Introduction to Geography by David Norman

Updated: July 2011
Several people have commented and asked if I am the author of a mysterious geography textbook that has many people upset and insulted in the South American world.  I can assure you that I am not.

A little about myself

I am a pastor and a theology student in Texas. If you spend much time on this site, you’ll see that the vast majority of my interests surround the Bible, Christianity, the Church, and (from time to time) recent technologies. I am not, and have never been, an expert or author on geography (much less South American geography).

A little about the book

But I have wondered about this geography book due to the large portion of traffic this website has garnered from google searches for this mysterious book. It cannot be found on www.amazon.com, or any other bookseller, so I spent a little more time looking for it.

The forged page

From what I can find, it seems that:

Since 2000, a forgery has circulated falsely claiming that the United States and the United Nations have assumed control of the Amazon rainforest in order to safeguard its treasures for all mankind.

The forgery purports to be page 76 of a U.S. sixth grade textbook titled An Introduction to Geography by David Norman. There is no indication that such a book exists. The U.S. Library of Congress, with more than 29 million books and other printed materials, has no record of it. The Online Computer Learning Center’s WorldCat database, the world’s largest database of bibliographic information with more than 47 million books, has no record of the book. Nor can such a book be found in Internet searches on amazon.com or Google.

So to all those who have reached this site due to a search on google for this book and you landed here, please accept my apologies that I am not the author. You can choose to continue your search, or you can accept that this is a forgery and hoax and that the book never existed at all.

Further information on this hoax can be found here, or in the comments section below.

  14 comments for “Introduction to Geography by David Norman

  1. Richard Young
    7 June 2010 at 5:10 pm

    David

    This falsification of a page from a supposed textbook has been running around South America for at least 10 years. It’s source was evidently a right-wing group in Brazil that was warning that the USA was going to take over 3,000 square miles of the Amazon. The amount of territory to be taken over is ridiculous and has nothing to do with the map or the huge area shown (just the Brazilian State of Amazonas has over 600,000 square miles). Several sites in both English and Portuguese have good analyses of this ridiculous lie, e.g. http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/, http://www.quatrocantos.com/LENDAS/54_amazonia_finraf.htm

    What is more interesting to me is not the outright falsification nor the multiple lies included in this false page from a phantom textbook, rather it is the readiness of many in South America to believe such lies (otherwise this would not be circulating after 10 years and some very good de-bunking).

    We live in Uruguay now, but I remember in Tucuman (North Argentina) in the 80s when front-page articles appeared in almost all Argentine and Brazilian newspapers saying that there was a smuggling ring of North Americans who were killing children in South America to take their organs to the the USA. I remember telling people that if this were true it would be the most important scandal since Hitler tried to wipe out the Jews. But people (and even ‘respectable’ newspapers) were more than willing to believe and repeat the lie.

    It was only after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the KGB archives in Moscow that it came out that this ‘news’ about killing children for their organs was an actual disinformation story that came out of the KGB office in Brazil. It was a master stroke of creative thinking by the KGB guys (and the CIA has done its share of such stuff). There was (and still exists) a real ring of illegal child smugglers out of many South American countries, there has also existed (same, still happens) the illegal exportation of organs (usually from hospitals after the death of a patient), so the next step to join the two into an evil smuggling operation that kills children to harvest their organs didn’t sound that odd to South Americans who have been fed a steady diet of anti-American propaganda for decades.

    Sorry about your name getting tied up with this particular scam. Evidently there is a David Norman who has written books about dinosaurs. They probably looked up name of a known author just to give the sense that this was a real textbook. What is interesting is the analysis on more than one web site of the English used in the supposed textbook – they come to the conclusion that the writer is a native Portuguese speaker who doesn’t know English that well.

    What is also cruel is the depiction that people from the USA consider the South American countries to be ignorant, backwards, “miserable” and unable to control their own territories or destinies. There may be some ignorant North Americans (as there are ignorant and prejudiced folk in any country), but to put this kind of garbage into a textbook is unthinkable in any civilized country.

