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The Formative Years of Ratzel in the United States

C. O. Sauer
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 61, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 245-254
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562443
Page Count: 10
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The Formative Years of Ratzel in the United States
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Abstract

The young naturalist Ratzel supported himself by writing articles on his observations in Mediterranean and Alpine lands. These brought him the assignment to report on whatever interested him in the United States and Mexico (1873-1875). He returned from his American years to profess himself a geographer. Sketches of nature and the works and ways of men were followed by the large overview of his Culturgeographie of the United States during its first century. He liked the energy and expansiveness of American life, thought its excesses of wastefulness (Raubbau) a passing phase of youth, and had high expectation of its maturity. His observations and insights remained almost unnoticed in this country. A century later they give perspective on the dominance of material growth.

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