The Oxford Social Geography series

Poverty and Wealth and Three Giant Powers

This series represented an attempt to extend geography teaching from its traditional emphasis on the influence of the physical environment on mankind, to social and political factors. I was not wholly in sympathy with this trend, having been trained mainly as a physical geographer. I feared the hard scientific aspects of the discipline would be lost in a vague and ill defined realm called ‘social studies’ that was much in vogue among educationists. My fears were fully justified but the motives behind my own and the other titles in the series were noble.

I felt quite pleased with this book because it could open a young person’s eyes to some of the inequalties in the world. It was quite successful, being sold out and reprinted twice. The copy shown here was marked with a few amendments to bring it up to date for the 1978 edition. It is out of print now but secondhand copies turn up occasionally. (ISBN  0 19 91 3055 8)




Three Giant Powers

This was Book 2 of the Social Geography series. Published first in 1974, it was difficult to write because getting up-to-date reliable information from the USSR and especially China was nearly imp0ssible. Mao Tse Tung, who had launched the catastrophic Cultural Revolution in 1966, died in 1976 while I was preparing the second edition. This required a lot of revisions! There were three reprints, the last in 1979. Many teachers spoke to me about the book, saying it had been very useful at a time when school texts about the Communist powers were almost unknown.  They are almost unobtainable now.

Other authors did later volumes in the series.


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