Globalization, Modernity and The City (2012)
Attempts a herculean task…to reveal the intrinsic interconnectedness of modernity, urbanization and globalization…supplementing with personal experience his authoritative command of the global urban experience…The book is veritably enjoyable to read…the author’s consistently strong argumentation is complemented nicely by the depth of his familiarity with real world examples…opens up an entirely new set of questions.
Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie

This is a wonderful book with illustrative examples of how globalization, modernity and urbanity weave together.
The Canadian Geographer


Korea: A Cartographic History (2012)
A very accessible and well-written general history…beautifully illustrated.
Korea Times


Cities and Suburbs (2010)
With their superbly researched, provocative, and highly recommended contribution, Hanlon, Short, and Vicino are at the forefront of this approach to urban scholarship.
Journal of Planning Education and Research

This compact and well-written book is an ideal text for the many disciplines that study the confounding complexity of the U.S. metropolis. It focuses abstract discussion by presenting specific case studies and provides concise summaries, numerous citations of major work and an excellent bibliography. The perceptive and lively style makes it instructive, enjoyable reading.
Professional Geographer

A great resource for policy analysts and makers as well as metropolitan scholars in many disciplines including geography, economics, politics, sociology, urban studies, and urban planning.
Journal of Planning Literature

They examine different dimensions of diversity, including racial segregation, polarization of US society along class lines, and the advent of a new wave of immigration. All of these perspectives show an increasingly atomized, polarized, and residentially segregated US in which the "sorting-out" of different groups from one another has transcended the traditional central city-suburb distinction, and today permeates every aspect of life from workplace to home. Recommended...

... provides a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the current state of metropolitan America and especially suburban decline… provides a systematic and historic overview of the changing role of American cities and suburbs throughout the past century and more. They present an excellent account of the changing roles, growth, decline, and regeneration processes in the ever-changing and diverse political, demographic, socio-economic, and physical environments of metropolitan America… a comprehensive approach that does justice to the vast, interconnected, and complex processes of metropolitan growth and decline. It is well suited for scholars of urban and regional planning, geography, economics, politics, sociology, and urban studies, and will significantly enhance their understanding of the complex issues facing metropolitan America. Students will benefit from a deeper understanding of the suburbanization of America. I appreciated the presence of an ample number of case studies and brief summaries at the end of each chapter… important addition to existing scholarship.
Journal of Urban Affairs

Up-to-date insights into the state of American suburbs in metropolitan contexts, based on current literature and most recent research findings. The format of the book is highly accessible. Each chapter is accompanied by a list of references for further reading and an illustrative case study… highly recommended.
Urban Geography

An enlightening and thorough new study
The Next American City

A comprehensive description and evaluation of the evolving U.S. metropolis that challenges traditional understandings of American metropolitan structure. In this well-composed publication, the authors convincingly argue that conventional models of urban America are now defunct and present compelling evidence to support this hypothesis. The book is ideally suited not only for use in undergraduate and graduate courses but also as a state-of-the-metropolis piece for academics and policy makers alike… The book is appealing in many regards. The authors should be praised for composing a work that is relatively accessible across disciplinary boundaries, as it is relatively free of excess jargon…The work is also a timely challenge to many scholars’ preconceived notions of the rich-suburb, poor-city metropolitan structure.
Economic Development Quarterly


Cartographic Encounters (2009)
Short's consultation of original field diaries and journals yields a rich source of data…While based on deep scholarship, the book retains a flowing conversational style that is accessible to all, thereby rendering its notions even more powerful and potentially far-reaching. It is, in short, a delight to read…not only positions discovery and exploration within critical historiography but awakens as well our sense of justice and long-overdue attribution.
The Globe

Short's book drives home fundamental facts, overlooked by historians of the European Contact period…a fascinating and surprising new interpretation…reconstructs the shifting relationships between European explorers and indigenous peoples in North America and Australia. The writing is admirably clear, concise, sensitive and balanced. At once entertaining and educational, Short's book is essential for historians of New World contacts and cartography. The reader comes away with a new appreciation of the hidden artefacts of the cultural collision teasing out threads of the 'symbiotic destruction' deeply woven into the history of post-Columbian maps.

