Book reviews 2012
Historical Geography Volume 40 (2012): 187-230. © 2012, Historical Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers.

Editor, Soren Larsen


Curiosity, Inquiry, and the Geographical Imagination by Daniel W. Gade.
Reviewed by Roger Bolton.

The Prehistory of Home by Jerry D. Moore.
Reviewed by Robert E. Boon.

Finding Oil: The Nature of Petroleum Geology, 1859-1920 by Brian Frehner.
Reviewed by Jason Cooke.

Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer by Carolyn Strange and Alison Bashford.
Reviewed by Cristina Dando.

Architecture and Landscape of the Pennsylvania Germans, 1720-1920 , Sally McMurry and Nancy Van Dolsen (eds.).
Reviewed by Dawn M. Drake.

Political Essay on the Island of Cuba: A Critical Edition, by Alexander von Humboldt [1826], Vera M. Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette (eds.).
Reviewed by Erika Behrisch Elce.

Cities and Nature in the American West. Char Miller (ed.).
Reviewed by Michael P. Ferber.

What is Water? The History of a Modern Abstraction. by Jamie Linton.
Reviewed by Ezgi Akpinar-Ferrand.

Railroads in the Old South: Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society by Aaron W. Marrs.
Reviewed by Patrick D. Hagge.

Historical Atlas of the North American Railroad, by Derek Hayes.
Reviewed by Ralph Hartsock.

Texas: A Historical Atlas, by. A. Ray Stephens.
Reviewed by Ralph Hartsock.

The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History. Martin Reuss and Stephen H. Cutcliffe (eds.).
Reviewed by Jordan P. Howell.

We'll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus 1846-1848. by Richard E. Bennett.
Reviewed by Marjorie Hunter.

Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader. Jordana Dym and Karl Offen (eds.).
Reviewed by Richard Hunter.

Revolutionary Parks by Emily Wakild.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Kelly.

Environment at the Margins: Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa. Byron Caminero-Santangelo and Garth Myers (eds.).
Reviewed by Peter M. Kimosop.

Imagining Mount Athos: Visions of a Holy Place from Homer to World War II by Veronica Della Dora.
Reviewed by Julie McDougall.

Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert by Michon Mackedon.
Reviewed by Jeff McGovern.

The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California's Great Central Valley by Philip Garone.
Reviewed by Diane Rachels.

Braudel Revisited: The Mediterranean World, 1600-1800. Gabriel Piterberg, Teofilo F. Ruiz and Geoffrey Symcox (eds.).
Reviewed by Richard Reiswell.

In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World by Judith A. Carney and Richard N. Rosomoff.
Reviewed by John Rashford.

Intelligence Revealed: Maps, Plans and Views at Horse Guards and the War Office 1800-1880. A. Crispin Jewitt (ed.).
Reviewed by Hennie A. P. Smit

Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asiaby Derek Hall, Philip Hirsch ansd Tanya Murray Li.
Reviewed by Mahmood Tajbakhsh

The Eve of Spain: Myths of Origins in the History of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Conflict by Patricia E. Grieve.
Reviewed by Gene Rhea Tucker

After Custer: Loss and Transformation in Sioux Country by Paul L. Hedren.
Reviewed by Sarah Wandersee

Spirits of the Air: Birds and American Indians in the Southby Shepard Krech III.
Reviewed by Mark Welford

Yellowstone Denied: The Life of Gustavus Cheyney Doaneby Kim Allen Scott.
Reviewed by Yolonda Youngs


Curiosity, Inquiry, and the Geographical Imagination. DANIEL W. GADE. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2011. Pp. xviii+307, photographs, map, index. $59.95, cloth. ISBN 978-1-4331-1541-7.

In his preface Daniel Gade defines the three terms in his title: curiosity is "the pursuit of knowledge"; inquiry is "that pursuit in an academic calling"; and geographical imagination is "a distinctive way of thinking [that] refers to a particular sensitivity toward place, landscape, and the spatial patterns of the earth we live on" (pp. xiii-xiv). In the following chapters he describes scholars, mostly cultural-historical geographers, who he thinks exemplify ideals of curiosity and imagination. It becomes clear he means epistemic curiosity and romantic imagination. The two don't always coincide, as one can be curious without being romantic, but "curiosity is a common element of the romantic temperament" (p. 267). It's also clear he's trying to counter "an instrumentalizing mentality that has gained continuous ground in recent decades [and] has distorted the research process" (p. xiv)--distorting it by colonizing (my word) it with excessive respect for theory and quantitative data, large grants, large teams of researchers, and pressures for significant results.

The first part of the book has some history of curiosity in general, and it includes short biographical sketches of fourteen scholars notable for it, from Herodotus up to twentieth-century figures. Naturalists and botanists are prominent, and there are three geographers (George Perkins Marsh, John K. Wright, and Elisée Reclus). The second part is about the discipline of geography and American geographers. Gade illustrates his ideals with extensive discussion of Carl Sauer and nine of Sauer's first-generation students. This part features pointed observations, criticisms of large quarters of the contemporary discipline, and expansive claims, some of which are overgeneralizations. I especially frowned at "Geographers devoted to social theory fail to appreciate that language creates place" (p. 136). However, some readers may agree with two claims: The quantification of geography delayed the discipline's response to environmental concerns, and the positivist discard of regional geography was unfortunate in reducing expertise on different parts of the world.

The third and last part of the book is autobiographical, quite fitting because Gade earlier emphasized that curiosity and romantic imagination express personality and philosophy of life. It has extended descriptions and reflections on his fieldwork, including on exotic subjects and locations. I found them enjoyable and enlightening. Topics include the spread of bullfighting, Carnoux-en-Provence (a city in southern France) as a place of memory, entomophagy, cats as human food, a pipe organ manufacturer in Montréal, Ethiopian civets, and, most valuable for me, décalage in lemon-growing areas around Lake Garda in Italy. Gade is self-consciously reflexive in an appealing way. He is illustrating curiosity and romantic imagination in his own life, but he shows humility and honesty. The book also has a conclusion and a long list of references.

I found much of the book interesting and engaging, and appreciated the spirited writing and manifest passion. However, I have to say that in the second part Gade doesn't really describe many concrete examples of epistemic curiosity. There are mostly flat assertions. I wish he had illustrated curiosity by contrasting his champions to leading geographers in the modern tradition. We learn about Carl Sauer's philosophy and methods, but not much on how Sauer's contemporaries approached similar phenomena.

On romantic imagination, Gade is much better. He uses many colorful phrases to describe it. In methods, it is counter-enlightenment; seeks "understanding, not explanation" (p. 78); opposes reductionism that "conceptualize[s] life in terms of some salient uniformizing factor" (pp. 70-71); "views the earth in organic, not mechanistic, terms" (p. 82). In values, it rejects utilitarianism, is not motivated by social responsibility or the desire to do good, and fosters research as "deliciously ludic activity" (p. 152) not driven by social responsibility or a need to be significant. The romantic scholar also searches for the exotic. I could give many others. The lion's share of the phrases comes from passages about Sauer, "the ur-romantic of American geography" (p. 92). Gade says of Sauer, "his fieldwork was exploratory rather than methodical" (p. 75), and he "opposed applying bureaucratically generated data to understanding place" (p. 84). He also says that "Sauerians" had a "nonchalance toward technique, grand theory, or practical application" (pp. 74-75).

Some remarks are rather extravagant. The book is advocacy--one might say exotic advocacy--and Gade deploys polarities vigorously. I'm willing to forgive some exuberance, and while I often disagree with him--as I think most contemporary geographers will--I want to let his words rather than mine present his views: "Intuitive imagining is as valuable as logical analytical thought" (p. 92). "Only direct witnessing of the phenomenon being studied can impart intellectual authority" (p. 80), and "history, however biased it may be, nevertheless offers the greatest source of meaning to the present" (p. 90). "Nothing factual is insignificant; those who are quick to make distinction of value manifest a failure of imagination" (p. 81), and "asking the question of significance or insignificance is born of a failure of imagination" (p. 214). My own opinion is that posing things so starkly is not the most effective advocacy. I prefer to think of imagination or curiosity as a continuum. There are people at both ends, to be sure, but most of us occupy interior positions, albeit movable ones.

There are passages that should interest students. They (and their teacher) could share their research plans, then discuss Gade's ideals. The teacher could bring in visiting geographers who agree with Gade and also ones who think him hopelessly old-fashioned.

Gade notes that a scholar needs, among other things, a "clever copy editor" (p. 262). Neither he nor his publisher has been blessed by such an angel--indeed, not even by a competent proofreader. There are well over a hundred typographical errors or unambiguous writing errors like significant misspellings, garbled sentences, inaccuracies in citations, and wrong words, for example "meddle" for "mettle" and "theromorphic" for "theomorphic." Quite a few are in references. The majority are trivial and merely increase one's melancholy at how they all could "get through," but many are glaring enough to erode confidence in the author. Some are especially comical in a book by a geographer: John Leighly's birth and death year are both wrong, and the birth year implies he got a Ph.D. at age 22; optimal yield from civets requires an environment with daily temperatures above 400 C; the index entry "Turner, Bill (aka Billy)" confuses the trainer of Seattle Slew with the geographer Billie Turner; the references list Rich Heyman's article as "Wither Geography" instead of his much cleverer "Withered Geography."

Roger Bolton
Williams College

The Prehistory of Home. JERRY D. MOORE. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. Pp. xi+269, photographs, line illustrations, table, notes, index. $29.95 cloth. ISBN 978-0-520-27221-7.

As Moore tells us, his purpose with The Prehistory of Home is "to introduce a general reader to archaeology, but a kind of archaeology that is less focused on spectacular temples or fabulous tombs and rather is more reflective of what archaeology actually is and what archaeologists actually do" (p. 222). Moore succeeds in this. While his topic is to trace the material evidence of human habitation, he does so in a way that lets us share the history of archaeology and its methods, its missteps, and patient excitements. Moore accomplishes this through a wealth of examples that range from early hominids through contemporary, suburban California. His book remains accessible and informative to those of us not steeped in the minutiae of archaeology.

Moore opens his book with a series of examples, ranging from his own excavations in Peru, to !Kung San windbreaks, to Aaron Spelling's sprawling LA mansion. These examples invite us to examine the diverse meanings of home: "Dwellings are powerful condensers of meanings, second only to the human body as a model for thinking about the world" (p. 3). Indeed, our homes are "the material expressions of intersecting considerations," both as shelter and identity (p. 5). He looks at linguistic traces of home, but frames this in terms of the extensive length of human home-making to point to the role of archaeology, which is "the only way those ancient lives can be recovered and added to the consultable record of what it means to be human" (p. 10).

In chapters two and three, Moore contrasts animal with human constructions and nicely lets us follow the work of Mary Leakey, pointing out the problems of how to determine whether site pieces are truly associated and the possibilities of misleading interpretations. He examines as well the work of American archaeologist Lewis Binford on hunters and gatherers, to sketch out the ways humans begin to structure our space. Moore elaborates this by touching on the notions of the Roman architect Vitruvius, demonstrating how German and Mexican Jesuits misinterpreted Native experience in Baja California, Neanderthal place-making at Kebara Cave and mammoth-bone houses in Russia. The point of his wide survey is to show us how the "creation of dwellings [became] a central innovation that allowed humans to occupy the diverse environments of earth" (p. 47), though such encampments are not yet layered with the deep symbols that constitute home.

Moore leads us into the human invention of home in the processes of becoming sedentary and in investing our dwellings with cosmological significance. He examines in more detail the archaeology of the Jomon tradition of southwestern Japan and Dorothy Garrod's work on the "microlithic" Natufian culture near Mt. Carmel. He links these two cultures to show that "sedentism did not wait for agriculture"; rather, "Sedentism developed when people had too much stuff" (p. 63). Moore breaks his survey of the distant past to take a quick inventory of his own "stuff" and reports on the work of photojournalist Peter Menzel, his Material World: A Global Family Portrait (1995). In Menzel's report, not even the poorest family he visited could carry their own possessions. Moore tells us, "This is not a trivial point. After about 15,000 years ago, human societies…increasingly relied on stored food…When that happened, our homes changed from principally places of temporary shelter into refuges for ourselves and our possessions" (p. 58). While this may not be a surprising conclusion, Moore succeeds here by bringing together this wealth and range of evidence. He follows up this picture of being weighed down by our possessions by showing us how humans began to invest in our homes as cosmology: "In dwellings throughout the world, the order of the home parallels the order of the universe" (p. 70). Homes leave the material traces that suggest what might have been developing in the more ephemeral aspects of human culture. Moore uses a number of examples from more recent anthropology, such as work studying the Navaho and the Saami, to show us the process of speculating into the past. He includes as well a discussion of the C. C. Witt site in Kansas of a Pawnee dwelling, and examines seventeenth-century Dutch painting to stress that at some point, "Going home implied a position within a moral landscape" (p. 92).

In the later chapters of the book, Moore looks at specific problems and activities that accumulate around home. For instance, in "Apartment Living," Moore looks at the problems of living in more confined spaces. He examines the seeming jumble of Anatolian Çatalhöyük, densely inhabited from 7400-6200 BC and the social structures and tensions of the Iroquois longhouses. He takes us to his own study of the worker settlement of Quebrada Santa Cristina on coastal Peru, letting us look over his shoulder as he deduces from housing and kitchen debris that this place was occupied following a severe El Niño (pp. 100-5. He also sketches out the shifting settlements of the Hohokan peoples--the one place in the text I strongly wished he had included some maps. These examples lead to Moore's discussion of Gregory Johnson's theory of social stress thresholds.

Moore also looks at walled cities, from Uruk, to his own work at Chan Chan, to Swahili coral houses--all to comment on the evolving relations of status and gender in human homes. He follows this with a chapter on the "dynamic fusion of politics and feastings, residence and ceremonies" (p. 161), by way of looking through the Spanish encounters with the Inca at Rio Tumbres, the "House of Tiles" in Neolithic Lerna, Greece, and the potlatch on the northwestern American coast. Through this, he shows the reason for drawing clear lines between description and interpretation of archaeological materials. Moore rounds out his book by examining further how the sense of the sacred in intertwined with our homes, through direct shrines, but also by rituals of home burning and home burials.

Some may find a weakness in Moore's general style--he does not write in the rigid framework of a freshman 5-paragraph essay. His main point is usually preceded by numerous and wide-ranging examples, less giving a direct argument than an inductive invitation to an alert reader. I enjoy this approach, and consider Moore's Prehistory of Home successful in offering an accessible meditation on the process of archaeology and the meanings of home.

Robert E. Boon
University of Missouri

Finding Oil: The Nature of Petroleum Geology, 1859-1920. BRIAN FREHNER. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2011. Pp. xiv+232, illustrations, index. $50.00 cloth. ISBN 978-0-8032-3486-4.

Finding Oil tells the story of the gradual establishment and professionalization of petroleum geology in the early days of the American oil industry. Focusing on the years between 1859 and 1920, Brian Frehner argues that a common desire to find oil involved a struggle for "cultural, intellectual and professional authority" between two "ideal types" of oil prospectors, which he calls "practical oil men" and "petroleum geologists." Finding oil, in other words, was more than a quest for economic gain among prospectors, "who struggled for cultural, intellectual, and professional authority--over both nature and their peers" (p. 2). In the first chapter, Frehner elaborates on distinctions between practical oil men and petroleum geologists. Practical oil men were most influential in the early days of the industry, and relied heavily on tacit understanding and localized knowledge to find oil. Due to the hidden qualities of oil, success in drilling was never guaranteed. In contrast to practical men who drilled based on a hunch, "geologists faced the task of explaining how investors could minimize financial risk by drawing upon identifiable knowledge to increase the chance of finding oil" (p. 43). For this fledgling community of experts, the ability to develop and apply systematic principles to the task of finding oil became the ultimate expression of authority.

The second chapter examines the nineteenth-century foundations of petroleum geology, which emerged "as a contested practice in which different constituencies formulated knowledge by fashioning relationships to nature through their physical and intellectual work" (p. 45). Whereas practical oil men continued to have varying degrees of success finding oil, geologists conducted field work and developed visual representations in an intellectual effort to reduce nature's agency to geological principles. Conducted in the early years between 1836 and 1842, the first Pennsylvania Geological Survey is used as an example to illustrate how finding oil was ultimately a collaborative process that "required both physical labor and intellectual theorizing" (p. 3).

