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Human Geography

A Short Introduction

Second Edition

John Rennie Short

Publication Date - 14 July 2017

ISBN: 9780190679835

336 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

The briefest, most focused introduction to Human Geography


Revised and updated throughout, Human Geography: A Short Introduction, Second Edition, is an ideal choice for professors who prefer the flexibility of a succinct and incisive text without compromising on scholarly excellence. The book provides all the basics that students need while simultaneously empowering professors to customize their courses. Priced at less than one-third the cost of comparable books in the field, and supported by strong graphics and a robust support package, Human Geography: A Short Introduction, Second Edition, presents unparalleled flexibility and value for both students and professors.

New to this Edition

  • Fully revised and updated throughout
  • An entirely new section, The Cultural Organization of Space, which includes three new chapters on the geography of population, the geography of religion, and the geography of language
  • Additional pedagogical features in each chapter, including lists of learning objectives and learning outcomes, key terms (bolded and defined in a new glossary), and more subheadings
  • New figures, illustrations and maps


  • Offers concentrated, focused, and comprehensive scholarship at an exceptional value
  • Short's distinctive and engaging writing style truly conveys the sense of wonder that drives the best in geography
  • Detailed and engaging case studies bring the book's broader arguments to life
  • Elegant illustrations and colorful features add texture and context to the discussion
  • An extensive support package features digital files of all the graphics in the text, PowerPoint lecture outlines, review questions for students, and interactive exercises

About the Author(s)

John Rennie Short is Professor of Geography and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The author of thirty-seven books and numerous papers in academic journals, Dr. Short is the recipient of awards from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Geographic Society, and the Social Science Research Council.


"Human Geography is the perfect textbook for my students. Short's jargon-free and simple writing style appeals to students who are likely in their first geography course. This is a remarkably comprehensive textbook that numbers just a few hundred pages. In addition, its pedagogical structure is the best that I have seen in a human geography textbook."--Nathan J. Probasco, Briar Cliff University

"The writing style is engaging and lively. I would definitely use this book and really appreciate the updated and new materials. The color maps and images are a very welcome addition."--Richard Grant, University of Miami

"The new organizational structure covers all the bases I look for in a human geography text. In addition, while the new chapters in this second edition cover traditional topics, they still 'cut to the chase' and deliver high-quality material without bludgeoning students with needlessly long reading assignments."--Randy Bertolas, Wayne State College