John Rennie Short has trawled through many dusty travel journals and pored over his share of early maps in order to reconstruct this fascinating cultural collision. His book ranges widely. . . The accounts of the expeditions…are among the highlights of this consistently entertaining and even-handed book.
Geographical Magazine


The Sage Companion To The City (2008)
Packed with insights.
The Hindu


Liquid City (2007)
Elegant and thought-provoking book… John Rennie Short has done a masterful job of revisualizing and documenting how Megalopolis has changed since Gottmann, and I am grateful to him for revisiting this elusive but enduring geographical proposition.
Technology and Culture

a provocative new book…Short presents facts and deals fairly with controversial and unsettled issues.

Short's strengths lie in his ability to use data from the U.S. Census to help create a clearer picture of not only how the megalopolis is shaped, but what sustains its growth. This book is a comprehensive and easy read that is complemented by the fact that Short presents a clearer understanding of how the megalopolis is one of the world's most important regions and is perhaps a new model to provide insight to current conurbations experiencing these changes.
Urban Geography

Short describes the the tension between the fixed capital investments and the forces of change…an engaging and provocative style that will attract readers from outside the realms of geography and regional science.
Journal of Regional Science

a good overview of fin de siecle urbanization in the Northeast United States. Short's artful use of anecdotal information about specific places and broad range of topics covered at a general level would make Liquid City an excellent text for undergraduates. This book will interest anyone who wants a good, concise reference to demographic trends within the region
Economic Geography

John Rennie Short has decided that it is time to revisit the Atlantic seaboard Megalopolis and examine how it fares in the early twenty-first century. In a compact volume he summarizes the present state of Megalopolis, identifying its changing characteristics and persistent problems… a concise overview… thoughtful, readable survey that merits the attention of students of urban America.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research


Alabaster Cities (2006)
Superb book…nothing less than an impressive success. Weaving together numerous studies, census data and personal anecdotes, Short presents a compelling and broad story of the American city from 1950 to the present in a highly readable narrative style… most outstanding strength is its robust comprehensiveness, in terms of both subject matter and Short's ability to integrate multiple perspectives…exceptional among contemporary urban geographers…fantastic insights about the shifting demographic profile of American suburbia…sure to please its target audience while enthusing readers across a wide range of disciplines and perspectives.
Professional Geographer

an in-depth, scholarly study of urban America since 1950… Though serious-minded, drawing heavily on research, and careful not to mistake correlation for causation… Alabaster Cities is thoroughly accessible to lay readers as well as scholarly readers.
Highly recommended.
Midwest Book Review

Offers an accessible overview to the major themes of US urbanization. In Alabaster Cities, Short has sung the story of American cities, both their gleaming achievements and their tears of failure.
Urban Geography

The title's 'alabaster cities' refers to a line from the verse of "America The Beautiful," and the song's optimism is threaded throughout Short's elegant narrative. The author is at once deeply appreciative of the US and deeply critical of its failures to realize its potential…His analysis of emerging trends like privatization, globalization polarization and place wars underscores the need to find alternative representations- discursive, imaginary and material- of that crowning public achievement, the city as a "fair, just and decent place to live for all its citizens." Recommended.

Short's account effectively illuminates the path of American metropolitan development since 1950. It is a thoughtful volume by a geographer with a good grasp of the American city and its perceived problems. It may not offer unchallengeable answers, but it raises significant questions and deserves the attention of students of the contemporary American city.
Register of The Kentucky Historical Society
Urban Theory (2006)

An insightful geographer…Short covers a great deal of intellectual territory, ranging across a number of disciplines and deftly moving from classical literature to contemporary social science, stringing the work of diverse scholars together rather cleverly.
Journal of Urban Affairs


Global Metropolitan (2004)
John Rennie Short provides one of the best introductions to global cities. His discourse has contributed significantly to our understanding of how our urban world is reshaping at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In addition to familiar material on competition, migration and polarisation, Short also points to the challenge of the mega-event and urban spectacle. What happens when a city re-invents itself as a global site to attract top level sporting and cultural events? In what ways do the endless competitions and consultations reinforce or weaken global status? The actual experience of hosting an event such as the summer Olympics is not solely about the improvement of local infrastructure and major disruption, but also repositions and connects a city into a global space of flows. Short has a particular concern with how the city is represented, how the particularities of place can be replaced by a seemingly neutral set of global assets or contradicted by the persistence of national or regional competitors for global city status
Urban Bulletin

Cities around the world are experiencing profound economic and social change as they seek to compete in a globalizing world. Global Metropolitan seeks to explain such changes. It explores how the discourse of globalizing has become a major narrative in the restructuring of cities around the world. It illustrates how a similar range of globalizing practices including the hosting of mega-events, the siting of urban spectaculars, the rewriting of the city, and its representation to a world of global flows. Moving beyond the debate surrounding the measurement of world cities, John Rennie Short suggests a new paradigm for urban studies; globalizing cities where the emphasis is on how cities are embarked on a global project to maintain economic competitiveness and cultural relevance. The book sets a new agenda for both globalization and urban studies.

