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on 21 August 2015
Inside the front cover of these books it says "a very good idea these Very Short Introductions". But what exactly IS the idea? These books seem to fall into two camps - half of them teach what they purport to teach (e.g. Game Theory or Microbiology) and the other half are, shall I say, "meta", in other words, they are not about the subject, they are about the methodological angst of the university faculties that teach the subject (e.g. Ethnomusicology or Geography). Both approaches are acceptable, but they are both operating on different levels, hence my question, what exactly is the idea?
If a woman or a gay gets attacked in a park, it's the concern of geographers, the book asserts. That is interesting, but it would be better to manage the economy, educate, police the parks and stop women and gays from getting attacked than simply study the phenomenon in more and more university faculties! I'm a Classicist curious about ancient economics, agriculture and animal husbandry, and the most interesting page for me was the captioned photo of a village in Central Wales, but to be fair, it has introduced me to the subject of Cultural Geography, which may be what I'm looking for.