    This textbook and map lie has been a very interesting phenomenon, parallel to the urban legends from up north, but these scams from down south tend to have a quite cruel twist to them.

    Richard Young

  2. vonpato
    5 August 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hey:

    I just got the email, you refer here, but I check this link http://www.usinfo.state.gov and is down.

    Do you have more information, about it?

    Thanks

    • 9 August 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Sorry bro. I haven’t looked into it in a long time. It’s a hoax and completely fraudulent. The page does not really exist, nor does the book that is is allegedly from. And above all of those things, I am not a geographer or historian. I would never write on that subject, because frankly, I have no knowledge of it.

  3. eder
    17 October 2011 at 5:43 am

    Hello, I received this email also, out of curiosity I came to this page, but I see that there is nothing that is written in the email. God bless your life pastor.

  4. Erica
    16 December 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Sou brasileira, que bom que o email é falso!!
    Pois a Amazônia é nossa sim, com tanta devastação pelo mundo e calaro aqui no Brasil não é diferente… Mas ainda assim temos muitas florestas e estamos preparando nossas crianças para cuidar cada vez melhor de todo nosso território que é muito rico em biodiversidade!

    Esse tipo de falsificação provoca muita indignação, já temos um política extremamente corrupta em nosso país, governantes que só pensam em si mesmos, fazem tudo para cada vez mais obterem benefícios próprios enquanto o povo, os “eleitores” tem acesso restrito a educação(aliás que é de péssima qualidade), a saúde é tratada com descaso, pessoa morrem em filas de espera e emergências. sendo negado atendimento em prontos socorros pelo país.

    Somos um país jovems ainda, com pouco mais de 500 anos, e muita coisa ainda a aprender. Espero que um dia um descendente meu possa ver nosso Brasil chegando a um nível bom intelectualmente e com menos disperdício, menos corrupção e mais respeitos aos cidadãos!

    • 18 December 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Translated through Google Translate

      I am Brazilian, I’m glad that the email is fake!
      For the Amazon is ours but with so much devastation around the world and shut up here in Brazil is no different … But we still have many forests and we are preparing our children to look better and better with all our territory is very rich in biodiversity!

      This type of counterfeiting causes a lot of outrage, we have an extremely corrupt politics in our country, leaders who think only of themselves, do everything to get more benefits as the people themselves, the “voters” have restricted access to education (in fact which is of poor quality), health is treated with contempt, people die in queues and emergencies. being denied care in emergency rooms across the country.

      We are a young country yet, with just over 500 years, and so much more to learn. I hope one day I can see a downward our Brazil reaching a good level intellectually and less a waste, less corruption and greater respect for citizens!

  5. Maria Ely Franco
    30 December 2011 at 10:02 am

    Really it is impossible to believe in lies
    Is is obvious it is a lie

  6. Victor
    24 January 2012 at 7:58 am

    Olá, sou brasileiro também e recebi este e-mail.

    Não é dificil acreditar no conteúdo deste e-mail pois o Brasil, assim como os demais países da américa latina, já sofreram bastante com governos ditatoriais que assumiram o poder com apoio da CIA (Estados Unidos da America) durante a guerra fria. Neste momento, os Estados Unidos da América definiram todo o continente americano como sua “região de influência”, tornando os países latino americanos totalmente submissos ao imperialismo do capitalismo estadunidense. Isso ocorre até os dias de hoje.

    De qualquer forma, ficamos felizes que o imperialismo ainda não tenha chegado até nosso teritório, como aconteceu em países como o Iraque.

    • 24 January 2012 at 8:19 am

      Translated through Google Translate:

      Hello, I’m Brazilian too and I received this e-mail.

      It is not hard to believe the content of this e-mail because Brazil, like other countries in Latin America, have had enough with dictatorial governments that took power with support from the CIA (United States of America) during the Cold War. At this time, the United States of America defined throughout the Americas as its “region of influence”, Latin American countries becoming totally subservient to imperialism of American capitalism. This occurs until the present day.

