cover of book

Cosmos And Hearth: A Cosmopolite’s Viewpoint
by Yi-Fu Tuan
University of Minnesota Press, 1999
Paper: 978-0-8166-2731-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8166-2730-1
Library of Congress Classification E184.C5T84 1996
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.04951

Yi-Fu Tuan

In a volume that represents the culmination of his life's work in considering the relationship between culture and landscape, eminent scholar Yi-Fu Tuan argues that "cosmos" and "hearth" are two scales that anchor what it means to be fully and happily human. Illustrating this contention with examples from both his native China and his home of the past forty years, the United States, Tuan proposes a revised conception of culture, one thoroughly grounded in one's own society but also embracing curiosity about the world. Optimistic and deeply human, this important volume lays out a path to being "at home in the cosmos."

"Tuan's brief book is remarkably sweeping in its conception, and eschews easy answers in favor of a more sensitive probing of human culture. In the end he neatly comes down just to one side of the middle (hence the book's subtitle) in his brief that Americans need to reestablish ties to the hearth, but only as a viable means of affirming diversity. Otherwise, we must also realize the 'impermanence of our state wherever we are'-that we are never truly bound by a locale, other than our common membership in the cosmos. We are forever bound to look outward." City Pages

"Full of stimulating ideas about our global future." The Reader's Review

"A wise and poetic discussion of the human condition within the geography of the modern world." Religious Studies Review

"Tuan's book is cogent and thoughtful, and worthy of lively discussion." Pacific Reader

"An erudite, provocative inquiry. Championing both the hearth and cities as necessary crucibles of human development, Tuan suggests that we strive for a 'cosmopolitan hearth' by recognizing the importance of family and local ties while open-mindedly appreciating one's culture without chauvinism or xenophobia." Publishers Weekly

"Tuan's credos are laudable and engagingly presented." Kirkus Reviews

Yi-Fu Tuan is professor emeritus of geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the author of Space and Place, Dear Colleague, and Escapism

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