Hooson, David J.M. 1926–2008

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Hooson, David J.M. 1926–2008

(David Hooson)


See index for CA sketch: Born April 25, 1926, in what is now the Vale of Clwyd, Wales; drowned May 16, 2008, near San Francisco, CA. Geographer, educator, administrator, and author. Hooson was a geographer who believed in the value of the human element—in cultural, historical, and social geography. He was also highly respected as one of few authorities on the geography of the U.S.S.R. Until the death of dictator Josef Stalin and the reforms of Nikita Khrushchev, Hooson had to deal with the hard-line definition of geography as a study of no more than the land and its nonhuman resources. In the 1960s he was able, for a few years, to look at the effect of the land on its inhabitants and, conversely, the impact of human endeavor and attitudes on the transformation of the land. After the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. into its constituent states in 1991, Hooson turned his attention to the role of national identity and regional bonds in the study of geography. Hooson was educated in England and lectured briefly in Scotland before crossing the Atlantic in 1956. He first taught in the United States and then moved to the University of British Columbia in 1960. In 1966 he settled at the University of California in Berkeley, teaching geography, chairing the Center for Slavic and East European Studies, and serving as dean of social sciences. He retired from the university in 1997, but continued to lecture at the Fromm Institute of Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco. During his formal career Hooson chaired the Commission on the History of Geographical Thought, a joint collaboration of the International Geographical Union and the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science. Hooson's writings include A New Soviet Heartland? (1964) and The Soviet Union: People and Regions (1966). He edited Geography and National Identity (1994).



Times (London, England), June 25, 2008, p. 54.