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Publisher's Summary

No one is an island. The community where you live, the food you eat, and the people you know are all part of a global chain of connections. Over the past 10,000 years, humans have transformed the planet - yet the planet has also influenced human life in myriad ways. In these 24 eye-opening lectures, take an interdisciplinary voyage across time and around the world to consider the dual nature of our relationship with "place".

With insights drawn from ecology, anthropology, economics, geopolitics, and more, Professor Robbins reveals the underlying structures that explain why the world is the way it is. Understanding global trends and connections - from environmental changes such as deforestation to the way money and labor slosh around the globe - will give you new insights into the story of human civilization and current events.

One key theme of this course is that "place" is a construct. People make (and constantly re-make) places in response to myriad circumstances, ranging from economic conditions to changes in the ecology around them. Indeed, humans have taken over the Earth so completely that some geologists now refer to our era as the Anthropocene - the "human era".

While it is tempting to despair over humanity's takeover of the planet, you see how the picture is surprisingly complex, and that there is reason for optimism. Much of the human impact on the Earth, from deforestation to rapid urbanization, is not an inexorable march of destruction without any means of revitalization.

In addition to the study of the environment, Professor Robbins examines the wide-ranging implications of a world economy. You'll explore the wellspring of culture and delve into the thorny issues of geography, ethnicity, and statehood. When you complete this course, you'll have all the tools you need to look beyond the headlines and analyze world events in a whole new way.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2014 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2014 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Really enjoyable

If you could sum up Understanding Cultural and Human Geography in three words, what would they be?

This is a great series of lectures. I'm only about lecture eight (of 24) but I look forward to my commute just so I can listen-in. The topics are engaging, the delivery is flawless and I really enjoy it so far.

What about Professor Paul Robbins’s performance did you like?

This guy really knows his stuff. He has completed on-the-ground research in India and has great ways of relating the concepts to actually situations.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Corey
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • 01-21-15

Concise

Perceptive, and thought-provoking. Time well spent, but I wish there was a pdf to follow along with this lecture.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding comprehensive course!

Any additional comments?

I recommend this course to anyone who would like to understand human history and the impact forces have had on developing our world. This course draws on a multitude of disciplines to bring together a very comprehensive study of geography! I will be listening to it for a second time because it was so enthralling, intriguing, and informative!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bi
  • 09-11-15

Glued to my headphones

Prof. Paul Robbins is a great narrator and makes me want to reverse time and change my choice of learning. Have recommended and re-recommended this lecture many times over. A great and fascinating lecture.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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interesting overview

a very broad and fascinating perspective, to view the world through this lens. I have learned a lot. Wished Paul Robbins performance as a speaker had been stronger. . But I got used to it, after a while.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

freshmen or sophomore level info

The course was well executed but it was not the detailed information I was looking for. His intended audience is brand new students of geography. He provides interesting case studies to make his point. Its worth the money if you have never read a book on the topic.

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Intersting group of cultural geography lectures

Intersting collection of cultural geography lectures that demonstated how 'place' helps define a culture and how a culture helps define a place.

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Really enjoyed

Very informative and easy to listen to. gives new perspective on ways to look at the world and how a map contains more than meets the eye.

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The narration. Sucks.

Narrator clutters his speech with unnecessary and tiresome pauses for emphasis that only further dulls an already slow book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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narrator sublime

the narrator was amazing. his text was word perfect but he delivered it as fresh thoughts extempore. with passion and authority. what a man

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  • Martin Blackburn
  • 05-18-16

Very interesting

Covers a wide range of issues in a very clear and easy to understand manner. Lectures flow seamlessly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 03-15-15

Understand the world in a weekend.

If you could sum up Understanding Cultural and Human Geography in three words, what would they be?

Know the world - Professor Paul Robbins is an immensely well-informed geographer and a skilled narrator.
His touring the different aspects of cultural and human geography leaves you with the sense of knowing your world to a much more satisfactory degree.
The world would be a better and more well-functioning place if everybody had the same insight into our common society and the planet we inhabit, as does Professor Robbins. You won't live without this knowledge.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful