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Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography
 
 

Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography [Kindle Edition]

David Harvey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Review

"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."

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David Harvey is the most influential geographer of our era, possessing a reputation that extends across the social sciences and humanities. Spaces of Capital, a collection of seminal articles and new essays spanning three decades, demonstrates why his work has had-and continues to have-such a major impact. The book gathers together some of Harvey's best work on two of his central concerns: the relationship between geographical thought and political power as well as the capitalist production of space. In addition, he chips away at geography's pretenses of "scientific" neutrality and grounds spatial theory in social justice. Harvey also reflects on the work and careers of little-noticed or misrepresented figures in geography's intellectual history-Kant, Von Thünen, Humboldt, Lattimore, Hegel, Heidegger, Darwin, Malthus, Foucault and many others.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1965 KB
  • Print Length: 441 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0415932408
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge (12 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009W5XFME
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #850,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A collection of essays of differing quality 11 May 2009
Format:Paperback
"Spaces of Capital" is the title under which David Harvey has collected a series of essays or observations written by him for a variety of geographical and economical journals. The essays span the whole period of Harvey's working life, and therefore trace the development of his view and thoughts closely. This is interesting at a sort of 'meta' level, but it has the downside that the first half of the book is still very much in the orthodox geographical mold and mostly quite vague and noncommittal. Although already in the first essays he proposes a more critical geographical science, and lashes out at the McCarthyism in the field, they still lack the coherent framework that the Marxist point of view would later give to his insights.

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.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant revitalization of Geography 29 Aug 2002
By Dom Casmurro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The influence of David Harvey on the academic discipline of geography cannot be overstated. With incredibly perseverance, Harvey called for greater ethical commitment right from the 1970s which saw the beginning of his career. This book charts the course of his views as they change from then till now. Before I tell you what the book is about, let me say a few words about the style: Harvey writes in incredibly moving and deceptively simple prose (though his ideas are as complicated as any of the Continental thinkers who dominate elite theory today). In a community of theorists who rival each other in being prolix and obscure, this is truly refreshing.
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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A collection of essays of differing quality 12 Oct 2006
By M. A. Krul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Spaces of Capital" is the title under which David Harvey has collected a series of essays or observations written by him for a variety of geographical and economical journals. The essays span the whole period of Harvey's working life, and therefore trace the development of his view and thoughts closely. This is interesting at a sort of 'meta' level, but it has the downside that the first half of the book is still very much in the orthodox geographical mold and mostly quite vague and noncommittal. Although already in the first essays he proposes a more critical geographical science, and lashes out at the McCarthyism in the field, they still lack the coherent framework that the Marxist point of view would later give to his insights.

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.
2 of 133 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jim 29 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is unfortunate the turn that the field of Geography has made into the Marxist realm. While the academic side of geography takes comfort in the "feel good" ideas of this approach, it serves no purpose in advancing relevant work.
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.
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