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The geographer as radical humanist: an appreciation of Keith Buchanan

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Abstract:

Keith McPherson Buchanan, Emeritus Professor and first Professor of Geography at Victoria University, recently died at the age of 78. Buchanan was a prolific writer, polemicist, reviewer and commentator. His work includes nine books plus two co-authored volumes, well over 200 articles and comments, and a very large number of book reviews. As a radical geographer, a socialist, a champion of the dispossessed, and an unrelenting critic of orthodoxy, capitalist regimes and power elites, Buchanan was always controversial. His work represents a powerful case directed against some of the great evils and dangerous trends shaping the later twentieth century world. As one of the founders of this journal Asia Pacific Viewpoint (originally Pacific Viewpoint) Keith Buchanan along with his colleagues in the sixties helped establish the Wellington Department of Geography as a centre of innovative research and writing on Asia and the Third World. In this reflection on the man and his work former colleague Ray Watters argues that although best known for his work on China Buchanan’s greatest contribution was as a radical polemicist and essayist on contemporary issues.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8373.00051

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Geography (retired), Institute of Geography, School of Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand

Publication date: 1998-04-01

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