      Anyway, we are happy that imperialism has not yet come to our territories, as happened in countries like Iraq.

  7. Juan
    29 January 2012 at 10:02 am

    Hola, soy Peruano. Entiendo que lo que circula es falso y que Ud. no lo redactó. Lo que me gustaría saber entonces es su posición real con respecto a este tema, es decir, su opinión.

    • 29 January 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Translated through Google Translate

      Hi, I’m Peruvian. I understand that what circulates is false and that you do not have written it. What I would like to know then is your real position on this issue, that is, their opinion.

  8. Lester Kraszny
    24 July 2013 at 10:38 am

    Ainda bem que a Amazônia é nossa! E de mais ninguém! É um sonho de todas as potências que seus territórios fossem aqui pois temos o maior poder de biomassa do planeta, o único produtor de nióbio do mundo, 22 % de água doce do planeta e o maior aquífero do mundo. Os estados unidos não deixam dúvidas sobre sua falsa democracia ao invadir o iraque, líbia e outros países para abocanhar reservas de petróleo. E faria o mesmo com o brasil caso não tivéssemos bancos Rothschild, caso não tivéssemos dívidas com o IMF, caso não tivéssemos sementes da Monsanto. Vejam o que o o governo americano está fazendo com a síria (proxy war). Como disse Henry Kissinger em 1979: “Não admitiremos outro japão ao sul do equador.” Se nos opuséssemos ao imperialismo selvagem dos americanos, eles diriam que nosso líder é um ditador, como falaram de Saddan Hussein, Kadhaffi e Assad. Pelo menos seria uma ditadura assumida e não essa mentira que é o mais hipócrita e assassino país do planeta. No meu país não há FEMA camps, não matamos a vida marinha e destruímos o planeta com HAARP, não espionamos nossos cidadãos, não inventamos terrorismo para invadir outros países, não temos um serviço de inteligência que financia e treina terroristas e não matamos nossos Phillip Marshals. Enquanto estiver vivo, lutarei para que a amazônia, com todas as suas riquezas, seja nossa. Somente nossa e de mais ninguém. Poderemos até dividir esta riqueza. Mas nunca com americanos.

    • 25 July 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Translated from Google Translate:

      Thankfully, the Amazon is ours! And no one else! It is a dream of every power that their territories were here because we have the greater power of biomass on the planet, the only niobium producer in the world, 22% of fresh water on the planet and the largest aquifer in the world. The united states leave no doubt about their fake democracy by invading Iraq, Libya and other countries to grab oil reserves. And do the same with Brazil if we had not Rothschild banks, if we did not have debts to the IMF, if we had not Monsanto seeds. See what the the U.S. government is doing with the Syrian (proxy war). As Henry Kissinger said in 1979: “We will not accept another japan south of the equator.” Opuséssemos If the savage imperialism of Americans, they would say that our leader is a dictator like Saddam Hussein spoke of, and Kadhaffi Assad. At least it would be a dictatorship and not assumed that this lie is the most hypocritical and murderous country on the planet. In my country there is no FEMA camps, do not kill marine life and destroy the planet with HAARP, not spy on our citizens, not invent terrorism to invade other countries, we do not have an intelligence service that funds and trains terrorists and not kill our Phillip Marshals . While alive, will fight for the Amazon, with all its wealth, be ours. Only ours and nobody else. We may even share this wealth. But ever with Americans.

  9. Mario Rubio-Ospina
    22 January 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I am Mario born in Colombia and reside in the United States.
    Off course I was disturb by this news that was send to me from Bogota, and I did not pay much attention, and in my computer it stay for several years. I came across the Email and desired to investigate the context of the Email.
    I used Google “Introduction to Geography” by David Norman and to my surprise the book has never existed. I tried other avenues, and came with the same result.
    Please check your informations before sending it.
    Emails are full of Ridiculous and damaging information.

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