A History of the World in Twelve Maps (Paperback)
  • A History of the World in Twelve Maps (Paperback)
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A History of the World in Twelve Maps (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 544 Pages
Published: 02/05/2013
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Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it.

But far from being purely scientific objects, maps of the world are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age.

In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps - from the almost mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world.

Brotton shows how each of his maps both influenced and reflected contemporary events and how, by reading it, we can better understand the worlds that produced it.

Although the way we map our surroundings is changing, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been, but that they continue to define, shape and recreate the world. Readers of this book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141034935
Number of pages: 544
Weight: 443 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

[A] fascinating and panoramic new history of the cartographer's art... Brotton's idea of tracing within maps the patterns of human thought is a wonderful one - Tom Holland, Guardian

As this mesmerising and beautifully illustrated book demonstrates, maps have, since ancient times, carried vast symbolic weight ... rich and endlessly absorbing history - Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph

An elegant, powerfully argued variation on the theme of knowledge as power and ignorance as powerlessness - David Horspool, Guardian

Rich and adventurous - John Carey, Sunday Times

An achievement of evocation....a fascinating and thought-provoking book - Anthony Sattin, Literary Review

Brotton is acutely sensitive to the social, political and religious contexts which unravel why maps were made, for whom and with what axes to grind - Robert Mayhew, History Today

A highly rewarding study - Simon Garfield, Mail on Sunday

Engrossing reading - Carl Wilkinson, Financial Times

The intellectual background to these images is conveyed with beguiling erudition ... There is nothing more subversive than a map - Andrew Linklater, Spectator

It is a wonderful history, which will delight anyone with an interest in history and geography - David Wooton, TLS

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“Fascinating, but dry”

In lots of ways this is a fascinating book, picking up on the trend to look at a historical subject in the context of a single item or area. It was first started by the book A History of the World in 100 Objects.... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 68

“Insightful, stimulating and compelling”

I loved this book.

It uses 12 maps over history to show how maps reflect not just history or place geography, but the themes in map making. These themes are linked to the time and place of the map in question. The... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

“A great opener to looking at maps as historical artefacts”

At times the book can be weighty and challenging to read. However, in the whole, Britton offered a far more insightful exploration into cultural diversity and its expression through the medium of maps than I ever... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 0

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