The book successfully covers the existing literature on world cities research, makes the argument for extending current debates by considering the globalization-urbanization connection through the lens of globalizing cities conceptualization, and illustrates this approach using case studies. It is a comprehensive and accessible text that is a welcome contribution to the world cities literature.
Professional Geographer


Making Space (2004)
The is a short book about a very large subject: the way in which between 1475 and 1600 the Europeans changed the way they envisioned the world…The book is logically constructed and contains much of interest.
International History Review

The World Through Maps: A History of Cartography (2003)
one of the superlative science books of 2003

Brilliant guide to using maps…a superb resource to help us understand the maps we use.
Victoria Times

Expertly written in a stimulating style, full of illuminating asides… useful introduction to a large and important subject.

Look past the sumptuous illustrations and you'll find that Short, a distinguished American geography professor, has delivered the goods and then some. With crystal-clear prose and not a jot of pretentiousness, he covers more about maps and what they tell us about the societies that created them (charts by indigenous peoples, maps as propaganda tools, cartography in the space age) than some volumes twice its size.
Globe and Mail

a handsomely illustrated introduction to the history of maps... elegantly reproduced maps that richly supplement the authoritative text... Highly recommended for all public libraries.
Library Journal

The book's chronological structure is simple yet elegant, drawing readers along as cartography develops in different lands and different cultures…with examples plucked from countless periods.
Publishers Weekly

A seductive investment…Almost every page here is voyage of discovery, and of wonder
Vancouver Georgia Strait

Provides a succinct and superb introduction….This is the type of book, which will whet readers' appetites and should inspire them to explore further … highly recommended without reservations for all academic and public library reference collections

John Rennie Short makes it clear that, aside from being sources of geographical information, maps have also been tools of propaganda, economics, politics and even religion…The book traces the history of maps -- from 40,000-year-old drawings on cave walls to computer and satellite projections -- and looks at the maps to divine their context, meanings and messages… Short's text is accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs and illustrations of maps, some of which are truly works of art. The book ends with two intriguing chapters that discuss maps as propaganda tools, tools of surveillance, fake and forgeries, and cartographic controversies.
Toronto Globe and Mail

We therefore are deeply indebted to John Rennie Short, his publishers, and his producers for presenting an anthology of maps that is accurate, apposite, and very playthings World through Maps has much to commend it. It is a book to be pored over.
Cartography and Geographic Information Society


Globalization and The Margins (2002)
The editors …raise an interesting and timely set of questions (they) bring together the contributions of nine scholars on glamorizations is an interesting group of academics, some distinguished, some promising, and-unlike the case in many other edited collections-their work focuses squarely on the subject. Most of the individual pieces in this collection, therefore, are informative, timely and often thought-provoking.
Annals of Association of American Geographers


Representing The Republic (2001)
Short's fascinating and generously illustrated book examines the changing face of maps as "social constructions" in the new found land over three centuries. Signs of the state's hegemony and technical progress are carefully noted in the locations of towns and mills; the superiority of reason is hopefully embodied in aggressively rectilinear subdivisions. Grandly inclusive maps provide a visual focus and argument for post-Civil War healing.
The Guardian

This is a fascinating book about the mapping of the land that came to be called the United States of America… Short adopts the maps as an instrument and vehicle to unfold a history of the cartographic enterprise in the US, and in so doing contributes to an understanding of the history of this nation

All those trained to use maps before c. 1990- should read pages 9-12. For many, the ideas will be shocking but, once absorbed, they are liberating. Read them to resolve contradictions in hidden assumptions about maps…The ideas should help to protect all from the cartographic deceits perpetuated by the media…a scholarly worked but readable exemplar of the key idea that by deconstructing them, maps can reveal much about changing perceptions of the world. Not intended exclusively for specialists

The implications of Short's book go beyond the work, to the configuration of ideology itself at the heart of Empire.

