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Reviews / Journal of Historical Geography 38 (2012) 196e208


and laced throughout with over 90 illustrations, this is not light reading. Expect to spend some time with this sophisticated and delightful book. Richard Hunter State University of New York at Cortland, USA doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2012.01.008

Rachel A. Moore, Forty Miles from the Sea: Xalapa, the Public Sphere, and the Atlantic World in Nineteenth-Century Mexico. Tucson, University of Arizona Press, 2011, xvi 231 pages, US$49.95 hardcover. This volume is a revision of the dissertation Route to the capital, route to the sea: domestic travel, regional identity, and local isolation in the VeracruzeMexico City corridor, 1812e1876 (University of California, Berkeley, 2006). That title more accurately reects the books content, although it was doubtlessly deemed too academic even for a university press. This volume covers far more than Xalapa (also spelled Jalapa) and its relationship with Mexico City and the port of Veracruz. Orizaba in particular, but also Crdoba, Perote, and several nearby communities receive considerable attention. Moore, a historian, sets herself the ambitious goal of investigating how and where Atlantic coastal culture diffused inland in late colonial and early republican Mexico. Rather than deal with all aspects of Atlantic coastal culture, Moore focuses on how culture affected communication in the region extending inland from the port of Veracruz between 1790, when Xalapa merchants came under the jurisdiction of a consulado (merchants guild) in Veracruz, and 1867, when Xalapa nally agreed to operate under the rule of the central government in Mexico City. She seeks to Atlanticize regional history by identifying the ways in which interior residents were connected with the coast. The rst several chapters discuss the Atlantic coastal culture in Xalapa. Chapter one relates how from 1790 to 1810 Xalapa, an inland city located on the eastern foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental, came to be tied to the port of Veracruz through commerce, defence against foreign invasions, and epidemiology. The mountain city wanted to be connected closely to the port of Veracruz, from where the most essential information was deemed to originate. Xalapa assumed its independent mantle, which it still proudly wears, as it was in the citys self-interest to be independent from Mexico City. Each foreign invasion or even rumor thereof favored Xalapa as an inland rst line of defense. The threat of yellow fever in the port of Veracruz, moreover, led to wholesale seasonal relocation of population to Xalapa. Chapter two covers the years 1810e1825, the time of struggle for Mexican independence and establishment of stable self-governance. Here the author examines anti-imperial and anti-Mexico City sentiments among the more literate denizens of the XalapaePerote corridor. In this chapter Moore deftly connects Xalapa to the Caribbean, as a source of news and of return immigrants after the Mexican War of Independence. Chapter three addresses the transport rivalries between Xalapa and Orizaba from 1812 to 1842. Whereas Xalapa was well connected to the port of Veracruz via the northern route, Orizaba, the inland city along the southern route, was topographically forced to face Mexico City. Although Orizaba succeeded in getting the VeracruzeMexico City railway to run through it, the author makes clear that the city remained more provincial than Xalapa as travelers avoided the railroad.

