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A History of the World in 12 Maps

Jerry Brotton

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Description

“[A] mesmerizing and beautifully illustrated book.” —The Telegraph (London)

Maps are objects of endless fascination, and the urge to map is a basic human instinct. In this masterful study, historian and cartography expert Jerry Brotton reveals how maps—far from being objective documents—are intimately tied to the views and agendas of particular times and places. Beginning with Ptolemy’s Geography and ending with the satellite-powered behemoth of Google Earth, Brotton examines a dozen world maps from around the globe and through the centuries to trace the long road to our present geographical reality.

This is the kind of book map lovers and history buffs adore. Beautifully illustrated and brilliantly original, A History of the World in 12 Maps was a hit in the U.K. and certain to work its cartographic magic on American audiences.

Publishers Weekly Review

Sep 02, 2013 – In an era when Google Maps is regarded as a standard convenience, this history of 12 epoch-defining maps—including Google’s—is a revelation. Renaissance scholar Brotton examines a cross-cultural sampling of historic world maps, exploring them as representations of both the Earth, and of the philosophical mores of the cultures that produced them. The maps range in function from the “practical maintenance of empire” to the spiritual concerns of uniting “the earth and the heavens in a harmonious, universal whole.” Each simultaneously represents a geographical survey, an aesthetic achievement, technological progress, theological instruction, and political demarcation. These multiple functions are mirrored in the structure of the book, which reflects political, philosophical, and cultural development. The maps are about humanity’s changing relationship with itself, others, the Earth, and the heavens, and this broad scope makes for rich reading. Ultimately, the unifying function of each map is to “rise above the earth” and see with a “divine perspective,” and Brotton offers an excellent guide to understanding these influential attempts at psychogeographical transcendence. Of course, each historic map, despite the cartographer’s efforts, contained inaccuracies, necessitating revisions—a humbling lesson for our current information-dense age. Maps.
A History of the World in 12 Maps
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: World
  • Published: Nov 14, 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 544 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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