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On Myths and Maps: A Rejoinder to Lewis and Wigen

On Myths and Maps: A Rejoinder to Lewis and Wigen james m. blaut University of Illinois at Chicago s I said at the end of my review of Martin W. Lewis and Kären Wigen's Myth of Continents, this book is a solid and useful contribution in spite of its shortcomings. Perhaps I overemphasized the shortcomings; if I did so, it was because the tone of the book is more than a bit off-putting. Although Lewis and Wigen tell us a lot that is valuable and new, they make exaggerated claims for the originality and importance of their work, and they give the false impression that they are addressing problems that other geographers and historians have pretty completely neglected (Lewis and Wigen 1997:ix, xii, xiii, 113, 141, 142, 146, 155, 158, 163, 186, 193­201, 254). Also off-putting is their denunciation of Afrocentrism, criticism of postmodernism, and snaps and snarls at such other targets as radical ecology, "Third Worldism," the nation-state, and Freudianism. None of this is really necessary or helpful in a book that demonstrates very nicely what is wrong with the way we regionalize the world, proposes an improved map of world cultural regions, and exposes many of the errors of Eurocentrism. But I am not writing a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

On Myths and Maps: A Rejoinder to Lewis and Wigen

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-8050
Publisher site
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Abstract

james m. blaut University of Illinois at Chicago s I said at the end of my review of Martin W. Lewis and Kären Wigen's Myth of Continents, this book is a solid and useful contribution in spite of its shortcomings. Perhaps I overemphasized the shortcomings; if I did so, it was because the tone of the book is more than a bit off-putting. Although Lewis and Wigen tell us a lot that is valuable and new, they make exaggerated claims for the originality and importance of their work, and they give the false impression that they are addressing problems that other geographers and historians have pretty completely neglected (Lewis and Wigen 1997:ix, xii, xiii, 113, 141, 142, 146, 155, 158, 163, 186, 193­201, 254). Also off-putting is their denunciation of Afrocentrism, criticism of postmodernism, and snaps and snarls at such other targets as radical ecology, "Third Worldism," the nation-state, and Freudianism. None of this is really necessary or helpful in a book that demonstrates very nicely what is wrong with the way we regionalize the world, proposes an improved map of world cultural regions, and exposes many of the errors of Eurocentrism. But I am not writing a

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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