Hartshorne, Richard(1899– ) geographer; born in Kittanning, Pa. He completed a doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1924, then taught at the University of Minnesota (1924–40) and the University of Wisconsin (1940–70, with war-time interruption). In the 1930s he published some important articles concerning political geography. In 1939 he wrote The Nature of Geography, a monumental work that investigated the literature of several countries to synthesize what had been thought and written concerning the nature of geography. The book became required reading in many U.S. graduate schools. Twenty years later, in 1959, Hartshorne published Perspective on the Nature of Geography, which provided the benefit of 20 years' further thought and reflection by the author. In 1989, on its fiftieth anniversary, the Association of American Geographers published Reflections on Richard Hartshorne's The Nature of Geography.
Born Dec. 12, 1899, in Kittanning, Pa. American geographer.
Hartshorne has taught at various American universities. He was a professor at the University of Minnesota from 1924 to 1940 and at the University of Wisconsin from 1940 to 1970.
A supporter of the chorological concepts of A. Hettner, Hartshorne believes that geography should be limited to the study of the areal differentiation of the earth’s surface. Viewing geography as a purely descriptive science, with no specific subject matter, he regards the fundamental task of geography to be simply the study of the characteristics and unique features of particular places. Such a view is at variance with current notions of the aims of geographic science. Hartshorne’s principal works are The Nature of Geography (1939) and Perspective on the Nature of Geography (1959).