The third chapter focuses on circumstances and contingencies that contributed to the acceptance of petroleum geology as a form of scientific knowledge. "Some practical oil men accepted petroleum geology earlier than others," explains Frehner, "but 1913 proved a pivotal year in the history of the oil industry because many who had resisted geology began to take it more seriously" (p. 82). In that year, the discovery of an oil field beneath an anticline structure in Cushing, Oklahoma demonstrated the ability of geological principles to yield results. Developed in Pennsylvania, the theory that oil accumulated under anticlines was initially considered a failure until applied to the geology of the southern plains. To observers, the Cushing discovery illustrated how regional context mattered in the application of geologic principles. The fourth chapter examines the institutionalization of petroleum geology in the first decades of the twentieth century. As argued by Frehner, the production of scientific knowledge "occurred not in a linear progression but in a tangled dialectic of private and public institutions in which geologists interacted with each other, the environment, and the constituents who wanted their information" (p. 104). In particular, university education and employment in government-funded surveys gave geologists opportunities to formulate knowledge the appealed to private industry.

Accordingly, the fifth chapter examines the appropriation of geological knowledge by private industry. Between 1859 and 1920, the gradual shift of authority from practical men to petroleum geologists was concomitant with the emergence of industrial capitalism in North America. In a case study of Cities Service, Frehner emphasizes the role of industry leaders like Henry L. Doherty in developing technical systems of oil exploration. At a time when many prospectors remained devoted to ideas such as the belt-line and anticlinal theories because they could be applied on the basis of surface observations alone, Cities Service employed a team of geologists and engineers that "utilized all available data in order to create three-dimensional models that represented underground structures and processes and their relationship to oil" (p. 170). In contrast to the rigid ways of practical oil men, trained professionals came with an epistemology that could be expanded upon to contribute to further innovations in the science of prospecting.

Finding Oil makes an important contribution to an established literature on the early history of the American petroleum industry. This book is well written and effectively captures the co-production of science, culture, and natural history. Insofar as the history of petroleum geology relates to the oil fields of Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, this book is also effectively researched. However, the emergence of petroleum geology in Southern California remains a peculiar emission in Finding Oil. According to Frehner, "California's marketing of crude gave rise to a distinctive political economy in which state and local politics structured the oil industry in that time and place along with science and environment but making for a much different story than unfolded on the southern plains" (p. 16). Were approaches to finding oil so different in the Golden State? California was, after all, a leading oil-producing state in the first decades of the twentieth century. In Finding Oil, Frehner shows how the westward migration of geological principles from Pennsylvania to the southern Plains yielded varying degrees of effectiveness. Were practical oil men and petroleum geologists in California not receptive to this knowledge?

Finding Oil begins and concludes by reflecting upon the popular imagery of the oil gusher. For practical oil men who prided themselves on their wildcatting abilities, the gusher was a symbol of success. For men who found oil using subterranean imagery and seismic technologies, the types of trained professionals hired by Doherty in the first decades of the twentieth century, a gusher was an event that had to be contained in an effort to minimize waste. As the industry evolved and became more complex, so did the established science of petroleum geology.

Jason Cooke
University of Toronto

Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer. CAROLYN STRANGE and ALISON BASHFORD. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008. Pp. 283, color illustrations, maps, index. $30.95 paper. ISBN 978-0-8020-9663-0.

Few would argue the inherently visual nature of geography, our use (and love of maps), our emphasis on fieldwork and observation. Carolyn Strange and Alison Bashford's biography Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer is as much a visual biography as a textual one, drawing on extensive visual materials as well as diaries and letters. Through images and texts, Strange and Bashford create a portrait of a complicated geographer, revealing a leading geographer of the twentieth century whose contributions cover the spectrum and the globe.

Strange and Bashford's approach is largely chronological, as most biographies are, but in doing so, emphasize Taylor's changing interests and spheres of influence, telescoping out from a very focused view (literally with fossils) to a broad, international perspective and then back down again late in life when his sphere was very much focused on his family. As they move through his life, they illuminate Taylor's shifting roles: explorer, anthropogeographer, family man, nation-builder, and global peacemaker.

Born in England and emigrating to Australia with his family as a boy, Taylor took to writing and sketching early, keeping extensive diaries throughout his life. His early education was in Australia, with a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Sydney (p. 21). In 1907, Taylor won a scholarship to study at Cambridge, England. Close to graduation and with no prospects in hand, opportunity intervened at a Cambridge Philosophical Society dinner, when Taylor was asked to join Captain Robert Scott's British Antarctic Expedition (pp. 38-9).

The Terra Nova Antarctic expedition left from New Zealand on 30 November 1910. In Antarctica, Taylor was in charge of the Western Geological Party exploring the physiography and geology of South Victoria Land (p. 56). Taylor's party successfully carried out its mission and returned safely; tragically, the five members of polar party perished, including Captain Scott. Taylor contributed to official expedition histories and papers as well as publishing his own works, including a book. In 1916, he was awarded a doctorate based on the glaciology research he conducted on the Scott expedition.

After the expedition, Taylor took a position at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology. The Bureau had a central role in Australia's debates over climate and race: white Australians were limiting the immigration of Southeast Asians to Australia while questioning whether white settlers could handle the country's tropical north (p. 83). Through his work, Taylor contributed to the debate, taking the tactic that it was not a matter of could whites settle in hot, humid lands but would or should they (pp. 84-5). Taylor translated his ideas into striking graphics, establishing "his reputation as a popular lecturer, journalist and aspiring academic" (p. 95). Taylor's work drew the attention of Australian government officials as well as international geographers, but to patriotic Australians, his words were heresy.

Taylor made the move to academics when he accepted the foundation chair of geography at Sydney University in 1920 (p. 103). Taylor continued his anthropogeographical work, taking to the field to study Australian Aborigines, putting his theories to the test. Results of his travel and research were published in both the popular press and in academic journals. His work culminated in Environment and Race (1927), where he correlated climate with the origin and distribution of human racial groups.

As a public intellectual, controversy haunted Taylor for much of his academic career (p. 124). Taylor saw himself as "a persecuted bearer of the truth" and believed it was his job to scientifically explain the lack of settlement in Western Australia and why it should not be developed (pp. 124, 126). Some did listen to his reasoning but the combination of his position on Western Australia with his ideas on race put him on "a collision course" with the newfound Australian identity (p. 135).

A graceful exit came in 1928 when Taylor took first a position at the University of Chicago, then another at the University of Toronto. At Chicago, Taylor continued his work but was again marginalized, for possibilism was dominant in American academic geography and anthropogeography was out of favor (p. 139). In 1934, the University of Toronto hired Taylor as its foundation professor. Taylor saw this as an opportunity to continue his work on nation-building (p. 144). The Toronto department flourished under Taylor.

In his last "scale jump," Taylor had argued as early as 1933 the progressive concept of no biological basis for racial differences and that this notion could lead to world peace (p. 161). Taylor proposed a new field, geopacifics, as "an 'antidote' to the poison of German geopolitics," spelling out his theories in Our Evolving Civilization: An Introduction to Geopacifics, Geographical Aspects of the Path toward World Peace (1946), arguing geography's key role in nation-building and world peace (pp. 167, 171-2). Geopacifics received little attention but Taylor remained upbeat, wanting "to be remembered as a prophet for peace" (pp. 181-184). Taylor retired at the age of 70 and returned to his family in Sydney. He died in 1963 at the age of 80.

Strange and Bashford have constructed an extremely engaging biography of a formidable twentieth-century geographer. Taylor covered the spectrum from explorer to academic, from physical to human geography. His association with environmental determinism often results in his dismissal, but his contributions to geography are considerable with few geographers today claiming a fraction of his accomplishments. Overall, this biography is well researched and written. I especially appreciate the sense of humor that percolates throughout the book, tied to Taylor's personality, but certainly appreciated and nurtured by the authors. Between the humor and visuals, this is a pleasure to read.

Through this work, I have a new appreciation for Taylor's contributions to our geographical world and the role of the visuals in early twentieth-century geography. Notable geographer's biographies have appeared in the last decade (such as those of Isaiah Bowman and Charles Daly), but none offer as rich a visual feast as Strange and Bashford. Their over 100 illustrations include his scholarly sketches and maps, his drawings for family, and cartoons of Taylor by students as well as by editorial cartoonists. These illustrations shed interesting light on the visual culture of twentieth-century geography, which was not just scholarly drawings of landforms and climate, but rather a means to capture the spatial in all its possible forms, from Taylor's sketch of a "touring library" (p. 32) to the affectionate sketch of Taylor as a block diagram (p. 198). Visuals were key to Taylor's "view" of geography, so entirely appropriate that his biography addresses both the texts and the images that were both so much a part of his public and private lives. Unfortunately, Strange and Bashford rarely engage the visuals. Clearly they see their importance to Taylor but I see little effort to unpack these images and their significance to his life and work. More work needs to be done on the interplay between theory and images, such as Heather Winlow's (2009) article in Geographical Research (vol. 47 no. 7, pp. 390-407) "Mapping the Contours of Race: Griffith Taylor's Zones and Strata Theory," which examines Griffith's use of cartography to fortify his racial theories. Maps and diagrams are not just pretty pictures; for many geographers, the theory and images go hand-in-hand, with the images being developed along with the theory (today termed visualization). If we are to understand the geographers, we need to clearly understand the theory and the images and the relationship between them.

Christina Dando
University of Nebraska-Omaha

Architecture and Landscape of the Pennsylvania Germans, 1720-1920. SALLY MCMURRY and NANCY VAN DOLSEN, editors Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Pp. xiv+250, sketches, photographs, index, notes. $49.95 hardcover. ISBN 978-0-8122-4278-2.

Architecture and Landscape of the Pennsylvania Germans, 1720-1920 traces 200 years of adaptation and change in the German landscapes of southeastern Pennsylvania. The editors organize a series of essays from leading modern scholars on the cultural and built landscapes of the German people who settled in Pennsylvania. Using a combination of previous interpretations and current work, the essayists examine the typical architecture such as farmhouses and the quintessential Pennsylvania bank barns, but also landscapes that are more neglected in the academic literature such as town houses and domestic outbuildings. The essayists also attempt to position the architectural studies in their appropriate place in the literature of ethnicity and acculturation. Based on materials created for the 2004 conference by the Vernacular Architecture Forum, the book is full of interesting historical and cultural insights, although it requires an extensive architectural background and familiarity with southeastern Pennsylvania to wholly appreciate the text. The book also suffers from a few organizational shortcomings.

The book encompasses the time period of 1720 to 1920. The editors selected the earliest date as the beginning of sustained German migration to Pennsylvania and the end date as the point where cultural and political pressures of World War I caused many Pennsylvania Germans to subsume their German traditions in favor of being more American. After World War I, the region is characterized much more by the commercialization of the traditions of the Plain sect Amish and the conflation of the terms "Pennsylvania German" and "Pennsylvania Dutch," despite the fact that the two traditions were distinctly different in the past. The essayists are very careful to separate these terms and traditions, despite the fact that many Pennsylvanians do not recognize the difference anymore, even though they should.

The book begins with an introductory essay on German landscapes in general, trying to put the built landscape into a broader context that recognizes changes over the study time period. While intended as an introduction to the book, it feels more like a concluding chapter, pulling together all the book's themes and discussing specific architectural elements of the Pennsylvania German landscape. For those who are not already familiar with the architectural elements of the region, the chapter may introduce more confusion than useful information. Given the fact that the book has no concluding chapter, the introduction may be better suited as a closing chapter that sums up the work of the prior essays. The chapter would also be stronger, at least in terms of historical geography, if a map of the region under discussion were included.

Following the introductory chapter on German landscapes, subsequent chapters examine rural houses, domestic outbuildings, barns and agricultural outbuildings, town houses, commercial buildings, and religious landscapes. The chapters explore traditional themes of Pennsylvania German cultural practices such as foodways, building materials, and structural designs. Most of the chapters reexamine the existing literature and scholarship, using multiple photographs and floor plan sketches to provide specific examples from southeastern Pennsylvania. The illustrations are excellent, but are not referenced within the text, making it more difficult to match examples to the narrative or refer back to them when specific structures are mentioned in subsequent chapters.

Some of the chapters present new scholarship on the landscapes of Pennsylvania Germans. While much attention has been placed on the rural farmhouses, which are discussed in this work as well, there is also a focus on town houses, which up until now have been poorly researched, largely due to a belief that most Pennsylvania Germans were farmers and not city dwellers. The chapter on town houses concentrates mostly on building materials and designs in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but it also covers typical German town designs. While numerous photographs and floor plans are included in this section town plats would also have been helpful.

In addition to the expansion of Pennsylvania German landscape literature to include town houses, the book also incorporates another new area of scholarship. While the distinctive Pennsylvania bank barns with their forebays and related outbuildings have received extensive attention in the scholarly literature, domestic outbuildings like summer kitchens, bake houses, spring houses, and ancillary houses have been neglected until this volume. This neglect is mostly due to the fact that the outbuildings were viewed as secondary to the functions of the farmhouse itself and written records are limited compared to those available for other structures. Despite this, the author of the chapter makes a good case for the importance of continuing study of these structures.

The last two chapters discuss public pieces of Pennsylvania German architecture--commercial buildings and churches. These sections include more cultural background than previous chapters, focusing on the role of women in commercial ventures and the history of German Protestantism. While interesting and pertinent to the narrative in some cases, in others the discussion seems prolonged and unrelated to the purpose of the book. Also, the lack of floor plans in both chapters makes it difficult to visualize the arrangements of rooms being discussed within the narrative. Otherwise, these chapters present interesting insight into the lives of Pennsylvania Germans outside the home and/or farm.

Architecture and Landscape of the Pennsylvania Germans, 1720-1920 is an interesting volume that assembles a series of essays on the built landscapes of Pennsylvania Germans at the height of their impact on the environment of southeastern Pennsylvania. While presenting interesting information, positioned squarely in the literature of acculturation, ethnicity, and architectural design, it is a book that requires a firm background in architectural scholarship. Terms are not defined and images are not referenced within the text to provide clues to the reader. For those that already have familiarity with architecture and the Pennsylvania German region, it is a great book. The addition of research on domestic outbuildings and town houses advances the existing scholarship and provides new avenues for future field work. With a few minor changes and additions to the text, this could be an excellent work for historical cultural geographers with training in architecture and design and pre-existing knowledge of southeastern Pennsylvania.

Dawn M. Drake
Missouri Western State University

Political Essay on the Island of Cuba: A Critical Edition, by Alexander von Humboldt [1826]. VERA M. KUTZINSKI and OTTMAR ETTE, editors. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2011. Pp. xxvi+323, annotations, appendices, index. $68.50 cloth. ISBN 0-226-46567-5.

This edition of Alexander von Humboldt's Political Essay on the Island of Cuba, edited by Vera Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette, makes new an old story we all thought we knew. Historians of science and of Spanish America may know this work well, but not as it appears in this new edition. Humboldt's unquenchable curiosity and dedication to his craft are readily apparent, and the book reminds us why Humboldt has been--and continues to be--such a revered character in the world of travel and scientific writing. But Kutzinski and Ette offer their readers something more, something that has been too long in coming: Humboldt's Cuba essay exists in its entirety for the first time in English in over a century. It is with gratitude that I say that editors Kutzinski and Ette never intrude, and their translation retains the same urgency the original would have had when first published in 1826. Kutzinski and Ette's intention "to have kept Humboldt's French, which carries the unmistakable cadences of his native German" brings the reader into Humboldt's presence, and the narrative is accessible, rigorous, and complete (p. 471). Humboldt's own footnotes remain intact; the editors' contextual notes are tactfully placed at the end, and square-bracketed additions to the main text are used sparingly. The editors' justification for this new volume is to let Humboldt finally speak for himself, and this he does very powerfully.

Humboldt sees himself as a "historian of America," but his study of colonial Cuba is farther reaching, and engages with his European readers as much as it does with the landscape and cultures of Cuba (p. 142). In addition to offering a travel diary of his Cuban adventures and scientific discoveries, Humboldt sees himself as an advocate for those who remain invisible on the world stage: slaves. In Humboldt's words, this is in fact his primary responsibility: "It befits the traveler, who witnessed up close the torment and degradation of humanity, to bring the laments of the wretched to the ears of those who have the power to assuage them" (pp. 142-3). This task is so central to Humboldt's narrative that it becomes the lens through which he analyses all of his scientific and statistical findings. Looking at the conditions of slavery and the colonial experience from a number of angles--cultural, economic, moral--Humboldt shows his readers how destructive slavery is to human life at all levels. Indeed, even as Humboldt wrote his treatise, the colonial system in the Spanish colonies was "exploding with violence" (p. 146). Humboldt places the responsibility for this upheaval firmly at the feet of Europe, since the illegal slave trade continued unabated "all because of the disdainful and guilty negligence of certain European governments" (p. 148).

Humboldt's original two-volume set has a chequered publication history, with several revisions by Humboldt himself and numerous translations with varying degrees of idiosyncrasy and accuracy. The most interesting--and disturbing--part of the books' history concerns the heretofore standard English translation from 1856 by an American writer, John Thrasher. Thrasher's translation is still anthologized today as the "most readable English translation" (p. xxvii)--I have in fact taught excerpts from it in my own classroom without knowing how fundamentally Thrasher altered Humboldt's voice. Kutzinski and Ette offer Humboldt himself as a powerful rebuttal to Thrasher, who "deliberately and systematically distorted [Humboldt's] text to create the impression that Humboldt, like Thrasher himself, supported slavery" (p. xxiii). Kutzinski and Ette's edition shows the exact opposite: Humboldt comes out unequivocally against the slave trade, a practice he passionately rejects as "institutionalized barbarity" (p. 143).

