A Love of the Territory

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Any time a scholar is respected enough to have a collection of their works published, s/he must have had a profound impact on a discipline. In this particular case John Fraser Hart is an icon in the field of cultural geography and has indeed had a tremendously positive impact on so many of our careers. This edited collection of some of his best papers is, thus, both easy and difficult to review. It's easy for all of the reasons outlined below, but it's difficult because the mere publication of the collection signifies its importance. It is impossible to find anything 'wrong' here in any substantive way. The collection was edited by John Hudson, who also wrote a brief introduction to the life, works, and research strategies of John Fraser Hart. Also included is a "Gallery of Photographs" from Hart's fieldwork in the 1950s and 60s. The unstated purpose of Juicy Couture Necklaces the collection is to use the career of Hart to instruct us how one should 'do' geography. To be more specific one could teach (or learn) how to do good human and cultural fieldwork by following the examples of Hart included here  Juicy Couture Sale .

Perhaps the most instructive essays included are the first two. "The Highest Form of the Geographer's Art," (Hart's 1982 AAG Presidential Address) and "Reading the Landscape." Both are classic works by Hart. Hudson made very wise choices in the inclusion of both. While our more positivistic and postmodern friends may disagree with me here, I do believe both should be required reading for all new geographers (and the rest of us should re-read them periodically to stay sharp) juicy couture.

What follows are 11 examples of Hart's fieldwork. One cannot read these without developing a full understanding that Juicy Couture Watch good fieldwork entails much observation and asking and, more importantly, listening. From Britain to the Midwest to the Piedmont, Hart's travels and writings are instructive by example. Most, of course, are rural/agricultural (10 of 11). The lone exception examines mobile home parks in Florida. All deal directly with landscapes and all are regional, thus all are great cultural geography. One need not have a particular interest in the British Moorlands (Chapter 3), field patterns in Indiana (Chapter 5), resort areas in Wisconsin (Chapter 10), or change in the Corn Belt (Chapter 13) to benefit from Hart's examples .

In each and every case Hart immersed himself in the landscape. He didn't study it from afar as an armchair geographer might. Neither did he study it from his car windshield zipping down the highway. He stopped and wandered around. He talked to the locals. And, most importantly, he listened to what they said. Just as it is far easier to learn a second language by visiting or living among its native speakers. it is far easier and better to learn about places and their landscapes by interacting with them. That is the message of John Fraser Hart's career and this wonderful collection. Very obviously I believe this to be an important ensemble of Hart's work and contribution to the literature in cultural geography. I highly recommend this to all cultural geographers from beginning students to those about to retire, but to limit my recommendation to cultural geographers would do a disservice.

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