- Paperback: 442 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (October 21, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415932416
- ISBN-13: 978-0415932417
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,854,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Harvey (anthropology, CUNY Graduate Sch.) is one of the most influential geographers of the later 20th century, especially as concerns the relationship among politics, capitalism, and the social aspects of geographical theory. His previous and still cogent works include Explanation in Geography, Social Justice and the City, and Spaces of Hope. His new book provides the daring reader with an introduction to fields of inquiry collectively termed the new geography or critical geography. Harvey delves deeply into the collective psyche of geography as a discipline and attacks long-held assumptions of scientific neutrality within it, particularly in the chapter titled "Population, Resources, and the Ideology of Science." He also gives a chronology of his own geographic thought and his philosophical underpinnings such as Hegel, Marx, Kant, Heidegger, and the like and a unique perspective on capitalism as a driving force in shaping the physical arrangement of societies. Most geographers may take much of this book as an indictment against their chosen field, but Harvey certainly gives us much to consider. Appropriate for larger public libraries and academic libraries. John E. Dockall, Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"David Harvey is one of geography's best-known social theorists and one of the most important voices on the academic left in the United States...at a time when the fashionable abstractions of hte bougrgeois left just do not seem cute anymore, Harvey's historical geographic materialist analysis offers a refreshingly real-and-imagined geography of radical hope.
TCRecord.org, Gregory Martin and Peter McLaren, both at UCLA."
"Spanning nearly three decades of work, this collection shows David Harvey as steadfast in his commitments while he keeps up with changing times.---Iris Young, University of Chicago."
"These wise reflections on intellectual movements and political battles of the recent past show why David Harvey has become such an impressive figure of contemporary social critique. His fierce intellectual independence and equally insistent moral decency illuminate a concern for social justice that is primarily economic but extends into every sphere. No other scholar of our day has delved so deeply into the powers of capital to remake space and time, or argued so persuasively to place these processes at the core of all social thought.---Sharon Zukin, author of The Cultures of Cities."
"Harvey delves deeply into the collective psyche of geography as a discipline and attacks long-held assumptions of scientific neutrality within it.... Most geographers may take much of this book as an indictment of their chosen field, but Harvey certainly gives us much to consider. Appropriate for larger public libraries and academic libraries.."
-John E. Dockall," Library Journal
"David Harvey has done more than anyone else to demonstrate the centrality of geographical space in theevolution of human society under capitalism. He has done so in a constant dialogue with Marx, aware of the need to confront not just Marx's strengths but his weaknesses. Written over twenty-five years, these essays are an invaluable source of ideas on how human geography shapes and is in turn shaped by capitalist development. The book provides an excellent introduction to Harvey's work: it is essential reading for those interested in creative reinterpretations of Marx and in the historical geography of capitalism globally and locally.---Giovanni Arrighi, author of The Long Twentieth Century."
Top customer reviews
Of most interest, for this reason, are the last three or four essays in the book. These are in fact very good and worthwhile, dealing with his theory of rent, the theory of uneven geographical development, and the way capitalist accumulation affects and is affected by geographical structures, mostly in the form of immobile fixed capital. The essay called "The Spatial Fix" is more historical, and goes into the role of space and geography in the works of Marx, Von Thünen and Hegel; this is probably the most interesting part of the book for philosophers and historians.
If you're interested in the later Harvey's insights into Marxist political economy and geographical differences, I would recommend buying "Limits to Capital" instead. This book is mostly of use as an addition to an already well-stocked 'critical theory' shelf, for the specialist. Inhabitants of Baltimore, MD, might also want to buy this for the quite extensive study on the political economy of the city that is included in this book.
The first part of the book contains several essays, written between 1974 and 2000, all exploring two key themes:1) the discipline of geography and its relevance to today and 2) the nexus between certain forms of geographical knowledge and political power. Some essays are absolute gems. Specially noteworthy are the last two: City and Social Justice, and Cartographic Identities. In the first, Harvey theorizes the possibility of radical urban grassroots movements and the conditions for their 'success' (a bit problematic it must be admitted with its urbanist telos, specially for someone from the economic South like me) and in the second, he envisions a program for a synthetic study of (mostly mutually noncompatible) geographical knowledges constitued at different institutional sites (academic, the State apparatus, transnational orgs like IMF etc, multinational corporations, military, popular knowledge etc etc) as a task for geographers of the near future.
The second set of essays try with great skill (though it must be admitted that to someone not overly familiar with the historical-materialist tradition, they are hard to get through) to insert the thematics of space (especially important when one considers the growing unequality of development in today's world and the international (gendered) division of labor)in a historical-materialist tradition with the project of founding a historico-geographical materialist tradition.
In any case, WHATEVER your background read this book. You may not agree with everything but it will trulymake you question a lot of your received notions.
Do your self a favor - skip this book and go buy an old copy (prior to 1970) of almost any geography text. You will be much better served.