Unable to find "any neutral ship" to give him and his scientific companion, Aimé Bonpland, passage, Humboldt chartered a schooner on which to conduct a tour of the Jardines y Jardinillos, the archipelago of islands south of the Cuban coast (p. 155). With his instruments crammed into the hold, Humboldt, forced to sleep on deck, laconically mused, "Traveling by canoe on the Orinoco and on an American vessel filled with several thousand arrobas of sun-dried meat was less strenuous than this" (p. 160). Scientific adventure was not always pleasant, and Humboldt's frank style brings to life the quotidian difficulties of sounding, measuring, packing, and storing aboard. Also, scientific curiosity occasionally comes into direct conflict with maritime tradition: on one island when the sailors attack a pelican colony with clubs and machetes, the scientists are powerless to stop the massacre, and "[b]lood dripped from the tree tops" (p. 167). Wanting to discover the natural world as it exists without the interference of human industry, what Humboldt discovers in this scene is regret: "When we arrived, a deep calm had reigned in this little corner of the earth. Now, everything seemed to cry out: Man was here" (p. 167).

Kutzinski and Ette's inclusion of the second volume makes this edition complete, but it does not follow clearly from the first; it begins with a continuation of Humboldt's exploration of Cuba's Jardines y Jardinillos, but the majority of this text is taken up with a review of Venezuela's natural and social aspects, with brief pieces--"On the Consumption of Sugar in Europe," "On the temperature in different parts of the Torrid Zone at sea level"--marking the transition between Humboldt's original focus on Cuba and his broadened perspective in volume two. Kutzinski and Ette argue that the supplement on Venezuela was intended as a comparison to Cuba, but this is not entirely clear, and the second volume lacks the narrative force of the first. That said, it would be difficult to sustain that moral outrage so present in the first volume, and Humboldt's retreat to a more general overview of the region in volume two provides some relief to his readers.

For Humboldt, all aspects of life are interconnected, and these intimate connections enrich his narrative. His scientific observations are never simply statistics and tables, but indications of larger social and historical movements. Humboldt's overview of Cuban agriculture becomes a discussion of colonial commercial systems; his breakdown of population statistics moves into a discussion on the slave trade. Statistics--those "dreadful calculations"--lead back to Humboldt's main point: slavery is neither morally nor financially sustainable (p. 148). Statistics, for Humboldt, reveal disturbing truths: he reads "something gravely prophetic in these inventories of the human species" (p. 323). Within his fascinating narrative we see, in bare numbers, the correlation between free and enslaved people across the territories he explores, and the amount of sugar--in millions of kilograms--Europeans stir into their batters and drinks without thinking about the social consequences of indulging.

Erika Behrisch Elce
Royal Military College of Canada

Cities and Nature in the American West. CHAR MILLER, editor. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2010. Pp. vii+278, index. $34.99 paper. ISBN 978-0-87417-824-1.

Char Miller has assembled a superb compendium of contributors for this important literary tribute to Hal Rothman, a historian renowned for interpreting the relationships between cities and environments. Though born an easterner, Rothman became a prominent historian of the west with numerous books and articles spanning themes from the "neon metropolis" of his long time home of Las Vegas to the U.S. National Parks, tourism and recreation. Before his untimely death in 2007 at the age of forty-eight, Rothman was reputed to have redefined the field of western U.S. history. His research helped identify the shift from resource exploration to service and consumption, which he argued was a new type of urban reality as "new trends in outdoor recreation and tourism… were supplanting resource extraction as the primary interaction between the American public and the public lands" (p. 250). This volume effectively builds on Rothman's foundation and explores an interesting and diverse set of historical connections between natural and human systems. Miller describes the goal of the volume as "to develop arguments that provide a deeper appreciation for the complex processes by which urban society has shaped and has been shaped by its environment" (p. 6). The book is divided into four sections based on Rothman's interests: land, water, campground, and city.

A few of the contributors attempt to root their chapters directly in Rothman's writing. Vera Norwood discusses Lady Bird Johnson's legacy of preserving and cultivating native plants in the landscape, expanding upon Rothman's probing of the meanings of President Johnson's legacy. Matthew Klingle explores the salmon crisis around Seattle, which has evoked passionate dialog regarding social justice and environmental degradation, quoting Rothman who said, "as a nation we want convenience and abundance--but we want it without risk" (p. 90). Craig Colten and Lary Dilsaver portray Yosemite Park's efforts to expand garbage, sewer and water services in terms of what Rothman coined the 'Devil's Bargain': "Locals must be what tourists want them to be in order to feed and clothe themselves, their souls and their places from people who less appreciate its special traits" (p. 154). Andrew Kirk also applies the Devil's Bargain to investigate the Whole Earth Catalog and New Games in terms of urban environmentalism. Most authors are more indirect in their use of Rothman and stick to his interests without significant citation. For instance, with no mention of Las Vegas, Marguerite Shaffer explores how the U.S. park service reframed wilderness in consumerist terms (p. 149) and William Philpott illustrates how Vail, Colorado became both environmental ideal and environmental disaster (p. 225).

The book contains a valuable yet subtle theme of social sustainability and environmental justice. Racism is discussed in Jessica Teisch's exploration of the links between California industrialist Charles Spreckles and the development of exploitive plantations in Hawaii (p. 29). Kathleen Brosnan also touches upon inequity among workers in the Napa Valley wine industry (p. 47). Phoebe S. Kropp Young provides an explicit contrast between the identities of those who camp in cities on a regular basis (the homeless) and recreational campers who have emerged from a history that divides "camping as a form of privilege and camping as a function of poverty" (p. 178).

As a whole the volume provides a substantive overview of the links between city and ecology in a variety of western historical contexts. It will, therefore, be of great interest to readers of Historical Geography. The various chapters represent these interactions across a broad array of industries including agriculture, forestry, politics, tourism, fishing, petroleum, water, garbage and camping. Many prominent historians are cited including Turner, Cronon, and Nash as well as important historical figures in the development of each of the cities or wilderness areas. Geographers and geography are less prominent in the volume. An exception is Ari Kelman, who effectively illustrates the dilemma of New Orleans as one of tension between site and situation (p. 200), though southeastern geographers might resist the idea of New Orleans as a western city.

Cities and Nature in the American West is a major contribution to the scholarly work of historical geography and is simultaneously a celebration of the career of one of its great scholars. Readers interested in environmental studies, environmental history, historical geography and all of the various disciplines these touch will find it a valuable edition to their collections. The volume would also serve as an effective supplemental text in an undergraduate course in any of these disciplines.

Michael P. Ferber
The King's University College

What is Water? The History of a Modern Abstraction. JAMIE LINTON. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010. Pp. xviii+333, maps, illustrations, tables, index. ISBN 978-0-7748-1702-8.

For many decades, scholars and policy-makers have debated the global water crisis: in particular, exponential population growth and climate change are compounding the limited availability of water as a natural resource. Jamie Linton's study titled What is Water: The History of a Modern Abstraction is a timely book about what water is to modern society in Western thought. Linton explores the historical development of our perceptions of modern water both spatially and temporally. The author also argues that assuming a direct relationship between abstract concepts of world population and a finite amount of water has led to fallacies and no real solutions. This book is well-recommended for those interested in international development with a concentration on water issues as well as history and philosophy of hydrological science.

Linton's book is divided into four parts: Introduction; History of Modern Water; The Constitutional Crisis of Modern Water; and a conclusion entitled What Becomes of Water? In the first section, Linton adapts a theoretical approach to set up his argument that he describes as "relational dialectics." The methodology is based on the premise that "things that are often understood to be separate, independent, or self-sufficient actually produce each other in mutually constitutive processes" (p. 27). The approach is helpful for his arguments to show even though modern water is conceived as an entity by itself, one cannot remove it from its human context. Linton explains that the modern concept of water has not included "ecological, cultural and social factors." This trend, however, is beginning to change.

In the second part of the book, Linton reveals in detail how the concept of modern water has developed over the course of several centuries. The modern conceptualization of water, he maintains, has been set to a certain pattern by the quantification and the abstraction of the discipline of hydrology and the hydrologic cycle. Steadily, the local knowledge about water was left out of hydraulic projects with the advancement of hydrology with water processes being translated into mathematic formulae by the end of nineteenth century. This practice, Linton states, became a standard for many hydraulic engineering projects, with local stakeholders mostly ignored. Further, modern water has been removed from its human/social context as it was increasingly contained in pipes, canals, and dams. Behind all of these structures, Linton proposes, also resides the common idea of water as a chemical compound with homogeneous qualities irrespective of the geographical, historical, and cultural connections it embodies.

Continuing his description of the quantification of water during the Progressive Era, the author adds that consideration of water as a "finite resource" was another turning-point. He explains that as the world population continued to grow by the mid-twentieth century, an "inevitable crisis of scarcity" ensued among western experts and policy-makers who were working with a prior idea of fixed-quantities of water. In the third section, Linton explores in detail the subsequent stages that the modern water has gone through throughout the twentieth century, which led international community to declare a global water crisis by the 1990s. Linton also describes the current efforts to coordinate and sustain a worldwide collaboration to handle the "global water crisis." In this section, the author's treatment of the water crisis within the arena of international development is somewhat restricted, but the arguments brought forward and the historical background he provides for the subject are significant.

In the final chapter of the book, Linton outlines the practice of social hydrology, which he calls "hydroelectics," as a possible way to address water issues dominating the public realm today. The suggested approach considers both the social and hydrological aspects of water management. In the end, readers will find that Jamie Linton's book offers a fresh perspective and a thorough analysis of the historical development of the western world's idea of modern water. The volume is dense with information and has a solid philosophical approach that encourages a different vision of water on behalf of the reader. As Linton reminds us, "water is what we make of it" (p. 3).

Ezgi Akpinar-Ferrand
Southern Connecticut State University

Railroads in the Old South: Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society. AARON W. MARRS. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. Pp. xi+198, maps, notes, index. $58.00 hardcover. ISBN 978-0-8018-9130-4.

Traditional historical narratives of the antebellum South frame that region's eventual Civil War-era downfall through a lens of inevitability. The Old South was labeled as "premodern," comparatively lagging behind the North with respect to various economic development indicators. In many instances, it was assumed the institutions of the South actually rejected industrialization and technological change outright. Such historiographies can be attractive, as the South's eventual demise borne from mere resistance to change makes for a satisfying conclusion to America's nineteenth-century morality play: the Old South, the military and moral loser of the 1860s, sealed its own eventual fate through decades of rejecting "modernity," including more advanced forms of capitalism, market integration, and infrastructure innovations.

Aaron W. Marrs counters these conventional theories of a premodern antebellum South, arguing instead that the expansion and sustained successes of Southern railroads, particularly during the 1850s, were evidence of a more "modern" and economically maturing South. His book, Railroads in the Old South: Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society, argues this perspective under four broad thematic approaches: first, the technological development of railroads in the antebellum South and North exhibited a greater degree of parallelism than previously thought. Second, the existence of widespread slave labor differentiated the railroad with respect to social and economic factors. Third, because institutional and societal responses varied greatly within communities across the South, there was no single unifying reaction to the railroad, so contemporary overgeneralizations of an explicitly "Southern" rail experience are to be avoided. Finally, the establishment and advocacy of specific time, whether by railroad companies or by external organizations, exemplified the power struggles over control of the railroads.

Marrs develops these four themes through several chapters, chronologically arranged to chart the development of railroads from the initial wave of optimistic rail planning in the 1820s and 1830s, through the sustained expansion of rail lines in the 1840s and 1850s, until the eve of the Civil War. A short but important epilogue investigates railroads and southern memory, empowering voices both white and black, serving as a potent reminder that the railroads were far more than mere transportation lines drawn on a map.

Of particular interest is the degree which Marrs convincingly dispels the myth of a pastoral semi-Luddite antebellum South. For example, by 1860, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia were among the top ten states in total railroad mileage, with exponential growth for most southern states during the 1850s (p. 5). Yet the author agrees that many of the various railroad corporations in the antebellum South were simply not as economically robust as the railroad companies of the North. Marrs nicely summarizes this reality: when compared to northern states, "the states of the future Confederacy contained railroad companies that built fewer miles, hauled fewer goods, and earned less money" (p. 3). However, such divergence does not weaken Marrs' overall thesis, since acknowledging that many northern railroads were highly developed does not necessarily relegate southern railroads to backwater status. In short, Marrs' overall argument is a convincing one.

The author's scholarly detail is admirable, as his use of an enormous variety of primary sources supports his arguments well. Historical business records of the railroad companies in question allow for Marrs' expert analysis, but this work also incorporates historical newspaper text, traveler diaries, and letterbooks. The author's engrossing style makes this a relatable and readable work for any student of history. Of additional interest is the detail given to Southerners' social and community views of railroads, particularly the relationship of slavery to this new form of technology. The sometimes paradoxical union of slavery and progress--Marrs notes the southern planters' "willingness to reform coupled with an unwillingness to sacrifice slavery"--sheds new light on sustained American bondage in an increasingly industrial world (p. 7).

Marrs joins a growing number of scholars that are revisiting and revising the accepted historiography of an Old South wholly opposed to economic development. William G. Thomas' The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America (2011) charts railroad development in the pivotal antebellum era, with much emphasis on the influences and effects of railroads in all facets of the Civil War-era United States. Earlier works in this new era of Southern rail exploration include John E. Clark's Railroads in the Civil War: The Impact of Management on Victory and Defeat (2001). Though less focused on rail development alone, John Majewski analyzed the industrial aspirations of the antebellum elites in Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation (2009). Marrs' book is a fine addition to this budding body of scholarship that challenges the myth of an all-agrarian antebellum South.

Perhaps more comparative linkages could be made with other American regions beyond the northeastern core. How did southern railroad development compare to similar to railroading attempts (however insignificant) in similar slave-based or colonial-based economies around the globe, such as the growth of rail lines in British India during the 1860s and 1870s? Did the experience of southern railroading influence subsequent development of transcontinental railroad projects in California or the territories of the Intermountain West? However, these are slight criticisms. This work successfully argues Marrs' thesis that a premodern economic reading of the antebellum South must be rejected in favor of a more complex argument of economic development: a balance of an increasingly industrializing economy located in regions of agrarian slavery.

In his concluding remarks, Marrs revisits this seemingly anachronistic idea of railroads and slavery, nothing that "the rapid embrace of the railroad by southern travelers and shippers demonstrates that railroads affected the Old South's development, and the ease with which slavery was integrated into the railroading shows that the Old South also determined how railroads developed" (p. 198). Marrs has expertly argued that versions of "modernity" indeed existed within the antebellum South. This work suggests that geographers and historians alike read the Old South as premodern at their own peril. This book is an incredibly valuable addition to the body of scholarship within American historical geography.

Patrick D. Hagge
Penn State University

Historical Atlas of the North American Railroad. DEREK HAYES. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Pp. 224, color and b&w maps, photographs, posters, bibliography index. $39.95 hardback. ISBN 978-0-520-26616-2.

Railroads were an engine of the economy in the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries. Even now, they are useful for shipping heavy materials or mass quantities. Historical Atlas of the North American Railroad has 157 color illustrations and 396 maps. Hayes views his book as complementary to regular railroad histories. Advertising in the book reflects material culture and clothing of the time (p.180; 1947). Geographically, the United States and Canada are represented, but not Mexico.

Hayes identifies four types of railroad maps: those required for surveys; maps that provide operating information for passengers--these evolved into timetables; maps incorporated into advertising, both for the public and shippers; and engineering maps with detailed diagrams of the tracks, switches, depots, and signals (p. 6). Each map is annotated with a description, each one dated; people in the photos present cultural clues to the period, by their clothing, children’s toys, or pets. Railroad maps are, by their nature, often out of scale (p. 9). They are used for promotional purposes, highlighting various attractions (e.g., Mt. Rainier, Yellowstone Park). One company, Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railway, advertised their Pullman service to Florida with their map of 1887 superimposed upon an alligator (p. 128).

Most American railroads followed George Stephenson’s standard width of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. At a later point in the book, Hayes describes the advantages of the narrow gauge: lighter weights, able to negotiate tighter curves and steeper grades, and finding an ideal environment in the mountains. One example is the narrow gauge train running from Durango to Silverton in southwest Colorado. Hayes indexes all these under gauge, including the narrow gauge, which dominated the Denver and Rio Grande Railway in the 1880s. By 1887, DRG had over 1,670 miles of narrow gauge tracks, shown on an 1886 map (p. 113). But by 1968, only 268 miles of narrow gauge remained usable. Maps such as one by DRG (p. 115) illustrate this migration from narrow to standard gauge.

