The myth of continents book review

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The myth of continents book review

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Journal of World History A Critique of Metageography. University of California Press, The pretentiousness is evident in the title, The Myth of Continents. Surely all historians and geographers are aware that the conventional division of the world into continents is rather arbitrary and somewhat misleading.

On the one hand, the separation of Asia from Europe at the Ural Mountains is arbitrary. The identification of sub-Saharan Africa with the African continent as a whole can be misleading. On the other hand, Africa, South America, and North America are large and discrete chunks of land, and there is nothing inherently wrong about calling them continents.

There are problems with this word, but to preach a long sermon against "the myth of continents" is somewhat pretentious. The authors claim that the problems dealt with in the book are of momentous importance; that many of these problems have not been tackled or even noticed by other scholars; and that the way the problems are analyzed in this book is radical and unorthodox.

These claims are exaggerated. Some of the problems dealt with in the book are important, but none is earth-shaking. Some of them remain unsolved, but not for lack of scholarly effort. And the way these problems are analyzed in The Myth of Continents is, on the whole, rather conventional and indeed rather conservative.

Most of the book is devoted to criticism of various ways in which the world is carved up and mapped. A long introduction focuses on the idea of the Third World and the idea of the nation-state. Lewis and Wigen remind us that the "second world" no longer exists as a world-scale region, so we no longer have literally a "third" world region.

Therefore, they say correctly that the Third World "is essentially a political-economic category" p. But they dismiss it as an economic category because they claim incorrectly that a substantial part of the region is undergoing rapid development.

They fail to notice that all parts of the Third World share a common history of overt or disguised colonial rule by European countries and share many important after-effects of colonialism today.

One of these is neocolonialism and its constant companion, political dependence or limited sovereignty.

The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography by Martin W. Lewis His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must

The authors believe that too much attention is paid by geographers to sovereignty: Their argument here is centered on the evident facts that most states are not culturally homogeneous and that some of them oppress minority nationalities within their borders.

Therefore, states are not "natural and fundamental building blocks of global geography," but rather are "constructed, contingent, and often imposed political-geographic units" p.

This judgment would not be applauded in the U.

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General Assembly or, for that matter, in the U. Next to be criticized is "the myth of continents. Chapters 2 and 3 dissect the geographical and cultural biases inherent in European notions about "east" and "west," "Orient" and "Occident" "this single most important pairThis bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book.

The digit and digit formats both work. Myth of Continents engenders the idea that the world map is a discourse in power and knowledge systems that originate from colonialism just as the idea of Orientalism by Edward Said.

The myth of continents book review

Thus the book situates itself in that bibliography on the critique of colonialism as well as Eurocentrism. The New Press is a nonprofit public-interest book publisher.

Your gift will support The New Press in continuing to leverage books for social change. Book Review – The Myth of Continents In recent history, geographers have become concerned with matters of language, and the way in which they communicate and speak about the world.

One of the most basic geographical building blocks that one learns is the concept of continents. Plato, also known as Aristocles, was born in Athens approx - BC, and died peacefully in BC at around 80 years of was a respected Greek philosopher, and a student of Socrates, the Grandfather of Western Philosophy.

The Myth of Continents has ratings and 9 reviews. T.J. said: OMG, Continents are fake! i thought to myself, elven pages may seem a bit si /5.

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