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(p.201) Chapter Seven Twilight
Map Men
Steven Seegel
University of Chicago Press

The chapter details the deaths of the remaining mapmen. It says that Penck, fearing losing his works amongst wartime turmoil, fled to Sweden before dying of fever in 1945 in Prague-Reuth. Bowman, the chapter relates, continued to egg on the American war effort by pulling strings from his place of national respect to quiet “frontiersman” anxieties of exerting his gender, power, race, and politics on the “frontier” of the rest of the world. It narrates that Romer, fleeing war-torn Poland, went to Warsaw before settling in Krakow, where he lived out his remaining days haunted by the geopolitical losses Poland suffered to the USSR and still imbued with his patriotism and desire to venerate Poland through the science of its landscape and past. The chapter relates that Rudnyts’kyi died in World War 2 and that Bowman, after failed efforts to vitalize a dying discipline of geography in a Cold War world that deemed it “unscientific,” retired from Johns Hopkins and died of a heart attack in 1950, arguing his frontiersman, conquering ethos enabled by geography to the end. It concludes with a brief tracing of the descendants of the mapmen.

Keywords:   frontiersman, legacy, patriotism, nationalism, geography, humanist geography

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