“Railroad maps have to be viewed in the context of their use. Maps included with passenger timetables … typically showed only lines on which there was passenger service” (p. 10). Freight lines were thus excluded. Other early maps, used to entice new users, depicted the projected rail lines prior to their completion.

Early railroads competed with canals. Indeed, in North America, Thomas Lieper wanted to transport stone from a quarry to the Delaware River, but was denied permission to build a canal. Instead, he built the first commercial railroad in the United States in 1810, the Granite Railway (p. 12). In 1811, Colonel John Stevens wrote Documents to Prove the Superior Advantages of Railway and Steam Carriages over Canal Navigation. Hayes illustrates how early rail cars resembled wagons or stagecoaches; the steam engine in front has a very tall smoke stack. Some pre-steam models were horse driven. In the evolution of railroad car construction, aerodynamics became considered more, as evidenced by the streamliners of the 1930s and later designs.

Hayes notes the nuances in discussing railroads, based on geography. In Canada, these were always called railways (p. 28). He notes the influence of coal and coal mining upon the development of railroads. Hauling coal provided an early method of revenue generation for railroads; even today, coal is the single largest commodity shipped. Coal also powered most steam locomotives until the introduction of diesel or electric power. From the book’s maps, one can view the expansion of railroads, from 2,832 miles in 1840 to 163,000 by 1890.

The article on the Golden Spike is accurate, stating the actual location, Promontory Summit, Utah (p. 83). Hayes reproduces a handbill from the occasion (p. 75). Transcontinental construction, which used recently released soldiers, accustomed to military discipline, was not totally completed. Ferry services were required in 1869 to cross the Missouri River (p. 10).

One of the typical maps with advertising, “A New and Complete Rail Road map of the United States” by William Perris (pp. 46-47), displays architecture, machines, gadgets, clothing, musical instruments, and services used in 1857. The “Union Pacific Railway and Connections” (p. 88-89) intricately displays all the counties of the United States in 1883; the western states’ counties are in fuller color. Its advertising highlights the natural formations in the west. Readers will appreciate his use of historical cartography.

Hayes highlights the corporate history of railroads, including their numerous mergers, the decline of passenger service, and the evolution of urban commuter lines. He also displays the cultural environment behind the maps and brochures. Though many of these maps are from the author’s personal collection and other private collections, he draws on other sources, such as the Library of Congress, Provincial Archives in Canada, academic libraries, and corporate museums (pp. 206-215). The atlas is printed on high quality paper and pictures have a high resolution, in color for many maps. In the index, images and maps are indicated by italics. Much information is packed into the volume, which measures 33 centimeters tall.

Ralph Hartsock
University of North Texas Libraries

Texas: A Historical Atlas. A. RAY STEPHENS. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010. Pp. xiv+417, maps, charts, tables, index. $39.95 hardback. ISBN 978-0-8061-3873-2.

In eighty-six chapters, A. Ray Stephens presents myriad issues related to the history of Texas, from the state's biology to how the shape of what we now recognize as the Lone Star State eventually came to be. Part 1 is Natural Texas, Part 2, The Texans (the bulk of the book), and Part 3, Modern Texas, 1900-2009. Within these are sections, each of which begins with a chronology, more detailed as the timeline enters the 19th century.

Most of the seven chapters in Part One, "Natural Texas," reflect climate, waterways, and regions of native botanical species. One chapter presents the geologic history of the area, with both horizontal and vertical views of the state's topography (pp. 8-9). Stephens also reproduces the Fujita scale here, with descriptions of the typical damage that occurs for each level of tornado intensity (p. 16).

Part Two, "The Texans" (pp. 28-207), comprises six sections, from the pre-Colombian Indians to the political history of Texas in the 1890s, divided chronologically. Stephens has constructed maps that present the divergent views of scholars on the routes traveled by Spanish explorers, Cabeza de Vaca and Francisco Vázquez de Coronado (pp. 36-41). One unidentified mystery area lies southeast of the Neutral Ground (pp. 57 and 65), not a part of the Louisiana Purchase, east of Calcasieu Lake. The Neutral Ground, east of the Sabine River, remained so until the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, when it became part of the United States. The diagram of Alamo (p. 89) shows the fort's strengths and weaknesses; the author acknowledges unresolved controversy of Davy Crockett as a survivor of the attack.

Stephens cartographically presents various proposals for the Compromise of 1850 (p. 128-130): maps by Thomas Hart Benton, Democrat-Missouri; Henry S. Foote, Whig-Mississippi; John Bell, Whig-Tennessee; the Committee of Thirteen; and James Pearce, Whig-Maryland; the last proposal was finally adopted using the latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes as the northern boundary of Texas, the same latitude as Missouri's southern border. Though many may view Missouri as the focal point of this legislation, Texas had a major role in the demarcation of territories.

Various maps demonstrate county development (pp. 152-153), with a detailed account (count) of slaves by county, in 1850 and 1860 (pp. 164-165), with more statewide formation of counties. On February 23, 1861, a statewide election on the issue of slavery occurred. The vote for secession was by no means unilateral on the part of Texans. In some counties, fewer than 10 percent of voters favored secession. The vote was 100 percent in favor in only six counties out of 122 at the time (pp. 168-169); a table, by county, presents the tally of the vote for secession (pp. 170-171). Just prior to the Civil War, camels had served as a mode of transport (pp. 158-160). In his capacity as Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis purchased camels for military purposes. Reconstruction and other post-Civil War issues treated in the maps are the depopulation of bison, growth of the cattle industry, significant lighthouses, and the Red River boundary disputes.

Part Three, "Modern Texas, 1900-2009," with two sections, presents data on weather, waterways, transportation, natural resource usage and development, and various demographics. The Atlas presents maps of hurricane tracks from the major disaster at Galveston on September 8, 1900, to Ike (2008) and the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, put here since only few significant hurricanes occurred before the Galveston storm. Other essays and maps show reservoirs and their elevations, capacity, date of first impoundment (pp. 228-230), airports and seaports, and highways. Railroads occupied 20 miles in 1853, increasing to 10,386 in 2005; 1930 was the peak at 16,900 miles of track (p. 239).

Oil and gas exploration, drilling, and refining have been the major industries of modern Texas (pp. 260-267). Stephens presents an appropriately in-depth article with graphs and maps to illustrate this. Before colonization, Karankawa Indians used mud with oil residue as insect repellent, particularly to repel mosquitoes. Oil production was so pervasive, it occurred in 235 of the state's 254 counties, with both oil and gas production peaking in 1972. Regulation and conservation of natural resources was vested in the Railroad Commission. This section is followed by chapters on coal mines, non-fuel minerals, and agriculture, both botanical and zoological.

Several chapters describe the population growth of Texas, it businesses, institutions of higher education, defense industries, and the populations of specific ethnic groups. Even in 2000, four counties had no African-American residents. Stephens outlines the gerrymandering of congressional districts and political districts in the Texas legislature. In 2003, "lawmakers took the unusual step of redistricting between censuses to reflect the Republican majority in Texas" (p. 344).

Stephens cites numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions that affected Texas's representation in the Congress and in state legislative bodies. His tables are well-colored for representation of each region of the state, including the populations of each of the 254 counties in Texas (pp. 355-358).

The appendix consists of primary source documents from 1836 to 1861: Two letters from William Barret Travis, the Texas Declaration of Independence, General Sam Houston's report on the Battle of San Jacinto, the congressional resolution to annex Texas, and two documents related to secession and the Civil War.

The maps are in high quality and are clearly presented, with fine color contrasting. The photographic reproductions are also well done. Stephens's tables prove easy to read when searching specific data about counties, cities, or other features. Footers assist the reader in locating articles and topics by thumbing through the atlas. The bibliography, by chapter, includes books, journal articles, web sites, correspondence to the author, court cases, and dissertations. The index indicates illustrations (maps, charts, photos, graphs) in italics.

The written content is easily read and useful to both the hobbyist and professional historian. Many details given in the maps are useful not only for historical geographers, but also to those across other disciplines, such as biological history, architecture, and political science.

Ralph Hartsock
University of North Texas

The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History. MARTIN REUSS and STEPHEN H. CUTCLIFFE, editors. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2010. Pp. ix+318, index. $29.50 paper. ISBN 978-0-8139-2989-7.

The Illusory Boundary: Environment in Technology and History is a collection of essays which should be of great interest to historical geographers. Taking as its point of departure the argument that most historians (historical geographers included) have focused too much time and energy on keeping the natural environment separated from the human--and especially technological--world, the brief introduction by Reuss and Cutcliffe argues that "the distinguishing feature of these essays is the authors' implicit (and sometimes explicit) denial that environment and technology are separable and generally opposing historical subjects." (p. 1). At the same time, the theme of human-environment interaction is not a new one in academic geography, nor are efforts seeking to "bridge the gap" between the two nor illustrate the artificiality of such a gap in the first place. The Illusory Boundary nevertheless takes the theme in new directions, topically and regionally, but also theoretically with a healthy injection of the insights and methods found in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and environmental history.

The book is divided into five sections. The first, "Nature, Technology, and the Human Element" considers ways to approach the relationship between humans and the natural world, drawing attention to areas where the two are inextricably bound together. Williams, author of the first substantive essay in the collection, argues for approaching technology as a junction between humans and nature in order to see the ways technology perpetually extends humanity deeper into physical and intellectual territories previously recognized as entirely natural. Parr and Coates (second and third essays, respectively) seek to accomplish exactly this with essays on the body and the emerging practice of "biomimetic design."

The second section of the book, "Constructing Landscape," moves towards the empirical with essays on the industrial revolution (Pritchard and Zeller), the environment and technology in China (Perdue), and the landscape of the American West (Rowley). Pritchard and Zeller's essay approaches territory familiar to geographers by exploring the impacts on the natural environment of the industrial revolutions beginning in the nineteenth century, and vice versa. The authors even make direct links to geographical thinking through discussion of scale in the related senses of space and time, asking readers to consider the possibilities of an "envirotechnical landscape."

The third section, "Development and Waste," builds on the notion of an envirotechnical landscape in two essays on the increasingly popular topic of waste. Noted environmental historian Joel Tarr provides a useful overview of the relationships between urban America and natural environmental processes. In a very thought-provoking essay, historical geographer Craig Colten looks at the ways in which technologies for solid and human waste disposal have worked in conjunction with nature to solve a problem whose definition keeps changing--what is 'waste' and why is it a problem? Both essays illustrate clearly the futility of drawing a distinction between what is "human" and what is "natural," and underscore the main themes of the volume.

The next section, "Biology and Technology," focuses squarely on questions of biotechnology and the meaning of genetic engineering. Vileisis' chapter on tomatoes and Russell's chapter on non-human organisms both ask very useful and provocative questions about just how "human" human history is and how our evolutionary career might differ without the various non-human organisms (ranging from domesticated plants to service animals) that populate societies around the globe. The final section of the book, "Historiographic Retrospect and Concluding Reflections," consists mainly of an overview of research at the intersection of humankind, technology, and the natural world, and a brief concluding essay. The overview by Gorman and Mendelsohn takes a look at academic efforts at such research, including "institutional" programs like the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) and the Envirotech professional organizations, as well as key texts in environmental history and STS--truly a useful resource for those new to the field.

If there is one critique of the book, it is perhaps that more geographers were not included in the collection. It is clear that geographers have impacted the underlying themes of the book, as scholars from George Perkins Marsh to William Cronon are cited regularly across the spectrum of essays and topics. For that reason, it might have been beneficial to include more authors writing from geography departments and in geography journals. But then, geographers--and plenty of others--are cited in the copious footnotes attending each essay, even if not directly. At the same time, the collection of essays is fairly well-balanced, with contributors from history, STS, regional studies, and geography.

Overall, the collection is an interesting and worthwhile read. The topical scope is broad enough to serve well in a specialized upper-level undergraduate class or introductory graduate seminar on historical geography, environmental history, or the intersection of geography and STS. Outside of the classroom scholars working on issues at the intersection of humankind, technology, and the natural environment--or seeking to work on such issues--would do well to read the essays in this volume as a useful introduction to the field but also inspiration for projects in an increasingly popular and important area of research.

Jordan P. Howell
Michigan State University

We'll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus 1846-1848. RICHARD E. BENNETT. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009. Pp. vii+366, illustrations, photographs, diagrams, maps, index. $21.95 paper. ISBN 978-0-8061-3838-1.

Richard Bennett's excellent book We'll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus 1846-1848 aptly describes the conditions endured by the original Mormon pioneers as they crossed the continent in search of a new place to practice their religious beliefs. Persecuted to the breaking point in Nauvoo, Illinois, the Mormons were left with few options in 1846. Joseph Smith's assassination several years earlier left the new church bereft of leadership and forced Brigham Young to act in his position as interim head of the church to lead his band of believers from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake. This treacherous journey undertaken by a small group of 148 Mormons provides the focus for Bennett's work. Methodically combing the pioneers' diaries and letters to piece the story together, Bennett weaves a story of strength and courage that illustrates the hardships endured by the pioneers. Inclement weather, mysterious illness, and homesickness for families left behind compounded the difficulties and tested the faith of those entrusted to show the way to a new Zion. Bennett effectively combines good storytelling with historical accuracy to create a book that brings a glimpse of the emotions and thoughts of the men blazing the Mormon trail.

While religion clearly plays an integral role in the Mormon's westward movement, Bennett's book refrains from dwelling on the religious beliefs and practices of the Mormon pioneers. Brief descriptions of certain sacraments such as rebaptism to confirm faith just before the group begins their last descent into a dangerously steep and narrow canyon serve to provide context and give the reader a better understanding of the Mormons' states of mind. Bennett notes that Brigham Young remained reluctant to administer such sacraments until the construction of a new temple but finally acquiesced due to two specific conditions existing within the group. First, the success of their venture depended upon the pioneers receiving divine forgiveness for transgressions that may impede their progress. Rebaptism of the entire group chastised everyone rather than singling out individuals who may resent such treatment and endanger the pioneers' mission. Second, rebaptism in the creek changed the perception the Mormons had of themselves and their purpose as a church. The sacraments administered by the combined leadership led to a new understanding that while their journey from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake reminded them of the Israelites fleeing Egypt, establishing a new city fulfilled the Mormons' destiny. Bennett asserts that the Mormons believed they were a unique people carrying out a specific task imposed upon them by God thereby giving the Mormon movement an intense religious fervor not unlike the Puritans who arrived at Plymouth Rock years earlier.

From the introduction all the way to the end of the last chapter, Bennett carefully constructs a story of a people intent on survival. Other wagon trains moving to Oregon and California also aimed to live throughout the ordeal, but with the exception of a few missionaries those people primarily wanted land and gold. The Mormons, on the other hand, were a church on the move looking for a new Zion that would free them from the ever-present threat of violence from their persecutors. The tale that unfolds relies heavily on previously unpublished diary excerpts from church leaders sprinkled liberally throughout the text. Bennett's analysis of these personal accounts gives a fresh look at an often told story as he carefully weaves his narrative.

Scholars of the westward movements looking for details of trail life will discover little other than brief mentions of men hunting buffalo chips for fuel, natives setting prairie fires to deter the Mormons, and strangers willing to carry letters back to waiting families. Religious scholars will find scanty information on Mormonism. Plural marriage is noted by Bennett but only in a passing regard as he describes how the church decided who made up the vanguard party. Only three women and two children were permitted to join the group. Even Brigham Young's plural wives remained behind in Winter Camp to await the next year's wagon train. Other Mormon practices are given a cursory explanation in the main body of the text with just a few elaborative details provided in the endnotes. Such things are well-documented elsewhere with notable texts listed in the historiographical essay.

Bennett's writing reflects a careful attention to detail and a new perspective on the beginnings of the Mormon westward movement. Brigham Young's strong personality and uncanny perceptions of human nature allowed him to encourage and reprimand his followers in the same sermon. The insight into the mindset of church leadership as well the other pioneers yields fascinating information about the trials and tribulations of keeping the church intact while experiencing great travel difficulties. Bennett purposefully ends his book just as the massive wave of emigrants began to make their way to Salt Lake. In this way, Bennett ensures that his text remain focused on those that built the bridge connecting the church's past to the present.

Marjorie Hunter
West Memphis High School

Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader. JORDANA DYM and KARL OFFEN, editors. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. Pp. xix+338, maps, diagrams, index. $39.00 paper. ISBN 978-0-226-61822-7.