Chapters four and ve are case studies of how Xalapa and Orizaba realized the utility of the public sphere in Mexico. Moore applies Jrgen Habermass concept of the public sphere as an arena of public exchange engaged in by the educated that, in turn, supports a collective political discourse. Chapter four deals with Xalapas on-and-off relationship with the mercurial Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna, a native xalapeo (resident of Xalapa). This caudillo (leader) is portrayed not only as interfering with Xalapas communication and sources of information, but also as drawing the attention of xalapeos to Mexico City and vice versa. To support her argument Moore compares the newly opened reading rooms, nanced by the government to expose citizens to ofcially sanctioned printed matter, and the cafs, where subversive conversations and rumors ourished. Yet neither the reading rooms nor the American invasion in 1847 dampened the citys appetite for news and ideas from the Atlantic world. The chapter ends with the poet and lothario Manuel Flores and how he secretly met and corresponded with various Xalapa belles. This picaresque discussion reveals how xalapeos expanded the public sphere by cleverly circumventing censorship of printed matter and the mails. The second case study deals with Orizabas relationship with Mexico City after the start of the War of Reform (1857e1861). Because of the federalist 1857 constitution Orizaba demanded an improved postal system. The rationale was that if the church was to play a diminished role in society then the government would have to protect and inform citizens the more. This part of the book is slow to develop, with the post ofce not discussed in detail until 13 pages into the chapter. Why is Xalapas post ofce, larger than Orizabas, not chosen for such a case study? Although Orizabas postal ofcials left correspondence pleading for more funds and personnel, it is very likely that Xalapas post ofce made the same appeals. The concluding chapter is a short summary and ends with the observation that both Xalapa and Orizaba eventually situated themselves in the national public sphere. Their paths to that end, however, were different. This book is generally well written although a bit discursive. The text, however, is supported with only ve illustrations, all from a recent publication on the talented German artist Juan Moritz Rugendas, who lived in Mexico in the early 1830s. The gray-tone reproductions do not show his paintings well. The one map, on the nineteenth-century road network between Veracruz and Puebla, unfortunately does not depict all the routes or towns discussed. These shortcomings contrast with Moores careful use of materials from 10 archives and libraries in Mexico as well as in the Latin American holdings in Berkeleys Bancroft Library. This volume is recommended for researchers and advanced students interested in applying the concept of public sphere to coastal areas in Latin America and to anyone concerned with nineteenthcentury communications in Mexico. The author admirably succeeds in making the reader rethink Atlantic coastal culture and see coastlines as amorphous boundaries that move with time. Steven L. Driever University of MissourieKansas City, USA doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2012.01.009

Roman Adrian Cybriwsky, Roppongi Crossing: The Demise of a Tokyo Nightclub District and the Reshaping of a Global City. Athens, University of Georgia Press, 2011, US$24.95 paper, xx 303 pages. In this book Roman Cybriwsky takes us by the hand thorough Roppongi, a neighbourhood of Tokyo that accommodates a fabulous


Reviews / Journal of Historical Geography 38 (2012) 196e208

amusement district. The author is with us on every page, inviting us to a walk and talk in a ne explorative study. Cybriwsky has been acquainted with Roppongi since 1984, rst as a visitor-tourist, then as a Tokyo resident and father who commuted a long way from the suburbs to pray and eat in Roppongi, third as uprooted and a single man looking for relaxation after a days work, and nally as an expatriate employee travelling back and forth with increased Roppongi frustrations because the district changes faster than anyone can write about it. It is from the stance of a single man and a foreigner that we are led into the nightclub district of Roppongi. And his conclusion is decidedly negative (p. 259). Roppongi Crossing is one of the main gathering places in Tokyo. It is where one nds the quintessence of the popular nightclub district that offers the opportunity to connect foreigners in the city with the wider world and open up new networks of friends and acquaintances. Roppongi developed in the American decades after the Second World War as a party place and site for a shady drug scene, excessive drunkenness, sex shows, and prostitution. There is a second story about Roppongi in which the construction state is at work, placing much more public investment into the construction of public works than can realistically be justied by public need (p. 9). For the moment the night scene gives way to a cleaned up New Roppongi, an upmarket international lifestyle of corporative gentrication that has been imposed on us all in New York and Moscow and London, taking away the uniqueness and authenticity of the place where we had met (p. 260). As a participant observer of rhythms and activities, Cybriwsky stresses his position as a friendly observer who does not cross boundaries, so that his access to the forbidden city through a long chain of rewarding personal introductions of friends did not imply that he himself turned into a client of these friends (p. 18 and 19). Chapter two situates Roppongi within a geographical, socio-spatial, and historical context: geographically as a neighbourhood located within the afuent high city of Tokyo; socioespatially as a nighttime pleasure zone in its relationship to other sites in the city with similar qualities; and historically as a late expression of Japans uneasiness with foreigners. I found this last section the most innovative. Chapter three reveals the twin genealogy of Roppongi as an entertainment district and as an area reserved for foreigners. We read about its transition during the Meiji era (1868e1912) into a military territory. Until the defeat of Japan in 1945 Roppongi was essentially a soldiers town, with places where a soldier could go from time to time to satisfy bodily appetites (p. 83). During the American occupation it turned into a district that housed US soldiers, and only gradually became an international playground for both Japanese and foreigners. Chapter four takes us into the rhythms of the nightclub district, starting with people arriving in Roppongi in the evening. It offers insights into the physiognomies of different crowded areas such as the hundreds of bar buildings where people hang out. With a focus on the immigrant proletariat in Roppongi, the greater part of this chapter deals with womens services for men, in particular the hostess industry. Chapter ve focuses on crime in Roppongi and the stigmatization of foreigners. The sources are many: the monthly newsletter of the US embassy in Tokyo, which warns its citizens about Roppongi as a deceptively dangerous place in otherwise ultra safe Japan (p. 155); personal contacts with victims who have been drugged in bars, ideas picked up on the street, or a crime report on the yakuza, the Japanese maa. Chapter six centres on the proponents of a much needed facelift (p. 244) for Roppongi, in which the Mori Building Company has taken the lead. The chapter gives insight into an extremely lucrative business from its birth in the 1950s and points to certain negative effects, some more persuasive than others. For example, Tokyos huge and extremely important hostess industry is in decline (p. 202). Is this