This is the first book-length effort to tell the story of the mapping of the United States through the lens of the post-modern perspectival first to focus on this topic with some successive found his extended vignettes of selected maps and cartographers helpful and interesting, often providing me with fresh perspectives of familiar maps and morphophonemic is an important work that students of the history of American cartography will want to own.
Imago Mundi

The book presents examples of geographic representations connected to imperial claims, state formation and developing national identity. It is a companion to the broader arguments developed in his earlier Imagined Country and illustrates the new orthodoxy of histories of cartography. ..Short advocates a fashionable deconstruction of mapping, but his analysis is refreshingly unpretentious and relies upon telling a story, by focusing upon emblematic maps and key individualizes attractive and engaging stimulator has the confidence to come up with grand generalizations fresh perspective means deconstructing well researched material, telling an appealing story.
Society of Cartographers

uses a subtle mixture of political, geographic and social evolution supported by cartographic developments between the early 17th and 20th centuries. Those interested in understanding the history of the United States land settlement, measurement and public distribution will find this book both useful and entertaining. I am reminded of an axiom stating, "nothing can be properly managed unless it can be measured." This book does a fine job of explaining how this was done with America's land.
California Map Society

The book offers a fresh perspective on North American history and geography…provides an intriguing account of the mapping of America from its colonial origins to 1900…Having undertaken extensive research in map collections, including working with rare archival materials, prominent geographer John Rennie Short provides an account of how maps have both embodied and reflected power, conflict and territorial expansion throughout American history. His richly illustrated text focuses on maps of colonial claims, surveys of the American West and national atlases,


Environmental Discourse and Practice-A Reader (2000)
I will certainly use these readings for some of my undergraduate and masters course in Environmental Issues and commend the editors for bringing together a collection of readings.
Progress in Human Geography

This book makes an important contribution to a trend in human geography to consider human-environment relationships, specifically environmentalism, more carefully than the conceptual divided between physical and human geographies commonly facilitates... the book does indeed offer a thought-provoking body of texts that will be useful to students of human environment relations in many social science disciplines... a thought-provoking and useful contribution to explorations of the human ideas about and behavior toward a fragile and ever-changing environment.
Professional Geographer.


Alternative Geographies (2000)
Short writes in a clear and readable prose, describing and offering reflections on such topics as Ptolemy and Humboldt, heart-shaped maps, feng shui and geomancy, and Australian Aboriginal bailiffs constructs a set of reflections which offer interesting and accessible reading.
Progress in Human Geography


Globalization and The City (1999)
Cited in the summer 2000 issue of 'Civilization', 'The Magazine of the Library of Congress' as one of the "20 Globalization
Must Reads".

It is well illustrated with good examples and engaging case studies, particularly those dealing with the representation and commodification of cities in a global marketplace. There is a particularly interesting, if brief, section on the role of the Olympics as a nexus for economic, cultural and political forces which illustrate neatly the interrelationships of civic renewal/pride and economic success. The Australian chapter, as with the Korean chapter, is a thickly descriptive presentation of some fascinating materialness examples, the way Seoul has digested and reproduced a globalised form of American cultural, the way US civic discourses embrace a particular form of entrepreneurialism or the way Sydney's appearance has been affected by the drift of Anglo-American to a Asian-American perspective represents the strength of the book. The text at best provides further detailed examples for those with an understanding of the theories, and offers well written narrative accounts of particular examples of the progression of globalisation in a range of contexts.
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design

The book deploys refreshingly unfamiliar material - stock market registrations, the tastes of Korean cinema goers - to challenge the loose thinking that has accumulated around the notion of globalization. Teachers and undergraduates will find it both topical and stimulating.

An extremely useful introductory piece which encompasses a wide range of detailed examples to illustrate the many geographies of globalization and world cities
Progress in Human Geography


New Worlds, New Geographies (1998)
John Rennie Short's New Worlds, New Geographies is a provocative and demanding work. It takes on many of the great phenomena of the late twentieth century, including the collapse of the bipolar world, transformations in urban space, and postmodernism's assault on the academy. But, it is not the Big Ideas that make this a demanding work, rather it is his intriguing stab at post-modern textual form. In some ways, this book is among the most accessible to emerge from the growing corpus of post-modernist jacks-in-the-pulpit is at his most challenging in his proposition that authorship and text are at the root of reform. He argues that we must reject such academic conventions as the studious avoidance of the I and the desiccated pursuit of objectivity. To his credit, he puts his money where his mouth is. ..a geographer's provocative attempt to make sense of postmodernism.
Journal of Historical Geography

