Photograph: George F. Thompson, Colorado Springs, 2013
"In this remarkable book, Yi-Fu Tuan shows yet again why he is among the greatest of human geographers. In lapidary prose tempered with hard-edged advice and analysis, Tuan reflects on the consequences of one's education and life-shaping experiences, the varied meanings of space and place and their influence on personal identity, the role of faith in the arts and scholarship, enlightened counsel to young students, and the legacies of his own remarkable life. The Last Launch is a beautiful collection of original essays on those and other topics, including a concluding section devoted to Tuan's favorite books, films, musical and dance compositions, and places. These 'messages in a bottle' may be Tuan's last word, but his ideas and writing, as well as his love of learning, will speak to students, teachers, scholars, and devotees of place for generations to come."
—Matthew Klingle is Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College and the author of Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle
"The Last Launch is a treasure trove of personal visions of wisdom and faith that demonstrate the connections we all have with one another. Tuan's concluding section of 'favorites' alone holds abundant gems from a master scholar who now shares, for the last time in an illustrious career, a lifetime of erudition and teaching. Tuan's work welcomes readers to gather their own religious and ethical/philosophical foundations that can serve as building-blocks for their own faith and direction, especially in relation to the communities and larger world in which they live, learn, and grow. By entering Tuan's stories, young readers, especially, are challenged to become more aware of who they are and who they want to become."
—Dr. Katherine Low, Professor of Religion and Chaplain, Mary Baldwin College
"For more than fifty years and twenty-two books later, Yi-Fu Tuan has been a leading voice in helping us make sense of the world and our place in it. The Last Launch demonstrates that Tuan's insights remain as relevant as ever. Written with the verve and global embrace of personal experience that readers have come to expect from this intellectual maverick, each chapter is a gift and, indeed, like a message in the bottle: pages clipped from the mind of geography's most creative thinker, carefully encased in elegant prose, and then cast away in search of people who are curious and interested in seeing and knowing the world in a detailed, subtle, and wondrous light."
—Steven D. Hoelscher, Professor of American Studies and Geography and Academic Curator for Photography at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas-Austin, and editor of Reading Magnum: A Visual Archive of the Modern World