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Key Texts in Human Geography
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Key Texts in Human Geography

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May 2008 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"A book that will delight students… Key Texts in Human Geography is a primer of 26 interpretive essays designed to open up the subject's landmark monographs of the past 50 years to critical interpretation... The essays are uniformly excellent and the enthusiasm of the authors for the project shines through… It will find itself at the top of a thousand module handouts."
- THE Textbook Guide

"Will surely become a ‘key text’ itself. Read any chapter and you will want to compare it with another. Before you realize, an afternoon is gone and then you are tracking down the originals."
- Professor James Sidaway, University of Plymouth

'An essential synopsis of essential readings that every human geographer must read. It is highly recommended for those just embarking on their careers as well as those who need a reminder of how and why geography moved from the margins of social thought to its very core." - Barney Warf, Florida State University

Undergraduate geography students are often directed to 'key' texts in the literature but find them difficult to read because of their language and argument. As a result, they fail to get to grips with the subject matter and gravitate towards course textbooks instead.

Key Texts in Human Geography serves as a primer and companion to the key texts in human geography published over the past 40 years. It is not a reader, but a volume of 26 interpretive essays highlighting:

  • the significance of the text
  • how the book should be read
  • reactions and controversies surrounding the book
  • the book's long-term legacy.

It is an essential reference guide for all students of human geography and provides an invaluable interpretive tool in answering questions about human geography and what constitutes geographical knowledge.

Bo Lenntrop
Torsten Hagerstrand 'Innovation Diffusion as Spatial Process' (1953)
Michael F. Goodchild
William Bunge 'Theoretical Geography' (1962)
Martin Charlton
Peter Haggett 'Locational Analysis in Human Geography' (1965)
Ron Johnston
David Harvey 'Explanation in Geography' (1969)
Andy Wood
Kevin Cox 'Conflict, Power and Politics in the City' (1973)
David Seamon and Jacob Sowers
Edward Relph 'Place and Placelessness' (1976)
Tim Cresswell
Yi-Fu Tuan 'Space and Place' (1977)
Noel Castree
David Harvey 'The Limits to Capital' (1982)
Martin Phillips
Neil Smith 'Uneven Development' (1984)
Nick Phelps
Doreen Massey 'Spatial Divisions of Labour' (1984)
Susan Hanson
Women in Geography Study Group 'Geography and Gender' (1984)
David Gilbert
Denis Cosgrove 'Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape' (1984)
Satish Kumar
Stuart Corbridge 'Capitalist World Development' (1986)
Jonathan Beaverstock
Peter Dicken 'Global Shift' (1986)
Keith Woodward and John Paul Jones III
David Harvey 'The Condition of Postmodernity' (1989)
Claudio Minca
Edward Soja 'Postmodern Geographies' (1989)
Neil Coe
Michael Storper and Richard Walker 'The Capitalist Imperative' (1989)
Nick Spedding
David Livingstone 'The Geographic Tradition' (1992)
Robyn Longhurst
Gillian Rose 'Feminism and Geography' (1992)
John Pickles
Derek Gregory 'Geographical Imaginations' (1995)
Phil Hubbard
David Sibley 'Geographies of Exclusion' (1995)
Jo Sharp
Gearoid O'Tuathail 'Critical Geopolitics' (1996)
Philip Kelly
Trevor Barnes 'Logics of Dislocation' (1996)
Sarah Dyer
Sarah Whatmore 'Hybrid Geographies' (2002)
Alan Latham
Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift 'Cities' (2002)
Ben Anderson
Doreen Massey 'For Space' (2005)

A book that will delight students… Key Texts in Human Geography is a primer of 26 interpretive essays designed to open up the subject's landmark monographs of the past 50 years to critical interpretation. The commissioned essays aim to assess the impacts, responses, significance and legacies of the books they discuss while evaluating their key arguments and providing a guide to how they should be read. In this sense, the book is brilliantly successful. The essays are uniformly excellent and the enthusiasm of the authors for the project shines through…

For those students who would have engaged with the original texts anyway, this will be an invaluable companion; for many others, it will be an invaluable crib sheet… for my money, this is as good a list as any and one that accurately reflects the curricula of the courses for which it is designed… it will find itself at the top of a thousand module handouts
THE Textbook Guide


Key Texts in Human Geography will surely become a ‘key text’ itself. Read any chapter and you will want to compare it with another. Before you realize, an afternoon is gone and then you are tracking down the originals…
Prof James D Sidaway
School of Geography, University of Plymouth


An essential synopsis of essential readings that every human geographer must read. It is highly recommended for those just embarking on their careers as well as those who need a reminder of how and why geography moved from the margins of social thought to its very core


Barney Warf
Florida State University



We hardly can lay our hands on most of the works put together in this book in Nigeria. So it is a great book with collections of previous works needed to thrive as a contemporary forward looking geographer.

Dr Olabisi Michael Olapoju
Geography, Obafemi Awolowo University
October 10, 2018

The book has very interesting comments about fundamental writings of important geographers. I consider those authors in my course, and with this book we can go in depth with their writings.

Professor Gustavo Rodríguez
Geography , Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero
June 27, 2016

an excellent guding companion resource

Mr Richard Kotter
Dept of Geography, Northumbria University
July 11, 2013

Particularly helpful in undergraduate seminars where previous knowledge of students does not always suffice for understanding primary texts.

Mr Thilo Wiertz
Department of Geography, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
May 2, 2012

A useful single volume access to key papers. I would have liked a better degree of cross-referencing with the companion volumes in the series (e.g. key thinkers on space and place and key concepts).

Professor Patrick Devine-Wright
Geography, Exeter University
December 13, 2010

Good breadth and depth - excellent and useful reviews of important material

Professor David Harvey
Dept of Geography, Exeter University
September 20, 2010

Excellent text, well organized and thorough

Mr Daniel Reeves
Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Charles University in Prague
September 17, 2010

The book is recommended text at our master course "History and Philosophy of geography"

Dr Britt Dale
Dept of Geography, Norwegian University of Science & Technology
November 12, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 14 PDF

Chapter 24 PDF

Chapter 26 PDF


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ISBN: 9781412922616
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