Magpie book! Frustrating, lucid, chaotic, funny, personal, disconcerting, aggravating, and, perhaps above all else memorable content and style of presentation mimic a shift from thinking in and about rational, modern worlds to an engagement with self, roots and debts to others and on to grapple with a shaken faith in modernism and emancipation…he incorporates personal experience and adopts an unusual textual strategy, devices that do yield an engagingly written and potentially influential book.
This is certainly no conventional "autobiography"; neither is it a conventional nonfiction account of our new world order. Instead, it is a disconcerting blend of academic analysis, personal reflection, and social positioning… a fascinating example of storytelling in which the author has opened up his uncertainties about the social place of geography and the place of the personal within the discipline Annals of Association of American Geographers

recommended reading for those needing help to cope with the political changes and challenges of a post-modern world and a new millennium
Midwest Book Review

a self-described 'reluctant post-modernist, doesn't write the impenetrable, jargon-laded prose often embraced by post-modern authors ... This volume combines autobiography initially with political geography, then the sociology of academia, and finally an alphabetic introduction to post-modern ... the most fun is to be had in the final section, where Short plays the role of post-modernist on postmodernism
Kirkus Review

Very good.
Today's Books

Its importance lies in revealing the Zeitgeist in recent Western geographies is a well-written bookie author presents his views in a clear and readable way, not a fact to be overlooked considering the opaque and blurred model of writing common among many post-modern scholars.
Political Geography

There is one thing all readers will agree upon; this is a very unusual book-matching in an accessible writing style while broaching some very basic issues for contemporary academia. This is a human story of dissolving certain ties and continuing fallibilities ...presents a wonderful illustration of the fragility of human knowledge.
Applied Geography

It is a personal narrative rather than an academic treatment of the new world order, global capitalism and personal identity in the 1990s. I found many of his statements perceptive and at times even funny. New Worlds, New Geographies might be useful for those who want to explore how particular geographers have sought to link their personal lives to their academic research.


The Urban Order (1996)
This is an excellent book and has relevance for all academic fields concerned with urban dynamics work is comprehensive and draws on a diverse range of writings. Specific and specialist topics are brought together in one understandable whole ... should have wide appeal within the academic world of urban geography, social, economic and political studies as well as urban planning and architectural fields of study.
Urban Forum

an enjoyable and provocative read

An ambitious overview ... The strength of this text are its breadth of coverage, the author's continuing and lively engagement with his subject and his genuine attempt to cross paradigms ... the writing is clear and straightforward, well worth reading ... I shall certainly put it on my reading list
Urban Policy and Change

The work is finely balanced in the consideration of theoretical and empirical considerations ... Short has drawn upon wide-ranging case studies and he provides a clearly set of evaluations of major developments in contemporary urban studies ... An exceptionally well-crafted text.
Geographical Journal

a highly personal, at times iconoclastic readings of the contemporary city ... I found this approach both refreshing and honest ... I suspect many others will appreciate his ambitious attempt to integrate current concerns with the perennial themes of urban studies ... a valuable addition to the relative scarce array of texts which deal directly with questions of post-modern urbanism.
Growth and Change

John Short's knowledge of the urban terrain, his ability to write clearly, to illustrate the book wonderfully, and generally to make the text accessible.
Environment and Planning


An Introduction to Political Geography (1993)
the second edition of Short's books is a most welcome addition to the literature ... the most engaging feature of the author's care and imagination in making the materials accessible through judicious summaries, clear diagrams and carefully annotated bibliographies.

The efforts of a renewed approach, and the modernity of Short's book constitute an appreciable contribution in political geography.
Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale


Imagined Country (1991)
a rare achievement
Times Higher Education Supplement

a bold and adventurous attempt by a thoughtful and widely read author.
Environment and Planning

this is fascinating stuff: clearly written, beautifully produced in paperback (with copious illustration); designed to be dipped into according to interests and a sheer substantive range which means that there are indeed a vast array of vignettes for the reader to become interested in.
Journal of Historical Geography


The Humane City (1989)
I recommend this book as a very readable, well- illustrated and optimistic account of how to make public involvement in cities more than empty rhetoric.
Australian Geographical Studies

this book combines virtues of a good heart with those of a clear and well informed mind. It is well worth reading for its scope and interest of content, and its clarity, honesty and economy of style.
Australian Urban Studies

There are wise words here about passenger transport, sensible housing and close citizen involvement in schools and health provision .... a harbinger of new visions for the 1990s and beyond.
Town and Country Planning


An Introduction to Urban Geography (1984)
This is a concise, well presented and extremely readable text which draws on literature beyond the narrower geographical perspective... The book deserves to be read by students of the environment.
Times Higher Education Supplement

John Rennie Short - Professor, Author, Renowned Speaker