The publication of Mapping Latin America coincides with the high watermark of Latin American historical cartography. The quantity and the quality of scholarship on the region's pre-Hispanic, colonial, and post-colonial cartography that has emerged in recent years is truly impressive. The topics, which range from surveying technology in New Spain to the contemporary participatory mapping of indigenous lands, are as varied as the disciplines involved. That being said, the output of Latin Americanist and historical geographers has often represented the cutting edge in the region's historical cartography. Edited by historian Jordana Dym and geographer Karl Offen, Mapping Latin America contains 57 chapters that investigate maps from many of the region's places and historical periods. The purpose of this volume is twofold. First, it is meant to illuminate how the region's cartography is the product of, yet also helped to create, the definable culture area we now know as Latin America. Second, it is intended to develop the reader's map-reading skills. Indeed, in their introduction Dym and Offen take care to quickly define map elements such as scale and legend, which reflects their unambiguous desire to connect with a broad audience that includes students and non-specialists. The volume thus summarizes the kinds of questions leading scholars ask about the region's cartography as well as serves a sort of map itself that points to where fruitful paths of future investigation may be found.

The editors have organized the chapters chronologically into three divisions: The Colonial Period: Explorations and Empires; The Nineteenth Century: Enlightenment, Independence, and the Nation-State; and The Twentieth Century: Maps for Every Purpose and Many New Mapmakers. The editors introduce each division with an enlightening essay that contextualizes cartographic production and consumption within the broad sweep of that division's historical and social development. Each chapter is quite succinct, between just four and five pages. In this small amount of space the contributors contemplate a map, tapestry, painting, or some other graphic text that implicates spatial processes linked to a specific time and place. Some of the maps are well known, such as Waldseemüller's Universalis cosmographia from 1507, and the hand-colored woodcut map of Tenochtitlán from 1524 that accompanied Hernán Cortés's letter to the Spanish monarch. Others are more obscure. Despite their considerable differences in time and place, taken together the chapters make a coherent whole because the authors ask similar questions of their graphics: Who made it? For what purpose was it made? Who was the intended audience? What does it leave out and why? While reading Mapping Latin America, sometimes spellbound, I often found myself taking a moment to reflect on how these questions could be useful teaching tools in a number of human geography courses. I would like to highlight two chapters whose flavors have lingered the longest and most pleasurably on my mental palate.

Neil Safier's chapter "Myths and Measurements" takes us to the Amazon basin in the early 1740s. Here the Frenchman Charles-Marie de la Condamine and nine colleagues undertook the first systematic mapping of the Amazon River's entire course using instruments and astronomical observations. Safier's attention is on the large-format map that La Condamine produced in 1745 to accompany the narrative account of his journey. He tells us that in some places La Condamine undertook meticulous measurements yet at other places relied upon conjecture and unreliable secondary sources, which resulted in cartographic "myths" being inserted into the map. The text La Condamine included in the map's margins led to ethnographic myths becoming a part of the map as well. To Safier, the map's problematic cartographic and literary elements blurred not only disciplinary lines but also the distinction between myth and measurement in the eighteenth century.

In her contribution "Ties that Bind," Marie Price dissects a map that appeared in the in The Atlantic Monthly in 2007. This choropleth map shows the number of Mexican-born immigrants in U.S. counties, the amount of remittance money each Mexican state receives from the U.S., and the flows of remittances between certain U.S. cities and Mexican states. Price's keen eye finds serious shortcomings in this "less-than-ideal choropleth map" (p. 212), such as the seemingly arbitrary numeric breaks for color classification and the glaring omission of the Eastern Seaboard. Like many of the chapters, Price's is engrossing and heightens the reader's awareness of flawed or unintentionally deceptive map practices.

Once you flip through a few pages of this wonderful book, it will quickly recommend itself to you. Dym and Offen have shown their dedication to cartographic literacy and heightening our appreciation for the development and diversity of Latin American cartography. For example, Mapping Latin America includes a ten-page section of "Additional Resources" divided into thoughtful categories including "Films," "Frontiers and Borders," and "Maps' Lies and Silences." Mapping Latin America's strength also derives from its aesthetics and physical construction. Its dimensions are somewhat larger than an average academic tome, to the eye similar in size to the average undergraduate-level textbook. The paper stock is heavy, bright white, and tastefully semi-gloss. The quality of the map reproduction is first-rate. Colors are vivid and maps are generously sized on the page, making many of even the tiniest details crisp and legible. The editors, contributors, and The University of Chicago Press are to be commended for their dedication to producing such an intellectually vibrant and visually stunning volume.

Richard Hunter
State University of New York at Cortland

Revolutionary Parks. EMILY WAKILD. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2011. Pp. xiii+235, illustrations, maps, tables, index. $26.95 paper. ISBN 978-0-8165-2957-5.

In Revolutionary Parks, Emily Wakild frames the formation of Mexico's national parks in the post-revolution land reform mentality of celebrating of access to land as a public treasure. The book opens with a description of Mexican conservation pre-revolution, highlighting the role of parks as scientific laboratories. The contrasting populist movement from 1910-1940 ushered in a new role for those parks and additional lands. Under President Cárdenas, public parkland became something worth protecting and sharing with all Mexicans. Wakild's book tells the socioeconomic story of Mexico's national parks in their golden age of populist conservation and agrarian land reform.

Although she does not directly define conservation, the idea permeates her book. She describes conservation in the context of the greatest good for the greatest number under a government sympathetic to the necessity and pleasure of unfettered access to beautiful land. Within the agrarian land reform context, Wakild privileges the influence of two great men: President Cárdenas and Forestry Department Head Miguel Ángel de Quevedo. Cardenista Mexico facilitated development of amenity landscapes, or land maintained for adventurous recreation.

Revolutionary Parks seeks to answer the questions of how and why Cardenista Mexico set aside so much land as national parks, literally parks for the people of the whole nation. Wakild celebrates many aspects of Mexico's national parks, particularly the cluster of parks around Mexico City that provide an outdoor recreational outlet for urban residents. She uses case studies to demonstrate four purposes for the parks: education, productivity, property, and tradition.

Critique of Mexico's conservation system per se does not begin until the conclusion of Wakild's book and even then it is not the parks system that is at fault, but rather the socioeconomic-political circumstances the parks system found itself in. Only here does Wakild step outside of Mexico and compare conservation ideals and techniques with Mexico's neighbors and other international influences. Time marches on in the book's conclusion where Wakild bemoans fiscal strain from nationalization of mining and drilling, and industrialization for stopping the success of the parks.

Wakild continues her "great man" theory of history, citing the turning point in Mexican amenity landscape stewardship as President Cárdenas's removal of de Quevedo from the Forestry Department and transfer of the Forestry Department back to its pre-1910 home at the Ministry of Agriculture. What was once considered a strength of the system resulted in its downfall as Cárdenas received notice from local residents unhappy with their access to park resources. They blamed de Quevedo's poor management. However, the information presented on the end of the parks' golden age domestically is sparse and overshadowed by international affairs.

Aside from a rare example of tourists from the United States, the conclusion is the first time in the book that Mexican parks are set in an international context: the Great Depression, foreign reactions to Mexico's nationalization of oil fields, and especially conservation and environmentalist ideals coming from Mexico's northern neighbor, the United States. As much as outside influence on Mexico's socioeconomics becomes relevant from the 1940s forward, one cannot help but feel disappointed that Revolutionary Parks stops being a story about Mexico and that Mexican parks turn into another sphere of influence for hegemonic US environmentalism. Without the cloak of populist conservation, that is unfortunately what landscape administration became for Mexico's national parks.

i> 's extensive and clear appendices and notes render the book easy to read on many levels, from the in-text information to the deep background that informed it. Although Wakild's reference list indicates a large volume of secondary-source research, she develops her strong in-text assertions almost entirely via historical context and primary records, including correspondence and park visitor records. Where she does rely on secondary authors' analysis is for technical information on why certain activities were limited specifically in the volcanic national parks and other technical information. Wakild assumes her readers have a basic familiarity with the 1910 revolution that ushered in the ensuing decades of populism. More explanation as to the uniqueness of the public recreation lands given Mexico's history of dictatorship would have underscored the significance of their formation and added another valuable layer to Wakild's work. The role of national land as laboratories prior to the revolution is clear but the recreation and landscape conservation of the early-mid 1900s could be made more remarkable in broader political context.

One of the strongest points of Wakild's book is that she sticks to her proposed topic with appropriate scope. Revolutionary Parks is a celebration of Mexico's national parks system in its own right. This is a book about the development and execution of Mexican parks and, refreshingly, does not try to be more than that. Wakild's overarching theme of national parks as a reflection of societal values supports the way she tells the story of Mexico's national parks. Rural Mexico was largely insulated from international influence in the early part of the 1900s. Mexicans built those parks and sustained them with their own cultural values. Mexican national parks are therefore both a product and reflection of reactionary Mexican ideals.

Mexico's sociocultural insulation that made such vibrant parks possible could serve as useful context for envisioning success in national or local conservation movements elsewhere. An important take-home lesson is that conservation cannot be legislated; it succeeds when organic populist ideals support it. However, as the end of the book reveals, conservation cannot succeed without legislation; it needs structural support from the government. Both sides must share the same goals. Mexico's national parks were political creations, but they were sustained by ideals about access to land, desire and responsibility for amenity landscapes, and national pride that could only come from the populace.

Elizabeth Kelly
University of Missouri

Environment at the Margins: Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa. BYRON CAMINERO-SANTANGELO and GARTH MYERS, editors. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011. Pp. 295, map, diagrams. $34.95 paper. ISBN 978-08-21-41978-6.

The study of literature and environment (ecocriticism) particularly in Africa, offers invaluable knowledge in understanding the continent's environmental discourse. However, the availability of such published literature is somewhat non-existent because the majority of African writers concentrate on the pressing economic, political, and social issues. Environment at the Margins is the first book on ecocriticism in Africa edited by two eminent scholars: Byron Caminero-Santangelo, an English professor affiliated with the University of Kansas, and Garth Myers, a distinguished professor of Urban and International Studies at Trinity College. The book is a culmination of an interdisciplinary colloquium on environment and literature in Africa held in 2008 at the University of Kansas. It articulates Africa's environmental concerns by bringing together different ideas from African activists and writers, colonial administrators, and travelers. This volume is aimed at contesting "marginalizing visions," such as "absent of people and Edenic," which were assigned to Africa during the colonial period, as the authors state: "This volume contests these marginalizing visions by bringing literary and environmental studies of Africa into robust interdisciplinary dialogue" (p. 15).

The main body of the book consists of chapters from eleven contributors with diverse backgrounds, such as historians, geographers, and anthropologists. Chapters 1 through 3 cover colonial constructions of nature and landscape; chapter 4 through 6 feature African environments from the perspective of African literature; chapter 7 examines European settlement in Africa; chapter 8 covers environmental justice and waste management; chapter 9 focuses on the concept of environmental unconsciousness; chapter 10 covers the effect of capitalism on the environment; and chapter 11 features slow violence on the environment.

The lifestyle of the colonial administrators and their "sense of landscape" in Basutoland, present-day Lesotho, is the focus of chapter 1. In order to understand the European perception of the landscape, the author reframes Eric Dutton's book, published in the early 20th century and titled The Basuto of Basutoland. According to Dutton, Basutoland reeled from the effects of soil erosion and land degradation, and the land could only be saved by colonization of the region. Roughly around the same time, Theodore Roosevelt, a former United States president and also a hunter-cum-naturalist, embarked on an African safari to the then British East Africa colony, a place he thought was "stuck in the Pleistocene." Roosevelt's expedition, which is contained in the book "African Game Trails," is examined in chapter 2. Roosevelt thought of Africans as pure savages "busy destroying their forests" whereas "Europeans were everywhere taming and improving the African wilderness" (p. 62). Additionally, his perception of Africa was "a place stuck in prehistoric past awaiting the great white explorer" (p. 68). While Roosevelt's analysis of the continent seemed overly critical, many people continued to visit Africa as tourists. Elephant hunting between 19th and 20th century in southern Africa is investigated in chapter 3. The author acknowledges that industrialization in Europe and the United States in 19th century triggered an increase in ivory trade, which subsequently led to widespread killing of elephants, mainly in southern Africa to a level where they were almost becoming extinct. However, rigorous conservation measures adopted toward the end of the late 20th century reversed the catastrophic trend. In contrast to the 19th century when demand for ivory was from the West, current demand is increasingly from those countries in the East, particularly China and India.

The power of oral traditions, rhythm, and storytelling is covered in chapter 4. The author explores how the Maasai people of East Africa "spend a lot of their time negotiating, discussing, and debating in meetings" (p. 97). In these meetings, environmental truths are renegotiated, and multiplicity, whether in the form of ideas or views, is accommodated. Such setup is useful because storytelling and oral decision making "reverses the historical pattern of using Western formats to suppress or (mis)represent African knowledge" (p. 104). In chapter 5, the novel, Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto is evaluated, and according to the author, war, violence, and displacement are inseparable from nature and environmental change. The consequences of global capitalism and imperialism on Africa are investigated in chapter 6 through the work of Ben Okri's Famished Road triology, which links capitalism to the widespread poverty in Africa. The argument is that colonists encouraged the production of cash crops at the expense of food crops. This mode of production was to be continued even after independence, as the author states: "while the system of exploitative trade was created by 'white people,' it will be continued by the rich and the politicians of independent Africa" (p. 150). European settlement and attachment to the African savanna is discussed in chapter 7. This attachment to the savanna flourished because colonial officers prohibited any form of integration with the natives because "blacks bulked small; the land, plants, and animals bulked large" (p. 167). The Europeans, therefore, forcefully acquired productive farms from the natives who were pushed to the margins.

The consequences of imperialism on the environment are examined in chapter 8 and 10. In chapter 8, the author points out that the north-south divide created a world full of waste and exploitation. In examining the novel Age of Iron by J. M. Coetzee, the author states: "All societies make waste, but societies currently dominant, rooted in European global expansion and formed within a regime of global industrial capitalism, make waste in distinctive ways" (p. 200). Chapter 10 focuses on two novels: Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and The Heart of Redness by Zakes Mda. Both novels explore how the European capitalist network led to massive destruction of forests. Ngugi goes further to argue that colonization not only destroyed the African culture, but also imposed the English language, which alienated them from the environment.

The concept of environmental unconsciousness where all components of the physical environment "are suppressed in our awareness by inattention, ignorance, specialized training, conventions of language …" (p. 214) is reviewed in chapter 9. Environmental unconsciousness which is believed to cause slow violence is examined through the analysis of two novels by Nadine Gordimer: Get a Life and The Conservationist. In chapter 11, issues of slow violence, gender, and environmentalism of the poor are expounded. The author borrows from Wangari Maathai's memoir Unbowed and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. It is evident here that slow violence through environmental destruction could lead to devastation if proper measures are not put in place. The author notes that bottlenecks "from soil erosion and deforestation can fuel conflicts for decades, costing (directly and indirectly) untold lives" (p. 263).

Environment at the Margins is an outstanding contribution to the field of ecocriticism in Africa. The book challenges some ingrained perceptions of the continent, which were cultivated through colonial narratives. It is a well-written book supported by references and notes at the end of each chapter. Also included is a map of the British colonial East Africa and six diagrams to reinforce Theodore Roosevelt's African safari. The only criticism I have with this volume relates to its structure. The first six chapters are well-structured, but the next five chapters need some reorganization. Nonetheless, most of the chapters are worthwhile and interesting. While the authors never mentioned the target audience for the book, anyone interested in literature, history, or environmental studies of Africa could find it useful.

Peter K. Kimosop
Bowling Green State University

Imagining Mount Athos: Visions of a Holy Place from Homer to World War II. VERONICA DELLA DORA. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011. Pp. xvii+312, illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. $35.00 cloth, $19.50 paper. ISBN 978-0-8139-3085-5.

We might compare Imagining Mount Athos to Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose (1983), which I happened to be reading at the same time as Della Dora’s 2011 book. Eco’s book is by all means a novel and Della Dora’s a more overtly scholarly venture, but many of the historical, monastic and literary themes pervading Eco’s work and attracting popular audiences thread through each of Della Dora’s chapters. As Eco sets up his novel by illuminating the historical manuscript upon which it is based (and his personal encounter with it), Della Dora similarly opens her book with the personal impetus behind her examination of the rich historical materials which illuminate Athos’ imagining.

It is Della Dora’s personal attachment to Mount Athos that makes this book thoroughly translatable between a scholarly and general readership. Della Dora is, in part, concerned with the physical Athos, standing 6,670 feet above sea level on a peninsula in the northern Aegean, Greece (p. 1). As well as a marvel of geomorphology, its occupation since the ninth century by Orthodox Christian monks (today home to 1,800 male monks of different nationalities), and the continued “exclusion” of women (for spiritual and religious reasons), set it up as a unique phenomenon in this ever post-modernising, feminising, and secularising world. Athos’ natural defence (almost surrounded by sea) and religious exclusiveness (bounded by a man-made wall) mean that it is little “known” or experienced in the physical sense (even for men, who require written permission to visit). In the western imagination, however, it is one of the most contemplated, represented and, perhaps, “known” landmarks.

