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Les Faiseurs de Montagne: Imaginaires Politiques et Territorialités: XVIIIe - XXIe Siècle [The Mountain: A Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present]

By: Bernard Debarbieux (Author), Gilles Rudaz (Author)

374 pages, illustrations

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Paperback | Jun 2010 | #226491 | ISBN-13: 9782271069856
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NHBS Price: £33.99 $43/€41 approx

About this book

Language: French

What is a mountain? Seems like a simple question, right? But if we take the question seriously, the answers turn out to be complicated, wide ranging, and fascinating. In Les Faiseurs de Montagne, geographers Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz trace the origins of the very concept of a mountain, showing how it is not a mere geographic feature, but ultimately an idea, one that has evolved over time, influenced by changes in political climates and cultural attitudes.

To truly understand mountains, they argue, we must view them not only as material realities but as social constructs, ones that can mean radically different things to different people in different settings. From the Enlightenment to the very present days, and thanks to a huge variety of case studies picked up in all the continents, the authors show us how our ideas of and about mountains have changed with the times and how a huge range of policies, from border delineation to forestry as well as nature protection and social policies, have been shaped according to them. A rich hybrid analysis of geography, history, culture, and politics, Les Faiseurs de Montagne: Imaginaires Politiques et Territorialités: XVIIIe - XXIe Siècle promises to forever change the way we look at mountains.

Summary in French:
Comment les hommes se sont-ils appropriés la montagne ? Quels sont les mythes, les croyances, les imaginaires politiques associés à ces espaces géographiques, miroir de nos désirs et de nos attentes ? Pourquoi les États modernes ont-ils toujours cherché à circonscrire et à qualifier les montagnes ? Dans quelle mesure les conceptions savantes et les conceptions politiques se sont-elles mutuellement influencées, qu’il s’agisse des Alpes, des Andes, du Caucase ou de la Sierra Nevada ? Mise en place de « frontières naturelles », adoption d’images emblématiques de la nation, exploitation des ressources d’altitude, colonisation, promotion du développement durable à l’échelle mondiale : à chacun de ces projets correspond une façon de décrire la montagne et de la définir.

Voici retracés trois siècles d’imaginaires scientifiques et politiques de la montagne dans toutes les parties du monde, des origines de l’histoire naturelle et des États-nations aux années 2000. Une somme sans équivalent pour comprendre comment les hommes ont inventé la notion de montagne et l’ont adaptée à leurs besoins.


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The Mountain

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