But" necessarily" is undoubtedly a little harsh. that"
The book on which they have started certainly appears to be well chosen. Ratzel's Anthropogeographie is his chief work, but when M. Mauss, following Durkheim, calls its author the "founder" of anthropogeography, he exaggerates, although it is true that he is one of the founders. Still Ratzel and his disciples are not the only people who are concerned with human geography. The French school clearly recognizes the godfather of anthropogeography. When the Annales de Geographie were started, in I89I, one of the first numbers contained a detailed summary of the principal ideas and the favourite themes of the German geographer from the pen of L. Raveneau and under the title of L' EUment humain dans la geographie. When, later, the Politische Geographie appeared, Vidal de la Blache personally pointed out its interest, and took it for a text when writing, in his turn, La Geographie politique. Later still, M. G. Huckel summed up, still in the Annales and for the benefit of French readers, the main features of La Geographie de la Circulation selon Frederic Ratzel.1 However, notwithstanding these numerous evidences, it would be absolutely incorrect to suppose that all the very enterprising, curious, and interesting work of our geographers was dependent on Ratzel. Many of them, who would perhaps admit to a distant acquaintance with him, would yet be very surprised to hear this. What, in fact, interests them most of all is monographs on certain regions. Theoretical works, compendious books on the object, the aim, and the methods of human geography are very rare in France. We can only name the very suggestive, vivid and concise articles of Vidal de la Blache; Brunhes' great book, unequal in value and very loose in construction, but abounding in references; and lastly the two books of Camille Vallaux: la Mer and Ie Sol etl'Etat, two recent volumes (I908 and I9II) in the little Encyclopedie scientifique Doin,'l. which show plainly the influence of Ratzel, but not without reservations or criticism or qualification. These are all,
Yet another thing: at the same time that Durkheim declared that the A nthropogeographie of the German master was an effort, no doubt chimerical, "to study all the influences which the soil can exercise on social life in general," Vidal de la Blache wrote in the Annales de Geographie: "To restore to geography the human element, the claims of which seem to have been forgotten, and to reconstitute the unity of geographical science on a basis of nature and of life: such is a summary of the plan of Ratzel's work." 1 The two opinions obviously differ. Can it be that one of them is mistaken?