A quick glance at the front cover of the book and a trick of the eye establishes the title as “imaging” (instead of imagining) Mount Athos, but this mishap is not completely erroneous since the book explores the “imagining” of Athos through its “imaging” (in drawings, maps, paintings, sculptures, postcards, frescoes, travel guides and more) between 700 BC and the late twentieth century. The “largely unexplored perspectives” through which Della Dora considers Mount Athos’ imagining and imaging in the Western geographical imagination follow not a chronological structure but a thematic one and include Athos in pre-Christian myths of Western Renaissance and Enlightenment scholarship; Byzantine literary descriptions and Renaissance island books; the Orthodox Ottoman-dominated world and nineteenth century Russia; nineteenthcentury Orientalist writing and early twentieth-century journalism; the hopes and fears of Second World War refugees; and early-twentieth-century science (p. 12). As Della Dora indicates, the six chapter titles refer to broad associations between Athos and these narratives and cover (in order of appearance): mythical, utopian, iconic (or sacred), erudite, geopolitical, and scientific Athos.

The influence of Della Dora’s professional mentor Denis Cosgrove on her rich contextual and iconographic approach to Mount Athos’ history is explicit. One can immediately attribute her ideas of place, space, and landscape to the late Cosgrove’s contribution to the fields of cultural and historical geography: “this book is about a place and its meaning. It is about a mountain and how it became a most prominent landmark in the geographical imagination” (p. 1). “Place” has long been recognised to be more than a container of objects or happenings. Della Dora reminds the reader that place “is implicitly local and saturated with meaning”--as opposed to “abstract geometrical space” (p. 5). Landscape, on the other hand, we are told, is a hybrid of both: working ‘amidst and through’ place and space (p. 5). In this dialectic, landscape is at once a physical site fixed to a specific place and an imagined entity moulded to the aspirations, purposes and desires of individuals in different periods and in distinct locations. Thus landscape and place have both literal and abstract meanings and manifestations, and for Della Dora the latter is very much dependent on the former: Mount Athos’ “cultural history is dependent on its visibility in the landscape and on its physical geography” (p. 6).

The physical Athos was much more than a towering mountain. Through individual encounters Athos’ representations were informed by broader political, cultural, economic and intellectual contexts. Della Dora recognises the mutability of knowledge and in this case “landscape myths,” subject to “change . . . as they move around” (p. 7). The book illustrates the varied meaning Athos held throughout history through many examples, which I can only scratch the surface of here. Through Greek literature the mountain became “mythical Athos” (Chapter One). Herodotus’ account of a tragic Persian shipwreck in 492 BC constructed Athos as “a landscape of fear,” populated by “monstrous creatures” (p. 26). “Mythical Athos” was also “a moral landmark metaphorically set on the imaginary boundary between the East and the West” (that is, between Asia and Greece) (p. 29). This binary character was reused in later periods for more religious purposes: through the activities of monks in the tenth century, who began to literally tame Athos’ vegetation, establishing a boundary between cultivated (tamed) and uncultivated (untamed) land, Athos became a “gardened island” or “Utopian Athos” (Chapter Two). A shift in monastic thought in the fourteenth century, however, saw the garden myth changed to encompass the entire mountain: now the mountain itself was marked out as one single island, “a large-scale secure garden” (p. 64), reflecting “the botanical totality of Biblical Eden” (p. 66). Western and monastic representations of Athos as a “utopian island” made it a landscape attractive to nineteenth-century Western pilgrims. Thus, “Iconic Athos” (Chapter Three) was proliferated in Western Europe through travel guides produced by returning pilgrims--each reproducing dominant images of the Holy Mountain from sometimes novel perspectives.

In the nineteenth century, Mount Athos was increasingly attractive to Western travellers free from Orthodox Christian consciousness (although often guided in their observations by their protestant faith). Enlightenment thinking encouraged observation and measurement of physical features and assisted the production of “Erudite Athos” (Chapter Four) in the Western imagination. In this way Athos was to some a site where “historical topography” could be exercised, utilising Greek historians’ accounts in distinct ways to investigate Athos’ past physical landscape. For Romantic travellers, however, Athos was by contrast a landscape or a platform from which they could gaze at “the world as an exhibition” (p. 126). The scientific and the romantic, however, were not completely distinct and some travellers conducted “poetic topography,” combining empirical observations with representations of their personal fears and desires.

This lack of fixity in Athos’ meaning, even in the same textual genre and time period, was also evident in the distinct cultural and political contexts through which “geopolitical Athos” (Chapter Five) was constructed. In the first half of the twentieth century, Athos was at the center of the Great Powers’ scramble for what had been the Ottoman Empire, its envisaging moulded by the distinct political and cultural allegiance of visitors to the mountain (p. 164). The varied nature of Athos’ utility as a political tool is evident in the fact that at the same time that the mountain was a site utilised to legitimise German supremacy during World War II, it was also a path through which allied soldiers were escaping German war camps. Further, the Holy Mountain, seen by early pilgrims as a gateway to heaven, now became a “gateway to freedom.” For natural scientists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, mountains were less religious or political devices than “ideal laboratories” (p. 202). “Scientific Athos” (Chapter Six) was not only a site of empirical investigations--what Thomas Osborne calls a “centre of interpretation” (in “The ordinariness of the archive,” History of the Human Sciences 12(2): 51-64, 1999)--at the same time it was a Latourian “center of calculation” (Science in Action, Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1987), the knowledge obtained there being also (partly) processed, ready for other centers of calculation at ‘home’ and/or for dissemination as one representation of Athos in the Western geographical imagination.

Imagining Mount Athos is both a literary and scholarly success, the former owing largely to Della Dora’s sensitivity to Athos’ historical and cultural contexts and the latter evident in her demonstration of the paradox of place, both a physical site and an imagined entity. She asks how, why, when and where about the constantly mutating imagining (and imaging) of Mount Athos- -at once a literal place and a “landscape myth.” In summary, this book illuminates the nature of place and landscape as something that can be “dematerialized and rematerialized through representation . . . packed and moved around through photographs, maps, postcards, paintings . . . figured and reconfigured” (p. 242).

Julie McDougall
University of Edinburgh

Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert. MICHON MACKEDON. Reno, Nevada: Black Rock Institute Press, 2010. Pp. xv+234, maps, color plates, photographs, illustrations, index. $30.00 paper. ISBN 978-0-9841014-3-6.

This book focuses on the rhetoric that has intertwined the state of Nevada, atomic weapons testing, past U.S. federal government propaganda efforts that maintained that testing in Nevada, and contemporary federal efforts to store nuclear waste there. The author endeavors to provide "a fresh framework" for analyzing this broad topic by examining the continuity of the government's rhetoric from Nevada's past to that of its present atomic culture--that is, the idea of Nevada as a place that has comfortably cohabitated with the nuclear age. In the preface and first chapter, the author proposes to do this by telling the story of the development of atomic testing in Nevada and then using these tests (and current federal efforts to create a nuclear waste storage facility) as a means to critically engage with how language is used to enable their continued practice, including an inquiry into how the practice of naming conventions can speak to larger ideological issues. With respect to these aims, Mackedon does a respectable job of pulling together a wide and rich variety of sources. Yet the book reads as a disjointed and anecdotal history--greatly hampered by the fact that throughout the book the author often and unexpectedly travels far beyond the boundaries of Nevada, taking the reader, for example, from the Central Pacific Ocean to the Maghreb. The result of this wide-ranging exploration is a far-from-successful critical engagement with geopolitical representational practices of atomic testing in Nevada--one of the author's primary aims. All told, it is difficult to detect a comprehensive and structured engagement with the testing in Nevada. This is most unfortunate because it detracts from the author's intriguing theoretical and topical intent to focus on Nevada as a unique space through which to demonstrate how the politics of representation (or, as she terms it, rhetoric) plays out in a particular place.

The book is divided into fourteen chapters, with each taking on one of a wide variety of topics that more often than not tend to lose their connections to the book's rhetorical analysis of Nevada's atomic culture. Perhaps the most ready example of this wandering is a chapter nestled in the middle of the book entitled "Atomic Pop," which contains the color plates of one of the book's publishers' personal photographs, which are devoted to--for lack of a better term--nuclear kitsch. This chapter (which consists only of the plates) is only tangentially referred to by the author in other parts of the book, which leaves the reader to wonder at the intent behind including the plates. A related critique, of a lack of engagement with the imagery of atomic testing, may also be leveled against author's inclusion of a number of black and white photographs throughout the book--again employed with little connection to the text. This lack of connection amounts to a lost opportunity because throughout the book's textual analysis of atomic testing rhetoric, the visuality of representation is a central, but understated element, i.e., that the visual was and is a critical component of the geopolitical discourses of atomic testing--a perspective that the author only acknowledges in passing.

The subject of atomic testing in Nevada could be approached from any number of perspectives that can produce insightful and thoughtful political analyses. The scholarly use of representation as a form of communicating (materially and/or spatially) symbolic and ideological meaning is well-developed in a number of academic disciplines (e.g., archaeology, anthropology, history, and geography). The author comes from none of these--her discipline is English--but she is a Nevada native and at times draws on her own experiences with Nevada's nuclear culture. This at times gives strength to her goal of wanting to "see" how the geopolitics of representation plays out in place. However this should not excuse the author from pursuing a more in-depth dialogue with the many and varied forms of geo-political analytics, particularly given the book's stated goal to see how "the official rhetoric [was] used to pull the wool over our eyes" (p. xii). Unfortunately, throughout most of Bombast, the level of discourse analysis remains superficial. As a result, this goal is never met; the writing never moves beyond colorful description to analysis and explanation. This reader never got a sense of how the author's "fresh framework" for analyzing atomic testing in Nevada might reveal something different about the representational practices of atomic culture than what some other analysis might reveal, for instance, a traditional discourse analysis of government documents, speeches, or journalistic reporting. As a geographer, I am especially disappointed that the spatial aspects of atomic testing were so little attended to beyond a brief discussion of colonizing landscapes. The spaces of atomic testing are critical both ideological and physically to the representation of the tests and surely could have been exploited as a pathway into the complex story of Nevada's (and Nevadan's) engagement with atomic culture.

In the end, Mackedon seems to have examined the atomic testing in Nevada without ever really going beyond that fact that it occurred. It is unfortunate that the author was not able to more successfully engage with the geopolitical representational aspects of the atomic testing in Nevada, which would have allowed the book to invoke the complex meaning and meaning-making behind the symbolic and ideological practices of atomic culture. Perhaps this book will be useful for another scholarly genre or discipline, but as a resource for historical geographers it is greatly lacking. Nevertheless, it will be clear to readers of this volume that the author is well-read in the vast historical documentation of the era and particularly grounded in the lived experience of Nevada's atomic spaces.

Jeff McGovern
University of Arizona

The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California's Great Central Valley. PHILIP GARONE. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2011. Pp. xv+422, index, figures, maps, appendix, notes. $39.95 hardcover. ISBN 978-0-520-26663-6.

The history of the human race is riddled with stories of abuse and destruction of the natural environment, from early Europe and the Eastern Seaboard, Hawaii and Rapa Nui to nations and ecosystems today. The desire to conquer the physical environment for protection of health and property and for economic benefit is a constant throughout time and place. What is different about California's Central Valley is the reversal of this destructive trend and the concerted effort put toward conservation and reparation of the natural habitat.

The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California's Great Central Valley is an exhaustive environmental history of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys beginning from the early 1800s, before European habitation. Philip Garone has detailed the social, political, legal, and environmental history of public and private interests in the development of the Central Valley's water systems and water-dependent resources with painstaking care and research. Verbal and written reports, rulings, figures and maps were gleaned from hundreds of sources to produce chronological accounts of the valley's four major physiographic regions: the Sacramento Valley, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, San Joaquin Basin, and the Tulare Basin.

The Great Central Valley, set between the Sierra Nevada on the east and the Coast Ranges on the west, extends approximately 430 miles from north to south, averaging 50 miles wide. The Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems encompass more than 21 major rivers and numerous tributaries. Ancient lakes, vernal pools and the delta helped to support the 13 million acres of valley ecosystems, including many types of wetlands, grasslands, and forests. The rich, diverse landscape sustained untold millions of local and migrating waterfowl and fish, an estimated 500,000 Tule elk, several million pronghorn antelope, grizzly bears and many other species. While a natural bounty, European settlers viewed the impenetrable and un-navigable wetland areas as useless, dangerous, and vectors of disease. Natural grasslands were over-grazed by imported cattle and supplanted by foreign invasive species. The natural drainage areas of the basin were slated for redevelopment as agricultural bounty for the wealthy and industrious.

Beginning with the Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act of 1849, California's landscape was altered with more than 1400 state and federal dams. Reservoirs capture 60 percent of the entire state's average annual runoff and canals transport this water for agriculture and other human uses. The four million acres of wetlands of the Central Valley were reduced to a mere 379,000 acres by the 1980s, the rest having been reclaimed for agriculture. Yet even in the face of this massive transformation, there were individuals and groups who maintained a high regard for the rich bounty of nature.

The unusual combination of ranchers and duck hunters fought early on to keep large sections of grasslands and wetlands from being developed for agriculture. Legal battles for water rights and riparian ownership helped to moderate the complete control of river systems by government and large business. The discovery of the Pacific Flyway, development of the federal Committee on Wildlife Restoration, and the tireless work of groups such as Ducks Unlimited helped to push a new agenda for the protection of wildlife and their environment.

Natural systems and consequences also came to the aid of the wetlands. The loss of fresh water to the delta areas caused salt water from the Pacific Ocean to intrude on croplands and even as far as the water supply for the city of Antioch. Salt water intrusion came to a head in 1965, lowering water quality for agriculture and contributing to the downfall of a small endemic fish called the Delta smelt. Needless to say, several lawsuits and political Acts were initiated to combat these problems. Just as important was the extreme loss of habitat for the millions of migrating waterfowl due to reclamation of wetlands for agriculture. In search of food and wintering grounds, the ducks, geese, and swans arriving from Canada found that the new rice paddies and grain fields worked quite well. Efforts to protect crops were both expensive and unsuccessful. In this situation the largest economic benefit was gained by creating and protecting areas for the various migrating waterfowl to winter and feed. Federal, state and private interests worked over time to establish and maintain high-quality habitat in order to attract these avian species and protect agricultural crops. The development of shorter season rice also enabled farmers to harvest before migrating flocks arrived, and re-submerge the paddies to create more acreage for hungry waterfowl to winter in. In turn, the birds help to reduce weedy species in the fields.

The reversal of attitudes on the importance of and responsibility for wetlands in local, state and federal arenas has been hard won. Little by little, battles spanning a period of 200 years have been fought both in and out of the courtroom to protect waterfowl, their habitat and ecosystems. Scientists, politicians, farmers, and wildlife enthusiasts all worked tirelessly for the same cause each in their own way. Through their efforts, the management and protection of wetland ecosystems is now known to be essential for the preservation of biodiversity and the ecological services they provide.

Currently, throughout the Central Valley and Delta area, hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands have been preserved, restored, and enhanced. Riparian forests along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers have been and are being restored, as well as thousands of acres of grasslands that had once been devastated by selenium from agricultural runoff. Pacific Flyway midwinter waterfowl numbers have risen to over 7 million, double the number at their lowest in the early 1990s. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy, the California Wildlife Conservation Board, and many other agencies and organizations are working together to protect and restore wetland areas throughout the Central Valley.

Those who are interested in the history of conservation in California, as well as the development of agriculture in the Central Valley, will find the knowledge relayed in this book to be organized, well-presented, and informative. Philip Garone even moves us forward to the confrontation with climate change that is already taking place on the world stage.

Diane Rachels
San Diego State University

Braudel Revisited: The Mediterranean World, 1600-1800. GABRIEL PITERBERG, TEOFILO F. RUIZ, and GEOFFREY SYMCOX, editors. Toronto: University Press, 2010. Pp. vii+281, illustrations, index. $65.00 hardcover. ISBN 978-1-4426-4133-4.

Fernand Braudel's La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l'époque de Philippe II was widely hailed as a profoundly innovative challenge to conventional historical writing when it first appeared in 1949. A truly monumental endeavour, this triumph of the Annales School changed the terms of temporal and spatial engagement, and opened up a host of new historiographical possibilities. As the syntax of the work's title suggests, part of the novelty of the book was that its principal historical actor was the Mediterranean and the circum-Mediterranean region; Philip II, by contrast, was simply a rhetorical convenience to denote the chronological bounds of the study. In this respect, Braudel did not seek to address any specific historical problem; rather, as he pointed out in the introduction to the first edition, he was striving to conjure up what he called the vast presence of the Mediterranean.

