AAG Presents Books Awards

The AAG presented the following book awards during an awards luncheon at the 2015 AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 25.

John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize

This award encourages and rewards American geographers who write books about the United States which convey the insights of professional geography in language that is both interesting and attractive to lay readers.

Randall Wilson of Gettysburg College for his book America’s Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond, published by Rowman & Littlefield.

With this book, Randall Wilson has taken on topic that is central to our country’s existence – its public lands – and attempts to rethink an old and familiar story. He examines the contrast between viewing land as a commodity to be developed and land as nature to be preserved. This book leads the reader from the nation’s founding to the current era of land management issues shaped by debates over private use of public lands, ecosystem management, and climate change. This volume has a sweeping scope and is full of meticulously researched details but it is also clear and concise with accessible prose suited to public as well as scholarly audiences.

AAG Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography

This award is given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world.

Paul Knox, University of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, for editing The Atlas of Cities, published by Princeton University Press

The Atlas of Cities is a comprehensive and timely overview of urban geography classifications and considerations across time using inviting maps, charts, diagrams, tables, and photographs.  Knox’s categories are innovative, not only advancing the literature, but resonating with a broader audience.

For example, the ‘Celebrity City’ chapter is engaging, while simultaneously introducing network analysis and systems science.   The ‘Megacity’ chapter visually demonstrates the disproportionate number of cities and agglomerations in Asia and along coastlines.  The scale of recent rural-urban migrations and human suffering in densely-populated, infrastructure-challenged slums is made plain.

This atlas would be equally at home in a university urban geography course or awaiting leisurely examination on a coffee table.

AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography

This award is given for a book written by a geographer that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography. 

Matthew Gandy, University College London, for his book The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity and the Urban Imagination, MIT Press (2014 )

The 2014 Meridian Book Award is awarded to Matthew Gandy for his book The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity and the Urban Imagination published by the MIT Press in December of 2014. It is an innovative, fresh contribution with extensive scope and conceptual depth. It is case based with water as its connecting theme to illustrate the evolution of modern urban spaces. He draws upon many sources including poetry, film, and art to enhance our understanding of the city. Written in an engaging and accessible way this book is an outstanding contribution to the discipline.

This exceptional scholarly work truly advances the art and science of the discipline. For this reason we are pleased to present the 2014 Meridian Book Award to Matthew Gandy for his work The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity and the Urban Imagination.