Oxford University Press is saddened to hear of the passing of Harm de Blij on Thursday, 27 March 2014. De Blij was a giant in geography and had an illustrious career as a teacher, researcher, writer, public speaker, and TV personality. He was passionate and he was one of those people who brought out the best in those around him.
By Harm de Blij
International tensions have a way of thrusting small, faltering states into the global spotlight. When suicide bombers attacked, and very nearly sank, the American warship U.S.S. Cole in 2000 in Yemen’s south-coast port of Adan (Aden), this remote country on the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula drew the world’s attention for the least desirable of reasons. Once seen as a promising if fragile experiment in Muslim-Arab democracy and as a destination for adventure tourism, Yemen suddenly found itself at the center of concern about the threat of Islamic militancy and terrorism.
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Harm de Blij is the John A. Hannah Professor of Geography at Michigan State University. The author of more than 30 books he is an honorary life member of the National Geographic Society and was for seven years the Geography Editor on ABC’s Good Morning America. His most recent book, The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization’s Rough Landscape, he reveals the rugged contours of our world that keep all but 3% of “mobals” stationary in the country where they were born. He argues that where we start our journey has much to do with our destiny, and thus with our chances of overcoming obstacles in our way. In the article below he looks at North Korea and China. Read his other OUPblog posts here.
Harm de Blij looks at Afghanistan and Vietnam.
Harm de Blij reflects on the importance of National Geography Awareness Week.
Harm de Blij examines the effect of the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
A look at Belgium.
by Harm de Blij Since New Year’s Day, a troubling series of events has caused Europe to wonder just what kind of neighbor Russia plans to be. By virtue of a network of pipelines leading from Russian reserves to European consumers, Europe has become strongly dependent on Russian natural gas, now accounting for nearly one-quarter […]
by Harm de Blij As a professional geographer living in Washington, DC in the 1990s, teaching at a major university, serving as geography editor on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ and working for the National Geographic Society, I dreaded the intermittent appearance of media reports on international surveys that ranked American high-school students near the bottom […]