A History of the World in Twelve Maps

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Penguin Books, 2013 - Cartography - 513 pages
What you see depends on where - and when - you are looking from. As this enthralling book shows, maps have shaped our view of the world throughout history, and are themselves shaped by the ideas, prejudices, systems of power and creativity of their age. Jerry Brotton examines twelve world maps from global history - from the mystical representations of ancient civilizations and the medieval mappaemundi to the satellite-derived imagery of today - to show how, by reading them, we can better understand the worlds that produced them. You will never look at a map in quite the same way again. 'Marvellous historical writing that captivates the reader and reveals the aura with which artefacts from the past entrance us.' Robert Mayhew, History Today'A mesmerising and beautifully illustrated book . . . Rich and endlessly absorbing.' Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph'A highly rewarding study . . . you will emerge with a detailed insight into how maps reflect, expose and manipulate the societies in which they are made.' Simon Garfield, Mail on Sunday'Conveyed with beguiling erudition . . . maps prove to be less conveyors of information than theatrical performances.' Andrew Linklater, Spectator'A brilliant exercise in global history.' Stephen Howe, Independent, Books of the Year

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

It took me forever (OK, a couple of weeks) to finish this book because I kept flipping back to previous chapters because I wanted to review something or check something…in short, this is one terrific ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

This book doesn't exactly do what its title suggests it will, but it couldn't possibly do that anyway, so let's just set that aside as hyperbole. Brotton does offer profiles of important maps and ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London, and a leading expert in the history of maps and Renaissance cartography. His most recent book, The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and his Art Collection (2006), was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize as well as the Hessell-Tiltman History Prize. In 2010, he was the presenter of the BBC4 series 'Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession'.

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