By John Agnew, Jonathan M. Smith
First released in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra info for American Space American Place: Geographies of the Contemporary United States
As this combined the technical skills of Western science, the financial resources of big business, the unanswerable moral claims of the developing world, and the politically-popular assurance that consumers in the developed world could have a clean environment and a rising standard of living, there is little cause for surprise at its triumph. ” Its role is that of an engineering department charged to ensure efficient and reliable operation of a large and highly complex machine. The place of nature 45 Iconographic landscapes of abused nature The idea of abused nature is global, but like other elements of global culture it is given a local flavor by the local poetics of nature by which it was preceeded.
Smith Regional geographies t ypically begin with a chapter devoted to the physical attributes – relief, climate, soils, etc. – of the larger region or country divided into smaller ones. The logic is that the possibilities and limits of life in a given region are circumscribed by the economic resources provided and physical constraints imposed by the region’s natural assets. Over the long span of human history and at a macrogeographical scale there is undoubted truth to this logic. But in the contemporary United States this logic is more than a little misleading.
Nature, particularly when distilled into the form of a natural icon, is a sacrament of which the people must be permitted to partake. This explains why so many natural icons have been preserved as public parks. As Abraham Lincoln The place of nature 39 wrote when he transferred the Yosemite Valley to the State of California in 1864, this spectacular place, which along with the nearby Calveras Grove had already become an icon of American nature, was to be forever preserved for “public use, resort and recreation” (Schama 1995: 185–201; Huth 1957: 148).
American Space American Place: Geographies of the Contemporary United States by John Agnew, Jonathan M. Smith