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July 1999 Issue
The Geographical Review
July 1999, Vol. 89 (3), pp. 391-408
ENVIRONMENTALISM AND EUROCENTRISM
James M. Blaut
Keywords: Jared Diamond, environmentalism, Eurocentrism, David Landes.
Environmental determinism has served to validate a Eurocentric world history for several centuries, and it continues to do so today. This essay looks briefly at the historical marriage between environmental determinism and Eurocentric history, then develops a detailed critique of the environmental determinism put forward in two recent world-history books: Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) and David Landes's The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998).