Table of Contents

    PART 1. The Context
    1. The Home Planet
    The Big Picture
    Box 1.1 Poor Pluto
    Shaky Ground: Plate Tectonics
    Life on Earth
    A Humanized World
    Box 1.2 Wallace's Line: A Biogeographical Boundary
    2. The Nature of Geography
    Mapping Absolute Space
    Box 2.1 Measuring the World
    The Shift from Cosmography to Geography
    Box 2.2 Thinking about Maps
    Mapping Relative Space
    Environment and Society
    Geography and Society
    Contemporary Debates
    Box 2.3 The Spatial Turn
    The Concerns of Human Geography
    Box 2.4 GIS, Remote Sensing, and The Democratization of Mapping
    PART 2. People, Resources, and Environment
    3. Population Dynamics
    Population Declines
    Box 3.1 The Reproductive Revolution
    The Demographic Transition
    Box 3.2 Ireland: The Demographic Base of the Celtic Tiger
    Phases of the Demographic Transition
    Box 3.3 Brazil and the Demographic Dividend
    Box 3.4 Russia's Changing Population
    Problems and Opportunities of The Demographic Transition
    4. Population and Food
    Population and Agriculture
    Malthusian Melancholy
    Hunger, Famine, and Food Insecurity
    Box 4.1 Overfishing
    Box 4.2 Food Deserts
    Limits on Food Supply
    Questioning the Food Production System
    Box 4.3 Overpopulation Reexamined
    5. Population and Resources
    The Case of Coal
    Box 5.1 The Hubbert Curve
    Laws of Resource Use
    The Limits to Growth?
    The Case of Oil
    Box 5.2 The Geopolitics of Oil
    Fracking in The USA
    Box 5.3 Commodity Cartels
    The Limits to Growth Revisited
    6. People and the Environment
    Environment and Cultural Meaning
    Environmental Impacts on Society
    Human Impacts and Environmental Change
    The Anthropocene: Living in a Modified Earth and Socially Constructed Nature
    Box 6.1 The Tragedy of the Commons?
    PART 3. The Economic Organization of Space
    7. The Geography of Three Economic Sectors
    Box 7.1 Food Supply Chains
    The Commercialization of Agriculture
    Box 7.2 The Industrial Revolution
    Box 7.3 The Cultural-Creative Economy
    8. The Economic Geography of Uneven Development
    Global Differences
    Box 8.1 Different Economies
    Regional Differences
    The Role of The State
    Capital and Labor
    The Rise of Mass Consumption
    Box 8.2 The Changing Concerns of Economic Geography
    PART 4. The Cultural Organization of Space
    9. The Geography of Population
    The Distribution of Population
    Population Differences: Gender, Age, Race, and Ethnicity
    The Movement of Population
    Box 9.1 The Age of Distraction
    Models of Population Movement
    Box 9.2 The Zelinksy and Metz Models
    10. The Geography of Religion
    The Geography of the Major Religions
    Box 10.1 Alternative Visions
    The Geographies of Religious Belief
    The Religious Organization of Space
    Box 10.2 Jerusalem
    Religion and Society
    11. The Geography of Language
    Language of the Local
    The Distribution of Languages
    Language and Power
    The Language of Place
    The Place of Language
    The Political Geography of Language
    Globalization of Language
    Box 11.1 The Linguistic Landscape
    PART 5. The Global Organization of Space
    12. Creating a Global Economy
    Space-Time Convergence
    Three Waves of Globalization
    Box 12.1 The Flow of Capital
    Box 12.2 The Flow of Remittances
    Global Shift
    Box 12.3 Transnational Corporations
    International Non-Government Agencies
    The Promise and Reality of Neoliberalism
    A Flat World?
    13. The Global Geography of Culture
    Cultural Regions
    Spatial Diffusion
    Box 13.1 The Diffusion of Diseases
    Culture as Flow
    The Global Production of Culture
    The Commodification of Culture
    The Myth of Homogeneity
    PART 6. The Political Organization of Space
    14. World Orders
    Early Empires
    Global Integration
    Box 14.1 The Caribbean as Imperial Shatter Zone
    Imperial Overstretch
    Imperial Disintegration
    The Clash of Civilizations?
    Elements of A New World Order
    Box 14.2 The Pentagon's View of the World
    15. The Nation-State
    The Range of States
    Box 15.1 Depicting Countries in Relative Space
    The Rise and Fall of States
    The Spatial Nature of the State
    Box 15.2 Imagined Communities
    Nation, State, and Minorities
    The Territory of the State
    Boundaries and Frontiers
    Geography of Elections
    Box 15.3 Geopolitics
    PART 7. The Urban Organization of Space
    16. The Urban
    The First Urban Revolution
    A Second Urban Revolution
    The Third Urban Revolution
    Box 16.1 The Metropolitan United States
    Box 16.2 Megalopolis
    Box 16.3 Seoul
    Box 16.4 Shanghai
    17. Networks of Cities

    Regional Networks
    National Networks
    Box 17.1 Estimating City Population
    Global Networks
    Box 17.2 Visualizing National Urban Network Flows: The Case of the United States
    18. The Internal Structure of the City
    The City As Investment
    The City As Residence
    Box 18.1 Home Sweet Home
    The City as Social Context
    Box 18.2 Measuring Segregation in Cities
    The City As Political Arena
    Box 18.3 Population Change in US Cities, 1900-2010
    Changes in the Contemporary City

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