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Don't Know Much About Geography: Everything You Need to Know About the World but Never Learned)
Don't Know Much About, Don't Know Much About
Release Date: July, 2004
You might think you need to look at a map to learn "everything you need to know" about geography, but Kenneth C. Davis proves otherwise. In this hugely entertaining and informative program, Davis takes a different approach to learning about the world by pointing out its relevance--and importance--in every sphere of human life. Geography, Davis explains, has been sadly misunderstood, which accounts for the fact that Americans consistently score lowest among peoples of industrialized nations when it comes to "knowing where we are." He sets out to show listeners how this "mother lode of sciences, the hub of a circle from which all the other studies radiate" informs disciplines ranging from meteorology, climatology, and oceanography to economics, ecology, and political science. Rather than looking at geography as a parade of facts about where things are located, he encourages an approach that considers human and natural history in its larger context--and the universe as a large canvas upon which the fascinating story of life is drawn. Using his familiar question-and- answer method, Davis offers interesting anecdotes to explain, for example, who invented the compass; why wars are always fought over geography; the differences between country, republic, nation, and state; why the tallest mountain in the world is getting even taller; and much more. Succinct discussions coupled with Davis's lively writing style makes this a perfect candidate for audio presentation. Indeed, listening to this program without the aid of visuals underscores the sense conveyed that geography is as much about how we think about the world as where things are in physical space--that it is about the "tender connections that keep the earth alive." (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --Uma Kukathas
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Posted by mat jackson on 4/10/2000
One of the more memorable times in my school life was in college when a professor actually made history fun to learn. I learned more in that class than I think I did in all the rest of my history classes throughout my life. Mr. Davis is able to do the same with geography in this wonderful book. I recommend this to anyone wishing to learn more about the world we live in.
Interesting look at planet Earth
Posted by John on 2/8/2001
I had purchased the audio version of the author's "Don't Know Much About History" and had enjoyed it. I decided to purchase this selection and was not disappointed.
The title of this book is a little misleading, as the topics are not limited to geography. The author also covers related topics such as meteorology and climatology, world economics, astronomy, political history. and others. This book focuses on two major types of information: (1) Things you probably learned in school and wish that you could remember -- but don't; (2) Unusual or surprising facts that you probably never knew. Like the "History" book, this one was written in a question and answer format. This technique allows the author to cover various snippets of information and jump around from topic to topic. Although some people like this technique, if you prefer books that flow naturally from topic to topic, this style may annoy you after a while.
I agree with some reviewers that the author does tend to interject his personal beliefs and biases into the text. However, when he does so, he tries to back these up with facts. I did not find his commentary to be a negative, but rather found that they made the book more interesting.
Note: This is a review of the AUDIBLE.COM audio version of the book (abridged). This audio version was fairly lively and easy to listen to. They tried to use a variety of readers to spice it up (one voice would ask a question and another would give the answer). I enjoyed it on my long commutes to work.