HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry…
Loading...

A History of the World in 12 Maps (2012)

by Jerry Brotton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4391723,910 (3.68)22

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 22 mentions

English (14)  Dutch (3)  All (17)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2731983.html

This is the sort of history of science that I very much approve of, taking twelve well-known historical maps and weaving around them the story of how cartography has changed in line with political needs and technological developments.

There are actually thirteen maps discussed in detail rather than twelve (though The Atlantic's review has a good overview of the twelve):
The oldest known map, a cuneiform tablet from Babylon
Ptolemy's Geography
Al-Idrīsī's Tabula Rogeriana
the Hereford Mappamundi
the Korean Kangnido
Martin Waldseemüller's map, the first to use the word "America"
Diogo Ribeiro's world map, which helped Spain to claim the moluccas
Mercator's world map
Blaeu's Atlas
the Cassini dynasty's mapping of France
Halford Mackinder's geopolitical thesis
the Peters Projection
and Google Earth.
It's arguable that this represents only a partial snapshot of the history of the world - geographically, most of these are from within the European/Middle Eastern space, and chronologically three are from the sixteenth century and another two from the centuries immediately before and after. But I think it's legitimate for a London-based Professor of Renaissance Studies to write about what he knows, while pointing out that there are also other times and places which the interested reader can go and find out more about.

Brotton is particularly good at unpicking the ideological choices made by mapmakers at all periods, explaining how the demands of the reader / viewer / customer / patron impact on what is actually shown, and chiseling away at any concept of a perfectly representative map. For those of us who were exposed to the sociology of knowledge at an impressionable age, it's a good bit of re-education. His deconstruction of the more distant cultures in time and space sets him up nicely for brutal dissections of Halford Mackinder and the Peters Projection, and also sets the scene for the last chapter's interrogation of Google Earth. What we see on the map is what the map-maker has chosen to show us - not what is actually there. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 11, 2016 |
I feel like this book is too dense for me in this point in my life.
  emilyesears | Aug 29, 2016 |
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 atlases from Ptolemy to Google Earth, using each as a jumping-off point to explore an aspect of mapmaking as a social, political, religious, or technological exercise. it can be a bit dense, and better integration of the illustrations would have been helpful, but the text held my attention throughout and the book would likely be of interest to readers with a general interest in cartographic history. ( )
  JBD1 | Jul 25, 2015 |
This is an interesting surmise that follows in the vein of recent books looking at the evolution of a item through time. It's not so much a history of the world, so much as a history of the way we've seen the world and tried to represent it. The maps selected were quite varied, some more famous than others. The chapters are arranged in date order, but each is assigned a thematic title. I'm not sure that necessarily works well, but it does go together with the concept that the maps are all a product of their time and contain more information than just what is where in the world. Each is a product of its time and that viewpoint is reflected in the map that is produced. The chapters contain sufficient detail that the map itself is put into context of its time and the maps that have been previously discussed. There was a summary chapter at the end, and it might have been nice had this explained why the maps selected were chosen, and what other examples might have been used. The paperback had the colour illustrations in 2 lots, and it might have been nice had the text actually referenced the images, but that's a minor quibble. There is a lot of detail in here and it's a very interesting surmise. Worth reading. ( )
  Helenliz | Mar 15, 2015 |
Removed all color inserts for separate copying BEFORE sending to DF
  jrlindh | Feb 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jerry Brottonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Müller, MichaelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
For my wife, Charlotte
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
In 1881 ontdekte de in Irak geboren archeoloog Hormuzd Rassam in de ruïnes van de voormalige Babylonische stad Sippar, vandaag de dag bekend als Tell Abu Habba, ten zuidwesten van het huidige Bagdad, een fragment van een 2500 jaar oud spijkerschriffttablet.
Sippar (Tell Abu Habbah, modern-day Iraq), sixth century BC.

In 1881, the Iraq-born archeologist Hormuzd Rassam discovered a small fragment of a 2,500-year-old cuneiform tablet in the ruins of the ancient Babylonian city of Sippar, today known as Tell Abu Habbah on the south-west outskirts of modern-day Baghdad.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"A fascinating look at twelve maps-from Ancient Greece to Google Earth-and how they changed our world In this masterful study, historian and cartography expert Jerry Brotton explores a dozen of history's most influential maps, from stone tablet to vibrant computer screen. Starting with Ptolemy, "father of modern geography," and ending with satellite cartography, A History of the World in 12 Maps brings maps from classical Greece, Renaissance Europe, and the Islamic and Buddhist worlds to life and reveals their influence on how we-literally-look at our present world. As Brotton shows, the long road to our present geographical reality was rife with controversy, manipulation, and special interests trumping science. Through the centuries maps have been wielded to promote any number of imperial, religious, and economic agendas, and have represented the idiosyncratic and uneasy fusion of science and subjectivity. Brotton also conjures the worlds that produced these notable works of cartography and tells the stories of those who created, used, and misused them for their own ends"--"In this masterful study, historian and cartography expert Jerry Brotton explores a dozen of history's most influential maps, from stone tablet to vibrant computer screen. Starting with Ptolemy, "father of modern geography," and ending with satellite cartography, A History of the World in 12 Maps brings maps from classical Greece, Renaissance Europe, and the Islamic and Buddhist worlds to life and reveals their influence on how we--literally--look at our present world. As Brotton shows, the long road to our present geographical reality was rife with controversy, manipulation, and special interests trumping science. Through the centuries maps have been wielded to promote any number of imperial, religious, and economic agendas, and have represented the idiosyncratic and uneasy fusion of science and subjectivity. Brotton also conjures the worlds that produced these notable works of cartography and tells the stories of those who created, used, and misused them for their own ends"--… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
75 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2
2.5 3
3 8
3.5 4
4 13
4.5 6
5 2

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,197,512 books! | Top bar: Always visible