Knowledge Of Geography From Sir Halford J. MacKinder From The Revenge Of Geography By Robert D. Kaplan

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Mackinder also gives this quote from 1890 about the knowledge of geography and how it stimulates our thinking about global affairs. From page 61-62 of The Revenge of Geography:

“Suppose I am told that a certain sample of wheat comes from Lahore, and that I do not know where Lahore is. I look it out in the gazeteer and ascertain that it is the capital of the Punjab…. If I know nothing of geography, I shall get up with the idea that Lahore is in India, and that will be about all. If I have been properly trained in geography, the word Punjab will… probably connote to me many things. i shall see Lahore in the northern angle of India. I shall picture it in a great plain, at the foot of a snowy range, in the midst of the rivers of the Indus system. I shall think of the monsoons and the desert, of the water brought from the mountains by the irrigation canals. I shall know the climate, the seed time, and the harvest. Kurachee and the Suez Canal will shine out from my mental map. I shall be able to calculate at what time of the year the cargoes will be delivered in England. Moreover, the Punjab will be to me the equal in size and population of a great European country, a Spain or an Italy, and I shall appreciated the market it offers for English exports.”

I wanted to share this with you because it shows me how little I really know or understand the geography of the globe. I was vastly overconfident in what I thought I understood. I now know I need a refresher course in geography!!!


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