A narrative of exploration-- full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-- that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language. Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn how France was explored, charted, and colonized, and how the imperial influence of Paris was gradually extended throughout a kingdom of isolated towns and villages. The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. Above all, it shows how much of France-- past and present-- remains to be discovered. 8 pages of color and 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations.
George R. Stewart's classic study of place-naming in the United States was written during World War II as a tribute to the varied heritage of the nation's peoples. More than half a century later, Names on the Land remains the authoritative source on its subject, while Stewart's intimate knowledge of America and love of anecdote make his book a unique and delightful window on American history and social life.Names on the Land is a fascinating and fantastically detailed panorama of language in action. Stewart opens with the first European names in what would later be the United States--Ponce de Le n's flowery Flor da, Cort s's semi-mythical isle of California, and the red Rio Colorado--before going on to explore New England, New Amsterdam, and New Sweden, the French and the Russian legacies, and the unlikely contributions of everybody from border ruffians to Boston Brahmins. These lively pages examine where and why Indian names were likely to be retained; nineteenth-century fads that gave rise to dozens of Troys and Athens and to suburban Parksides, Brookmonts, and Woodcrest Manors; and deep and enduring mysteries such as why "Arkansas" is Arkansaw, except of course when it isn't. Names on the Land will engage anyone who has ever wondered at the curious names scattered across the American map. Stewart's answer is always a story--one of the countless stories that lie behind the rich and strange diversity of the USA.
Lush and green, the beauty of Ireland's landscape is legendary. "The Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape" has harnessed the expertise of dozens of specialists to produce an exciting and pioneering study which aims to increase understanding and appreciation for the landscape as an important element of Irish national heritage, and to provide a much needed basis for an understanding of landscape conservation and planning.
Essentially cartographic in approach, the Atlas is supplemented by diagrams, photographs, paintings, and explanatory text. Regional case studies, covering the whole of Ireland from north to south, are included, along with historical background. The impact of human civilization upon Ireland's geography and environment is well documented, and the contributors to the Atlas deal with contemporary changes in the landscape resulting from developments in Irish agriculture, forestry, bog exploitation, tourism, housing, urban expansion, and other forces.
"The Atlas of the Rural Irish Landscape" is a book which aims to educate and inform the general reader and student about the relationship between human activity and the landscape. It is a richly illustrated, beautifully written, and immensely authoritative work that will be the guide to Ireland's geography for many years to come.
Once seen as a dark and sinister force, the domain of monsters, the sea was associated with catastrophe and fear by many Europeans prior to the eighteenth century. Alain Corbin's engaging book reveals how attitudes toward the ocean gradually began to shift from the negative to the positive, so that by the mid-1800s our present-day salubrious notion of the seashore had come into being.Going back to ancient times, Corbin describes conceptions of the sea in relationship to how people thought and felt about their place in the world. He then shows how the Enlightenment and changing attitudes in science, literature, and art affected notions of the sea. Ocean bathing came to be seen as therapeutic, the sea was linked with the creation of life, and the shore became a locale for self-exploration and reverie. Discovery of the seaside had political, economic, and social effects, too. The shore as a place of pleasure led to the rapid growth of British coastal towns such as Brighton, followed by other resorts in Europe. All of this Corbin lays out in wonderful detail, blending history, theory, and anecdote into an absorbing whole. The Lure of the Sea suggests the fashioning of a modern sensibility in the West's discovery of the shore--one that is health-conscious and intent on regeneration through vigorous contact with nature. Written by one of today's most literate and imaginative historians, it offers an inviting cultural excursion for scholars and general readers alike.
Taking advantage of recent advances throughout the sciences, Matthew Hedman brings the distant past closer to us than it has ever been. Here, he shows how scientists have determined the age of everything from the colonization of the New World over 13,000 years ago to the origin of the universe nearly fourteen billion years ago.
Hedman details, for example, how interdisciplinary studies of the Great Pyramids of Egypt can determine exactly when and how these incredible structures were built. He shows how the remains of humble trees can illuminate how the surface of the sun has changed over the past ten millennia. And he also explores how the origins of the earth, solar system, and universe are being discerned with help from rocks that fall from the sky, the light from distant stars, and even the static seen on television sets.
Covering a wide range of time scales, from the Big Bang to human history, The Age of Everything is a provocative and far-ranging look at how science has determined the age of everything from modern mammals to the oldest stars, and will be indispensable for all armchair time travelers.
The geography of contemporary U.S. political economy-the relocation of firms toward the sunbelt and abroad; the decline of manufacturing in the rust belt; and the rise of footloose producer services, NAFTA-inspired trade flows-has roots that run deep into our past. This innovative history by one of our most distinguished historical geographers traces their growth back to the seventeenth-century origins of liberalism, republicanism, and the regular financial crises by then endemic in capitalist societies. The problem the English and then the Americans faced was overcoming these crises while avoiding the political extremes of royal absolutism and later of socialism, communism, and fascism. The English way alternated between the doctrinaire ideologies and geographies of republicanism and liberalism. In 1776, by mixing elements of both, Americans created entirely new ideological alloys. Henceforth, policy regimes alternated between Democrats and Republicans and their distinctive fusions of liberal and republican ideology. Democrats combined publicanism's tenets of equality, diversified and volatile regions, and consumer revolution with liberalism's tenets of free trade, geographical consolidation, and dispersion (New Deal "liberalism"). Republicans mixed liberalism's biases toward elites, regional specialization and stability, and producer revolution with republicanism's tilt toward nationalism, expansionism, and demographic concentration (Reagan's America). Muddying liberal and republican ideologies and geographies in ways that tempered their extremes, Americans would add one more twist. Thrice, upon the birth of the first, second, and third republics, they enlarged the geographical jurisdictions of the federal government, extended the domains of U.S. power, and redefined the nature of the state. Carville Earle defines these enlargements as the distributive and partisan "sectional state" of the 1790s, the regulatory and redistributive "national state" of the 1880s, and the neoliberal "transnational sta