes are particularly evident in the cartography program, where the reader will note many new maps and a number of significant revisions to earlier maps.

The eighth edition also marks the addition to the book of Merrill L. Johnson as coeditor and Bella Bychkova Jordan as coauthor of the Europe chapters. Both bring special gifts and strengths to the volume.

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