Braudel constructed his portrait around three distinct registers of historical time: the longue durée, which illuminates the relationship between people and their environment; the social-historical, which highlights secular trends; and the short-duration history of events. Taken together, these three chronological scales function for Braudel like the various voices in a harmony, voices that defined the Mediterranean as the uniquely creative space that it was in the second half of the sixteenth century.

The editors of this current collection of eleven essays are unabashedly Braudel enthusiasts, going so far in their introduction as to suggest that his text might be regarded as "the single most important historical work" of the twentieth century (p. 4). The fruit of four conferences held between 2002 and 2003, the papers found herein engage with the master's work from two perspectives. Section I, entitled "Thinking with Braudel," is comprised of two papers that examine some of the methodological assumptions underlying La Méditerranée. Section II, "Thinking beyond Braudel," strives to assess Braudel's legacy in the context of current historical research. Given the varied nature of the papers and the limitations of space, I will concentrate my remarks on the essays that are perhaps most interesting to historical geographers and historians of geography.

As Geoffrey Symcox notes in his "Braudel and the Mediterranean City," Braudel ascribed to cities a vital role in the dynamics of his geohistory of the Mediterranean world. Of course, cities were primarily creatures of geography and environment, for they grew because they were nodal points connecting sea routes and land routes. Yet Braudel invests his cities in a teleology of development that sees them rise through a series of stages from basic centers of exchange to important hubs of financial services. In this analysis, Symcox points out, there is little room for culture--culture is reduced to the status simply of a by-product of civic development, and accordingly has little place in La Méditerranée.

The majority of papers in this collection are, in one way or another, concerned with identifying and assessing the importance of new Braudelian-inspired structures discernible from the perspective of either the longue durée or secular time. Jane Hathaway, for instance, in her "A Mediterranean Culture of Factions?" suggests that bilateral factionalism goes much deeper in trans-Mediterranean identity than just serving as a temporally contingent manifestation of political culture. For her, the Mediterranean world is dominated by regions populated by diametrically opposed sects, with factional identity often more fundamental to mentalité than conventional categories of historical analysis such as ethnicity, class and provenance. Factional identity is, at least in part, geographically determined, and it conditions the ebb and flow of political events. In this capacity, Leslie Peirce's "Polyglottism in the Ottoman Empire" complements Hathaway effectively. Braudel, of course, had seen the circum-Mediterranean world as united by commerce but divided by religious ideology. But Peirce sees the sultans' understanding of the deep-rooted factionalism within the Ottoman Empire, and their ability to play the parties against each other, as central to their effective exercise of power.

Given Braudel's superficial engagement with culture, and the veritable explosion of cultural history since he wrote, it is not entirely surprising that a number of the essays seek to insert culture--and religion--into the master's temporal schema and geohistorical vision. None of the authors accepts that culture operates at the level of the history of events, as Braudel's methodology implied. Instead, Bryan Givens, Allan Tulchin, Matteo Casini, Carroll Johnson, James Amelang, and Gary Tomlinson examine various instances of cultural expression in terms of their relationship to deep historical structures and their influence on event history. The essays by Givens on the messianic Sebastianist movement in early modern Portugal, Tulchin on the Reformation in Nîmes, Casini on the relationship between ritual and politics in Baroque Venice, and Johnson on Cervantes work well as case studies, microhistorical sites where deeper historical forces might be laid bare. By far the boldest paper in the collection, though, is that of Tomlinson. His "Il faut méditerraniser la musique," calls for a Braudel-inspired grand, unifying geocultural history that brings to light some of the deep cultural structures that condition and inform mentalité.

One of the criticisms leveled at Braudel in his own day was that he made no sustained effort to connect the various views of the Mediterranean that resulted from his three-layered historical gaze. Unfortunately, the same charge might (more justly) be levelled at this collection, for the introduction--although penned by three highly distinguished scholars of the early modern Mediterranean world--makes no real attempt to pull together the views into a complete portrait of the Mediterranean after Braudel. Certainly, one of the standard criticisms of any collection of essays is that they are not sufficiently integrated, but in work addressing one of the first serious attempts at histoire totale, such an absence especially striking here.

Richard Raiswell
University of Prince Edward Island

In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World. JUDITH A. CARNEY and RICHARD NICHOLAS ROSOMOFF. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Pp. 280, plates, illustrations, maps, bibliography, index. $27.50 paper. ISBN 978-0-5202-5750-4.

Judith Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff's In the Shadow of Slavery is a welcomed addition to the growing body of literature on African ethnobotany in the Americas. Although subtitled African Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, the book is essentially focused on the post-Columbian dispersal of African food crops in the New World. The authors rightly argue that following the 1972 publication of Alfred Crosby's pathbreaking classic, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, the Columbian exchange literature that developed in its wake has largely overlooked the role of Africans as agents of biological transfer. In remedying this situation, they have convincingly argued that African botanical knowledge was crucial to the development of the Atlantic world. More specifically, Carney and Rosomoff challenge the current stereotype of Africa as "a place of hunger and starvation . . . kept alive by food imported from other parts of the world " with the thesis that Africa's significant contribution to the global history of food plants and animals is "largely unacknowledged and seldom appreciated" (p. 7). The broad perspective Carney and Rosomoff present is largely set in the context of the making of the Atlantic World, but in fact, their essential thesis would have been better served if the development of the Atlantic world had been more squarely set in its true context of Western colonizing expansion globally, the process that laid the foundation for the making of our present world system. After all, the Portuguese came to know the western coast of Africa in search of a oceanic root to the riches of Asia, and Columbus stumbled across the Americas in his effort to demonstrate that one could reach the wealth of the Indies by sailing east; both processes set in motion the consequential biological and cultural exchange between the Old and the New World that would transform forever the lives, not only of Africans, but of all human beings.

Their account of this process begins in Chapter One with a discussion of African domestication of plants and animals, including the donkey, and such familiar crops as coffee, rice, oil palm and sorghum. Also included in this chapter is a table that lists 60 food crops of African origin, of which 25 were associated with what the authors call the "Savanna Complex," 24 with the "East African Savanna-Forest Complex," and 11 with the "Ethiopia/East African Highlands Complex." Chapter Two looks both at the pre-Columbian dispersal of African foods and other resources to Europe, and throughout the Indian Ocean, as well as the introduction of Asian plants to Africa. Particularly interesting is the story of the banana and plantain, generally regarded as natives of Southeast Asia or New Guinea, which were taken to East Africa and from there to the Americas.

Chapter Three and Four look at the importance of African and American food crops in the development of the Guinea trade, especially in the essential task of food production to provision the Atlantic crossing. This development would eventually result in the introduction of many African crops to the Americas, rice being one of the best known. And one of the most symbolically significant African medicinal and beverage plants introduced to the New World was the kola nut, which Carney and Rosomoff treat with some detail. The Guinea trade also resulted in the introduction of important American domesticates, such as maize, manioc, and peanut to Africa, and eventually to other parts of the Old World.

The remaining six chapters discuss the significant impact of African plants and other resources on developments in the Americas. Chapters Five through Nine focus on Maroon subsistence strategies, plantation food systems, African subsistence "botanical" gardens, the creation of European empires, and the importance of African animals and grasses in the Neotropics. The key themes emphasized in these chapters are that free Africans who had escaped (or otherwise resisted) European slaving were able to grow the crops they chose as they saw fit; that self-provisioning was a crucial aspect of African survival during the plantation period, especially in the Caribbean where the early destruction of Native Americans made Africans "custodians of the Amerindian botanical heritage"; that at the heart of the survival of Africans in the New World were their gardens of African plants, as well as plants from the Pacific, Asia, the Americas, and elsewhere around the world; and that plants like coffee and African rice were essential commodities in the building of European empires.

The last chapter, which is titled "Memory Dishes of the African Diaspora," discusses both the continuities and innovations associated with the contribution of Africans and their food crops and other resources to the development of the cuisines of the Americas, and it does so as the story of African "exile, survival, endurance, and memory." Telling this story the authors regard as recovering a fundamental aspect of the African diaspora in the making of our modern world system.

In the Shadow of Slavery has 54 illustrations, 8 of which are color plates, and its over 90 pages of endnotes, extensive bibliography and detailed index will make it a valuable source of information for all who are interested in the ethnobotany of African-descended communities of the Americas.

John Rashford
College of Charleston

Intelligence Revealed: Maps, Plans and Views at Horse Guards and the War Office 1800-1880. A. CRISPIN JEWITT, editor. London: The British Library, 2011. Pp. viii+390, figures, photographs, notes, index, appendices. $95.00 cloth. ISBN 978-0-7123-5843-9.

In Intelligence Revealed, A. Crispin Jewitt describes and catalogues the cartographic material related to geographic intelligence provisioning for the British Army between 1803 and 1881. In the first 46 pages, the author explains the scope of the book and illuminates the administrative and institutional history of geographical intelligence provisioning. The latter half of his text discusses the contributions made by prominent actors of geographical intelligence through a survey of their products (maps, plans, views and drawings). Finally, Jewitt explains how the catalogue was compiled and provides directions for how it should be used.

The remainder of the book's content comprises the catalogue itself and description of the 235 surviving products produced by the Quarter Master General's Office, the 1,071 products from the Topographical Depôt, and the 296 products from the Intelligence Branch, and a selection of twenty colour plates of the various products described in the book. In appendices to the book, the reader will find an index of personal names, place name index, geographical index of titles, campaign index, Jervis' map of the Crimea, and lists for Intelligence Branch distribution, the locations and repositories of cartographic material, and sources consulted.

Intelligence Revealed is a remarkably diverse text, yet so well integrated and reader friendly that it does its title justice. In the introduction, the author states that the primary objective of the book is to tell the story of geographic intelligence provisioning for the British Army between 1803 and 1881. His secondary objective is to fill the gap in the published carto-bibliography of British official map production. While the activities of the Ordnance Survey are researched and documented exhaustively, and Admiralty charts routinely listed in catalogues, the same cannot be said of mapping for military planning and intelligence purposes. A. Crispin Jewitt achieves both of these ambitious goals in this remarkably varied and rich source of geographic intelligence. The brief history mentioned earlier that describes the most important agencies and actors in the production of geographic intelligence per se makes this publication a worthwhile starting point for anyone interested in the history of military maps and mapmaking in Britain.

However, it is when the reader discovers and inspects the catalogue that the unique character of the book becomes apparent. These 315 pages of geographic intelligence, meticulously catalogued and described, represent a formidable research aid to anyone intrigued by military mapping and intelligence. The diverse ways in which the catalogue can be accessed make it even more remarkable. Material can be accessed by using the compiling agency as a basis for a search, by using personal names, toponyms, the geographical index of titles, or the campaign index.

Each entry in the catalogue lists the producing agency and offers a title of the map, plan, or, view as well as related geographic material and date of production. Also provided are the scale and size of the product, a short description of the map or view, its endorser and when it was endorsed, and where it can be found. Jewitt provides this information for 1,602 products! The 20 color plates of products described in the text enhances the book's visual appeal. They enable the reader to glean insight by relating the material discussed and catalogued in the book to the images.

So, who should read this extraordinary book? It would be unfair to suggest a particular readership, when in fact readers from many different backgrounds might benefit. It has particular relevance for geographers and historians yet would enrich the personal library of anyone leisurely or academically interested in maps, mapmaking, and geographic intelligence products. The book's highly user-friendly format also caters to a wide readership.

Finally, migrating this text to a parallel electronic format on-line will augment all of the book's current virtues--its depth and width of content, catalogue reference capacity (through digital hyperlinking), and accessibility to a diverse readership. More important, it will preserve this text over time as a primary source in the literature on geographic intelligence provision for the British Army.

Hennie A.P. Smit
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. DEREK HALL, PHILIP HIRSCH and TANIA MURRAY LI. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2011. Pp. v+257, maps, index, appendix, bibliography, tables, notes. ISBN 978-0-8248-3603-0.

Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia, represents a contribution both to theoretical understandings of land exclusion and more rooted case-based issues of the exclusionary effects of land use. The authors take as their departure point the idea that all land uses, regardless of type or intent, are in some form exclusionary. They argue that looking at exclusion as a purely negative process ignores this fact, and does very little to help explain what kinds of exclusions are taking place, since exclusion is a never-ending process. From this insight, the authors affirm the importance of exclusion's double edge, the fact that it not only produces desired effects but also a number of unforeseen negative consequences. Understanding exclusion's double edge allows researchers, government officials and others to ask questions not about if exclusion is taking place, but instead of how exclusion is happening and what types of consequences this entails.

The authors see four identifiable powers of exclusion as critical in understanding processes of land exclusion: regulation, the market, violence, and legitimation. These four powers are then analyzed within the context of a series of varied and diverse case studies taking place throughout Southeast Asia, with chapters organized on the basis of specific processes of exclusion. The authors engage exclusion in the forms of conservation, land titling, boom crops, post-agricultural land use, intimacy, and counter-mobilization. Land titling is discussed in terms of government regulatory attempts to produce land title and ownership in areas where such ownership has not been recognized by the state. Boom crops and their associated potential for high profits, as well as their volatile nature, engender multiple process of exclusion stemming from the variability of global markets and the changes necessitated in land use and social relations. Conservation-based exclusion takes diverse forms and involves global NGOs, the state and often self-exclusion on the part of community members. Post-agricultural exclusions involve complex dynamics between city expansion and the shift to tourism in areas once previously devoted to agriculture, and often entail mixed spaces between agriculture and non-agricultural uses. Intimate exclusion is characterized by certain members of communities acquiring land holding at the expense of others. Finally, counter-exclusionary movements rest on specific ethnic, cultural, or place-based identities, and attempt to claim or maintain access to land that has or will be denied to movement members. These specific processes of exclusion are discussed under the framework of the four powers of exclusion identified above, which are treated separately for analytical clarity, but from an understanding that in reality they operate in tandem.

The authors offer a dynamic engagement of the case studies presented. While case studies are meant to reinforce the authors' theoretical prescriptions about exclusion and the exclusionary processes each chapter is meant to elucidate, they also display a vast knowledge of the specific contexts, actors, markets and biophysical processes that influence each unique case study. The authors do not make the error of trying to reduce case studies to specifics to reinforce their theoretical argument, but instead discuss in what ways they fit into their understandings of the powers of exclusion.

The authors' engagement with current critical theoretical perspectives on land exclusion is brief but adequate. They find critical political economists tend to use conceptions of exclusion that go undefined and unspecified, but that view exclusion as both ameliorable and negative. They differentiate themselves from this position by arguing that exclusion is always an element of any use of land, hence attempts to ameliorate exclusion from land are impossible. They instead see the opposite of exclusion to be access to land, and define access broadly as all forms of access, not just property tenure. Under this understanding of exclusion, what is important is not that access is being denied, but instead who wins and losses in new exclusionary processes.

This book offers a useful contribution to scholars concerned with Southeast Asian resources issues, agriculture and development. The book also offers insights for those with concerns surrounding access to and conflicts over land in other parts of the world. The conceptions of exclusion presented here offer a framework that is flexible enough to be adapted to very different conditions present in other areas, while at the same offering a vigorous and coherent conceptual toolkit with which to further study the processes of exclusion from land.

The book has a few weaknesses that, while not detracting from its value, are present nonetheless. First, the authors establish that the winners and losers in exclusion are of critical importance, yet they do not engage this question substantively. The case studies do address this issue, yet we get no systematic way to understand the negative consequences of certain kinds of exclusion. The brevity of the case studies and their use as means of describing processes of exclusion detracts from a larger understanding of the effects of exclusion in specific contexts. Second, in demonstrating the complexity of exclusionary processes in Southeast Asia, the authors frequently reference what seem to be the almost limitless potential of other powers and processes of exclusion that could be at play, in addition to those they identify. While this is in effect a call for further research, it also gives a sense that the case studies presented are not given enough engagement and that the discussions of exclusion in each case study are not adequate. These weaknesses can also be seen as strengths, however, in that this book serves as a tool for spurring thinking, research, and theorizations of exclusion within a scholarly framework. It will be of value to anyone interested in access to and conflicts over land.

Mahmood Tajbakhsh
University of Missouri

The Eve of Spain: Myths of Origins in the History of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Conflict. PATRICIA E. GRIEVE. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. Pp. xiv+312, maps, images, index. $63.00 hardcover. ISBN 978-0-8018-9036-9.

In The Eve of Spain, Patricia E. Grieve, a professor of Medieval Spanish and comparative literature at Columbia University, traces the mythic tale of Visigothic Spain's fall to Muslim invaders in 711 from medieval times through the twentieth century. The standard telling of the legend recounts that the last Visigothic king of Spain, Rodrigo (Roderic), raped the beautiful Florinda "La Cava," daughter of his vassal Count Julian. In retaliation, Julian, whose territory was in North Africa, aided the Moors in their invasion and subjugation of Christian Spain. La Cava is thus the legendary catalyst for Spain's fall, like the biblical Eve initiated mankind's fall. Grieve attempts to illustrate how this story of rape, betrayal, and treachery both influenced the creation of a Spanish "national myth" of origin and reflected societal perceptions of feminine sexuality in its several forms.

