Thursday, January 17, 2008

Review of An Atlas of Radical Geography

"Radical Geography" is the (Catholicgauze Bias Alert!) the mishmash of social geography with "alternative" thoughts such Marxism, feminism, "queer thought," and other ideas in the pursuit of "social justice" and all that jazz.

A new book that is coming out which covers this subfield (note: the editors contacted Catholicgauze and allowed me to view an electronic edition for free) entitled An Atlas of Radical Cartography. The "atlas" is a collection of essays with a visual aid usually in the form of a map.

The politics of the atlas are clearly leftist. Some of the essays though are good like the one which starts off about avoiding security cameras in Manhattan but quickly becomes an article on how geography and geographical products can be used in grassroots campaigns. Others quickly go off the deep end. One article is an interview with a guy at first about rendition flights. After a brief detour into the different types of chart the interviewee states the United States is engaged in a Latin American-style Dirty War complete with tens of thousands of domestic murders.

It is hard to give an objective rating to the product. Those who favor Catholicgauze for President best stay away to avoid leftism combined with academic jargon. On the other hand, if post-Fordism and Hugo Chavez inhabit your dream world then there is something here for you to enjoy.

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