a problem? For the moment single homes and modest apartments are replaced by empty ghost buildings (p. 200). This is a problem, as is the goodbye to a lively sakariba: a dense and crowded zone of amusement. Roppongi Crossing concludes with a somewhat vague discussion of its main themes. What characterises the New Roppongi? It is ironic that the New Roppongi has so little that is Japanese (p. 257). Cybriwsky sees it is an Orwellian world of surveillance with rule after rule after rule, even with eight posted commandments for escalator use (p. 248). But we also learn that the surveillance of citizens is not foreign to Japan. Going back to the early modern era, surveillance was a long established practice in the country (p. 249). In other words, there is continuity with the past in the New Roppongi e the element of surveillance also belongs to Japanese tradition. What are the differences between the new and old nighttime Roppongi? Cybriwsky offers important insights into the transition of a zone of liminality in the midst of a mega urban society. Is this un-Japanese, or the outcome of the Japanese construction state, which means that the sakariba is moving elsewhere? How about the new vs. old daytime Roppongi? The conclusion describes the fate of Azabu juban sento, a recently demolished public bath in Roppongi. We learn that Japanese used to bath communally in such structures (p. 255). In fact this is not unique to Tokyo. We could also have learned about its quality as a site where many different citizens from around Tokyo would come. Not unlike the ancient Roman public baths, Azabu juban sento was also for social gathering. In addition to the bathing areas was a hall with a theatre scene, which offered a perfect gathering place for one of the innumerable hobby circles that characterizes Tokyo. It was a practice room for codes of civility among strangers that contrasted sharply with the New Roppongis notions about upmarket gentried international lifestyles. Anni Greve Roskilde University, Denmark doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2012.01.010

Eric T. Jennings, Imperial Heights: Dalat and the Making and Undoing of French Indochina. Berkeley, University of California Press, 2011, xvi 352 pages, US$49.95 hardcover. This is a remarkable monograph, meticulously researched and impeccably written. Imperial Heights displays, on just about every page, the proof of exceptional intellectual rigour by a gifted scholar exposing a captivating, yet little-known story in an engaging way. Throughout, the book provides rich and detailed thick descriptions of the smaller and grander schemes at play in the creation of the ultimate Indochinese health and recreation station that was, and by some measures still is Dalat (a Lt). For French colonial rulers, as for the British or Dutch elsewhere in Asia, it was deemed urgent to nd cooler highlands where weary ofcials could rest, away from the sizzling tropical lowlands and coastal areas that, in the age of Louis Pasteur and Alexandre Yersin, were perceived as a health hazard for settlers used to Europes temperate climate. By the end of the 1890s successive governors general of Indochina had dithered between a few possible locations before nally opting, in the north (Tonkin), for Tam Dao, Mount Bavi, and Chapa (Sa Pa) and, in the south (Annam and Cochinchina), the Langbiang plateau, where Dalat stood at 1,500 m, was found to be convenient. From the turn of the twentieth century to the French demise in 1954 and then to the fall of the Republic of Vietnam