Grieve analyzes a number of primary texts and secondary sources to outline the myth of Spain's fall from its inception in medieval times, through the Golden Age of Spanish literature in the early modern period, to the Orientalists and historians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Throughout this period, the story of Spain's fall to the Muslims and subsequent Reconquista--which began with the 720 victory of Pelayo (Pelagius) over the Moors in Asturias--changed with the times. The earliest, eighth-century accounts of Spain's fall do not include La Cava, the rape, or even Pelayo. Instead, Rodrigo is presented as a usurper and Spain succumbs to outside invasion because its people are decadent, sinful, and corrupt. Over the next few centuries, chroniclers added characters to the tale: the crusading Pelayo, the treasonous bishop Oppas, and finally, the raped La Cava, daughter of the Christian Julian. Interestingly, La Cava's defilement by Rodrigo and Julian's revengeful aid to the Islamic invaders first appear in Arabic histories. After the introduction of La Cava to the Christian account of the story, Grieve believes that the "increasingly gendered, antifeminist versions of La Cava's seduction and rape" (p. 44) was utilized to foster the creation of a "Spanish national identity" (despite the fractured political, cultural, and linguistic nature of the Iberian Peninsula).

Grieve analyzes the many iterations of the Rodrigo-La Cava-Pelayo legends over the centuries, from medieval chronicles and early modern ballads, to the first printed books like Crónica del rey don Rodrigo (1499) and the Golden Age plays and poems of Lope de Vega. In the thirteenth century, as Alfonso X of Castile tried to create a Hispanic "empire," the myths are used to "foster nationalistic impulses and patriotic sentiments" (p. 50). In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, writers concerned with "blood purity" (limpieza de sangre) utilize the legends to emphasize Spain's Christian and Visigothic roots, essentially obliterating the Jewish and Moorish contributions to Spanish history. Grieve marshals a dazzling array of evidence showing how chroniclers, playwrights, kings, and storytellers employed these legendary stories to create a national mythology, creating linkages to a supposedly unified Christian and Spain that existed before the Muslim conquest. Much of this material fits well into the recent literature on Spanish identity and nationalism, such as Henry Kamen's Imagining Spain (2008).

While Grieve's sprawling attempt at creating a "feminist study that examines the shifts in how La Cava is portrayed" in "larger social, political, religious, and cultural contexts" (p. 29) is an admirable corrective to the hoary "masculine" histories that focus on Pelayo, military conquest, and the "inevitable" conflict between Christianity and Islam, Grieve stumbles in her tendency to force all of her sources into her gendered and nationalistic schemas. For Grieve, Christian Spaniards created works "gendering and demonizing the enemy Other" (p. 14) and exploited the tropes of "bad, sexual Christian women and the seductive Jewess, who were dangerous to men" and the "sexually available Muslim woman" who are a metaphor for "the recovery of Christian lands in Spain" (p. 27). Yet several texts she cites (and ignores) do not always fit into that simple paradigm, nor do they offer evidence for a steady evolution of the story, and she never satisfactorily explains away the conflicting material. In some retellings, La Cava's overt sexuality is the cause of Spain's downfall, in others it is Rodrigo's lustful rape, while in still others Count Julian's treacherous perfidy is to blame. In the fifteenth century, for instance (see chapter 3), author Pedro de Corral portrayed La Cava as a temptress responsible for causing the Muslim conquest while historian Gutierre Díaz de Games mocked such a notion, dismissing that La Cava's rape would bring down such a punishment from God. Where many authors exhibit the misogyny and fear of female sexuality Grieve often highlights, she also quotes others, like the poet Juan de Mena, who ignored women completely. Nor does she ever explain how the sexually available Muslim female, a symbol for the Reconquista, was squared with Christian fears about limpieza de sangre and "Old Christian" lineages. Grieve also only records instances in which Christian authors "othered" the minorities of the peninsula, ignoring the complex nature of the peninsula's multicultural, syncretic heritage. (Convivencia--the concept that Christians, Muslims, and Jews often coexisted and intermingled rather peacefully--is only mentioned twice in passing.)

The Eve of Spain is an excellent addition to the growing body of literature about the creation of European nationalisms and national identities, offering some literary angles often overlooked by historians. It fits too into historiographical works that demythologize the narrow Spanish historiography of yesteryear that presented the 711-1492 period as mere interruption in Spain's Christian, male, and ethnically European history: there was a concerted (but unpremeditated) effort by Spain's mythmakers and historians to delegitimize and erase the contributions of women, Muslims, and Jews to Iberian society. Grieve's attempt to place everything in a feminist and imperialistic/nationalist context, whereby Spanish authors primarily sexualized and demonized their enemies, ignores the complex and intricate nature of society and culture on the Iberian Peninsula.

Gene Rhea Tucker
University of Texas at Arlington

After Custer: Loss and Transformation in Sioux Country. PAUL L. HEDREN. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011. Pp. vii+197, maps, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95 cloth. ISBN 978-0-8061-4216-6. P> In After Custer, Hedren leads readers on a uniquely informative journey through the West of the late 1800s and early 1900s, a transformative time in North American history. Throughout the text, Hedren weaves events and historical figures together in a narrative that sheds new light on the eager settlement of Sioux Country and the painful revolution in the American Indian way of life.

Hedren begins with a summary of the Great Sioux War, including the events leading up to it, major campaigns, and the circumstances surrounding its final conclusion. He then proceeds to walk through the aftermath of the war through the experiences of Sherman's and Sheridan's exploratory parties of 1877. Both leaders used the journeys for evaluating the land that would be opened up to expansion and for determining the most effective strategy for securing the vast and varied countryside. In this, Hedren highlights the factors that went into fort and camp establishment and how each base figured in the following land conversion and stood or fell over time. Next, Hedren delves into the relationship between military forces and the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, revealing the essential protective role the army played and how the army in turn reaped benefits from the expanding transportation network. Relating how the network also played a part in the decimation of the giant buffalo herds of the plains, Hedren further discusses the ensuing land conversion for use in ranching and agriculture. Switching gears, we turn to the painful restructuring of American Indian life during and after the Great Sioux War, as bands scoured the countryside for the few remaining buffalo, starved and surrendered, grappled with overwhelming national and international political and cultural forces, relocated time and again, lost lives and leaders, and struggled to find their place in a changing world. Finally, Hedren addresses the post-fighting challenges of the Little Big Horn Battlefield, including simply identifying and burying the dead, keeping remains buried in a land of harsh weather and scavenging wildlife, and national involvement in caring for the living and mourning the dead.

With After Custer, Hedren again distinguishes his work with an obviously well-researched and engaging style. In the preface, he clearly justifies his choices in regards to terminology, explaining his approach and his intent to tie the text into the historical settings of the time. He skillfully presents a complex web of detailed connections not found in any other source. Focusing on underlying connections, he imparts us with a deeper understanding of the bigger picture that surrounded and permeated the development of the West. By addressing the many interacting factors of transportation, the military, politics, assimilation, species decimation, boundary creation, and settlement, he invites us to look beyond individual events and figures to their roles in the sum of the whole. Many sources present in-depth analyses of these topics, but Hedren ties them together in a unique narrative of interconnections that strongly affected how factors played out to make the West what it is today. He also uses a variety of primary and secondary sources to provide rich details that bring the history of the land to life, from the costs of the Great Sioux War (p. 25), to early writings on frontier entrepreneurialism (p. 118), to the devastating cattle losses in the winter of 1886-7 (pp. 130-132), to the firsthand accounts of macabre battlefield landscapes (pp. 181-182). In addition, Hedren displays a fine-tuned sensitivity to the plight of tribes adrift between a traditional world and the inexorable changes of modernity. He captures well the conflict and confusion surrounding the creation of reservations and the loss of the buffalo, the challenges and perceptions of assimilation, the mistrust engrained in negotiations, the desperate hope of the Ghost Dance, and the tragic losses of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and Wounded Knee. Indeed, considering Hedren's ability to present such complex issues, the reader could have benefited from more attention to the American Indian voice and perspectives in the affairs and events discussed.

With a clearly knowledgeable author, specific details are highlighted (e.g., the particulars of an entire party at a location, including each person, the weather, and supplies) that are enlightening and bring the text to life. At times, however, the focus on detail can overwhelm underlying general information contained in the text, including allusions to current topics and historical debates without offering further explanation for a reader unfamiliar with the body of work, although extensive notes are provided for the reader's reference. Considering space limitations and the depth of the analysis, it is understandable that these explanations may not be provided, particularly since such topics have been covered extensively elsewhere. Furthermore, this does not necessarily limit the potential uses of the book, since it could act as a companion to introductory lectures or also as a tool for more advanced study. Considering the subject matter, the text could be used in North American history or geography classes, and would be ideal for seminar courses on the American West, on ethnic minorities, on land use and conversion, or on cultural or industrial transitions.

Sarah Wandersee
San Diego State University

Spirits of the Air: Birds and American Indians in the South. SHEPARD KRECH III. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2009. Pp. xvi-246, illustrations, bibliography, index. $44.95 cloth. ISBN 978-0-8203-2815-7.

This excellent, extremely well-researched and beautifully illustrated ethno-ornithology explores the connection among Native Americans and birds in the American South.

At times the illustrations overwhelm the text but this is a minor fault. The illustrations from among many others that include Audubon, Alexander Wilson, and Mark Catesby generate an authentic feel to the book -- visually the reader is taken back to the world of the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The result is that the illustrations embed the text within the book and provide a visual representation of the first non-Native explorers view of the American South and its birds. The few black-and-white photographs from the late nineteenth century are also strikingly powerful.

But it is the text that sets this book apart. The depth of research conducted by Krech is immediately apparent from the first pages in the first chapter -- this is an extraordinary piece of work. And yet this book could easily pass for a coffee table book. I was overwhelmed with the detail and yet the book is easy to read. This is a comprehensive analysis of Birds and Native Americans in the American South, but it covers much, much more. For instance, the chapter "The Birds" provides an excellent account of the first non-native accounts of birds in the South, while the songs and spells in the chapter "Bird Spirits and Spirit-Birds" give a rare insight into the mindset of Native Americans and their relationship to birds. I was thankful to read that Krech suggests, following an extensive analysis, that Native Americans played only a minor role in the extinctions of the Passenger Pigeon, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and Carolina Parakeet.

I learned much from this book. I had no idea that modern Americans copied Native Americans in providing gourds mounted on poles for nesting sites for purple martins. I also had no idea that twentieth century Chicksaw have dictionary of 50-60 different bird names. Moreover, Native Americans consumed over 75 species of bird in the American South with Turkey and Passenger Pigeon among their most important food items, while smaller birds were killed with cane blowguns!

I would recommend Spirits of the Air to both researchers in this field and laypersons who are interested in both birds and Native Americans and the American South.

Mark Welford
Georgia Southern University

Yellowstone Denied: The Life of Gustavus Cheyney Doane. KIM ALLEN SCOTT. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007. Pp. xii+305, maps, b&w photographs, index. $32.95 hardcover. ISBN 978-0861-3800-8.

In Yellowstone Denied, Kim Allen Scott provides an intriguing character study of a man so enamored with the idea of recognition and fortune that it muddled all his worldly endeavors. Scott forgoes in-depth historical context and theory for this book. Instead he narrows his account to a diligent reading and careful interpretation of archival letters, journals, government documents and newspaper articles relating to Doane's life. The result is a highly readable narrative that will useful to historical geographers interested in personal accounts of life in the nineteenth-century American West, military culture, Yellowstone National Park, Arctic exploration, and Nez Perce and Geronimo Campaigns.

Yellowstone Denied is divided into eleven relatively short chapters, each devoted to an episode from Doane's peripatetic life and career. The book begins with his "early life" along the Oregon Trail, then moves onwards to his military service including active duty in the Civil War, the Nez Pierce Campaign, and the Geronimo Campaign, leadership as a military escort to the Yellowstone Expedition of 1870 and Hayden Expedition of 1871, Snake River Expedition of 1876, and failed attempts at patenting a military camp tent. Interspersed throughout this timeline are accounts of his two marriages, an ill-fated Arctic expedition, and later life quests to gain recognition for his early Yellowstone exploits. Scott diligently selects passage drawn from Doane's archival records for each chapter title; these extended quotes provide readers a sense of Doane's character and his battles, both actual and self-imposed. The title of chapter five, "[t]he existence of this lake Hayden denies, but is it there all the same: The Hayden Expedition and the Judith Basin Survey," for example, encapsulates Doane's stubborn nature and confident opinion in views that often ran counter to that of his military superiors and those in the scientific community.

The title of the book sets the tone for the entire work, a volume focused squarely on reassessing Doane's status in western United States history. At the forefront of this theme is his role and contribution to one of the early organized expeditions into the Greater Yellowstone region. Contrary to the book's dust jacket that declares Doane "the discoverer" of Yellowstone, however, there were many who came before Doane including Native Americans and Euro-American trappers and explorers. Scott concedes this in his account, suggesting that the hotly debated and prized claim to Yellowstone "discovery" will probably remain unsettled in historical accounts. Discovery and exploration topics make for important yet complicated discussions, especially for national parks in the western United States. Issues of insider/outsider geographic knowledge, power, class, ethnicity, and contested land ownership are implicit in these studies. Scott chooses to sidestep many of these debates, instead focusing his discussion on Doane's role in surveys of the Greater Yellowstone region. Doane led the military escort for the 1870 Yellowstone Expedition. Throughout the journey, he recorded extensive notes supplemented by sketches and maps. Although his work was published as a government report of the expedition, Doane did not receive the level of fame or fortune that he desired for his accomplishments.

Scott's sole contender for his subject matter is Orrin H. Bonney and Lorraine Bonney's Battle Drums and Geysers: The Life and Journals of Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane, Soldier and Explorer of the Yellowstone and Snake Regions (Chicago: Sage Books, 1970). The book is an encyclopedic reprinting of correspondence, hand-drawn maps, sketches, historical photographs, field reports, and military records. Scott's book, on the other hand, succeeds as a shorter volume than the Bonney and Bonney's 622-page tome and reveals the author's digestion of copious archival materials. As the University Archivist and a professor at Montana State University Libraries, Scott uses his access to and familiarity with documents from the Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collection at the university to build his narrative, supplemented with some documents from the National Archives and Records Administration and private collections.

Scott provides little historical, cultural, or social context for Doane's life beyond the most immediate of his contacts, thereby leaving the reader longing for a more secure placement in western United States history, military culture, and Native American studies. This is not a theory-rich study of western exploration or an intricately woven, place-based biography in the style of Donald Worster, Stephen Pyne, Wallace Stegner, or William Goetzmann. Scott's approach is one of an interpreter and defender leaving critical analysis for future treatments of the topic. Scott's steadfast Doane-centric viewpoint provides some valuable new insights, however, particularly his documentation of the Snake River expedition of 1876.

Yellowstone Denied includes seventeen photographs and three maps. There are no historical reproductions of Doane's work, sadly missing Doane's 1870 map of the Yellowstone Region based on his field drawings and notes (found in Battle Drums and Geysers). Although clean and simple in design, the three maps in the book lack cartographer recognition and data source attributes. The maps are treated as peripheral materials in the narrative, missing an opportunity to advance our spatial knowledge about Doane's life and placement in western history. A map of Doane's travels by era or his various military posts, for example, would have been an innovative addition.

Questions remain, as they do for many such biographical accounts. While Scott clearly wishes for Doane to ascend beyond a "brief historical footnote" (p. ix), the subject of his book may be most interesting as a character study of a complex, intriguing, and deeply troubled man. Reading Doane's misadventures evokes similar fascination and disgust that one might feel watching contemporary reality television shows hinged on broken relationships, selfish pride, and unbridled ambition. In this anti-hero saga, Scott offers accounts of near frozen and starving crew members struggling to survive on the Snake River expedition, increasingly emotional pleas from his second wife for Doane's return from years of distant military patrols, disregarded notices of his first wife's carriage accident injuries, burning Cree lodges destroyed in freezing temperatures, and Doane's frequent complaints of incompetent superiors and colleagues. With all this drama, Scott misses an opportunity to deepen his narrative with an analysis of ethnicity, class, and gender, issues encountered throughout Doane's problematic life.

Scott's work is a good read as a negative case study, an account not of a great person in history but of a problematic one. This volume will be useful as a supplemental reading in graduate courses and for scholars interested in the American West, military culture, exploration accounts, and Yellowstone National Park.

Yolonda Youngs
Idaho State University



http://ejournals.unm.edu/public/site/images/admin/ul_logo_medium2_297
Historical Geography is hosted by the UNM University Libraries
MSC05 3020, Albuquerque, NM 87131, (505) 277-9100


ISSN: 2331-7523