WHY IN THE WORLD by George J. Demko

WHY IN THE WORLD

Adventures in Geography

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Did you know that 45 percent of the population of Africa is under 15 years old? That prostitutes in the Moscow railway station paint their rates on their shoes? That the largest migration in US history was the movement of six million southern blacks to the North over the past five decades? That the Gulf War caused the temporary or permanent dislocation of at least five million people? This is definitely a did-you-know? book for anyone who is fascinated by spaces and places; it is also wonderfully artful propaganda by Dartmouth professor Demko, doyen of geographers and former director of the United States Office of The Geographer (did you know there was such an office?). In very readable if somewhat staccato prose, he tells us that geography is much more than naming nations, capital cities, produce, and weather. It is about population growth and migration, culture, race, language, religion, politics, war, boundaries, pollution, water and food supplies, disease and disasters. It is about the human race, animal and plant life, and the planet itself. And it is also about the making of maps and chronometers and all the other instruments (including the Census) devised to measure geographic phenomena. For a world illiterate in many of these areas, Demko's book is a gold mine of information. And, wonder of wonders, it's not a coffee-table atlas but a trade paperback that also includes the basics on all 173 countries of the world (not counting the amusing wannabes that Demko has kept files on). It's a bargain. (Maps and charts--not seen.)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-385-26629-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Anchor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992