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The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Effects of Geographic Ignorance on the Modern World Chapter 2: We Think Big, Sometimes Too Big Chapter 3: Maps are Flat, the World Isn't Chapter 4: Africa Bashing? What's That? Chapter 5: Things Aren't Always Where You Think They Should Be Chapter 6: State Capitals and American Politics Chapter 7: The Exception to Everything Chapter 8: Married to a Stranger Chapter 9: Why Old Maps Look Funny Chapter 10: Military Uses of Geography Chapter 11: Really Big Cities Chapter 12: Agriculture and Tourism Chapter 13: Geography and Tourism Chapter 14: Geographic Pockets of Isolation: Preserving Old Ways Chapter 15: Geographic Incoherence Chapter 16: Countries Breaking Apart Chapter 17: Unity in Disunity Chapter 18: Maps Fool Us Again! Chapter 19: Culture Hearths: Ancient and Modern Chapter 20: Population Decline: Change on the Horizon Chapter 21: Geographic Differences and Civil War Chapter 22: New Agricultural Crops Chapter 23: Domestications Chapter 24: Continental Tidbits Chapter 25: Islands Divided Chapter 26: Oceans and Seas Chapter 27: Bridges Chapter 28: Rivers Chapter 29: Medical Geography Chapter 30: Border Issues Chapter 31: Geography of Sports Chapter 32: Geography and Religion Chapter 33: The North Chapter 34: Prison Islands Chapter 35: Canals Chapter 36: Land and Sea Battles Chapter 37: Buildings Chapter 38: Mountain Peaks Chapter 39: Lakes Chapter 40: Outliers Chapter 41: Cities: Planned and Fiat Chapter 42: Whatever Happened to . . . ? Chapter 43: The Wild West Chapter 44: Spatial Diffusion Chapter 45: Parks Chapter 46: Climate and Weather

About the Author

Gary Fuller taught at the University of Hawai'i for thirty-five years before broadening his scope to lecture aboard cruise ships. A former winning contestant on the TV program Jeopardy! and a seasoned world traveler, Fuller is eminently qualified to educate as he entertains. He currently resides in Kailua, Hawai'i.


It is, unfortunately, an oft repeated (and probably true) maxim that most Americans are woefully ignorant about the geography of both their own country and the wider world. Fuller taught geography at the University of Hawaii for 35 years and is also a former winning contestant on the game show Jeopardy. Using a game-show format and trivia questions, Fuller goes beyond short answers to expound on a wide variety of geographic topics that provide enjoyment and enhanced knowledge to general readers hoping to fill in the gaps in their understanding of the world. The chapters are arranged around particular themes, which include state capitals, the why and where of various cities, and the links between religion and geography. Readers can learn why many state capitals were built away from large cities, or which nations, surprisingly, can expect population decline. Although the uninformed will benefit most, even those who consider themselves knowledgeable can enjoy the tidbits in this breezy, informative work. * Booklist *
Fuller hits the road around the world with this accessible and fun guide to global geography. The author couches "trivia" in an engaging narrative, but his knowledge is anything but trivial in an increasingly globalized world, where an understanding of the lay of the land on the other side of the planet may prove as important as knowing one's neighborhood. He introduces chapters on state capitals, continent-straddling countries, and "Really Big Cities," and more with questions that are sure to coerce the curious to delve into Fuller's informative olio-"What is the oldest language in Europe?" (Answer: Basque.) "Where was basketball invented?" (Answer: Springfield, Mass.) Interspersed throughout are fun anecdotes culled from Fuller's 35 years as a professor at the University of Hawai'i-one student "thought it was unfair to call some lakes 'great' and thus, as she put it, 'to dis other lakes.'" Featuring more than 50 maps and countless bits of miscellany, Fuller's "Guide to the World" will provide geography buffs with plenty of interesting facts. Folks will be happy to read thru or peruse at random. Maps. * Publishers Weekly *
Facts...make The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World an intriguing read, but it is also the author's voice, informative yet entertaining, that will appeal to fact collectors and geography lovers....Packed with simple and understandable maps and diagrams to complement the text, the book encourages a love of learning and a development of logical thinking. * Foreword Reviews *
The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World is far from being trivial. Gary Fuller has written an entertaining and deeply informative book that is a delight to read and an essential antidote to the geographical lacuna that exists in contemporary America (and elsewhere). If you thought geography was about memorizing places on a map, think again, and pick up this book. -- David Zurick, Eastern Kentucky University, and author of Himalaya: Encounters with the Roof of the World
Anyone who has a love for trivia or has been fortunate enough to enjoy Gary Fuller's university or ocean cruise lectures must have a copy of this book. He draws on his experience in studying populations to give a unique insight to geographic facts and history. An award-winning trivia player himself, he brings his professional and personal studies together to uncover the fascinating background stories behind trivia answers. A great read that should be shared with friends and family. -- David McQuillan, map librarian, University of South Carolina
Anyone who loves geography and trivia will find this book hard to put down. * South Florida Sun Sentinel *
In this enjoyable book Fuller (formerly, Univ. of Hawai'i) explores and answers 150 geographical trivia questions. However, instead of listing the questions and providing the corresponding answers, which would make for a very boring read, he spins his responses into geographical explorations of various topics: climate and weather, maps, islands, rivers, parks, sports, and more. In 46 chapters addressing the questions and associated topics, Fuller does a wonderful job of providing historical context for his answers, in a way that is both entertaining and engaging. So why would Fuller write such a book? For one thing, he was a winning contestant on the television program Jeopardy! and chaired a championship College Bowl team. Trivia is clearly in his blood. In addition, he has a PhD in geography and has taught at universities for 35 years. Being named "Teacher of the Year" by the National Association for Geographic Education probably explains how he does such a great job of telling stories, while increasing one's knowledge of geography as a whole. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. * CHOICE *
Tucson resident Gary Fuller, Professor Emeritus of geography and Population studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has won the ForeWord Review's 2012 Book of the Year Silver Award at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago June 27- July 2, 2013. His book, The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World, Geography for the Lost and Found was published by Rowman Littlefield. * Saddlebrook Progress *

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