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Ellsworth Huntington

Excerpt from: Social Education VOl. XXI No.1 January 1957: Founders of Western Geography

     "Ellsworth Huntington (1876-1947) was the American Geographer who was most widely known among educated people throughout the world. He wrote 29 books, parts of a score more, and hundereds of articles, many of which appealed to thinkers in one or more of several sciences, and in history, sociology, and population studies. Huntington's writings appealed because he took great pains to write attractively, and because he presented a succession of thought-provoking theories and generalizations. He studied with especial intensity weather and climate, their influences and changes, and greatly increased public recognition of their great significance. Huntington's books, especially, Pulse of Asia, Civilization and Climate, The Human Habitat, West of the Pacific, and Mainsprings of Civilization were widely read. Principals of Human Geography, a college text of which he was the senior author, has been widely useful and has been widely enjoyed by many students to an extent that few textbooks are. He also co-authored a high school and a grade school text. Huntington did much field work in the West, especially on climatic changes, partly with the help of an extended study of tree rings. His The Climatic Factor as Illustrated in Arid America (Carnegie Institution Publication 192, 1915, 341 p.) reflects a vast amount of field work in the West. He was at Yale University for 40 years. By many, Huntington was rated in his later years as the world's greatest geographer. He certainly aroused more interest in geography on the part of more people than any other geographer."

 

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