Dr. Lewis is a research professor of geography at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708–0405.
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2000 American Geographical Society
Volume 90, Issue 4, pages 603–628, October 2000
How to Cite
Lewis, M. W. (2000), GLOBAL IGNORANCE. Geographical Review, 90: 603–628. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2000.tb00356.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- global knowledge;
- world geography
ABSTRACT. Stories exposing the lack of global knowledge among American high school and college students are ubiquitous. But it is not just students who have difficulty navigating a world map. Global ignorance, in fact, is appallingly prevalent even among scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals who write about globalization and world history. Otherwise erudite and insightful authors commit such basic geographical errors that they can only mystify the public. The present article focuses on, but is not limited to, the misconceptions of Benjamin Barber, Thomas L. Friedman, John Gray, David Landes, and Paul Krugman. It further explores the reasons why the debate over globalization, in particular, generates so much nonsense, and it concludes with a call for the revitalization of world geography.