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A History of the World in Twelve Maps

A History of the World in Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton
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Jerry Brotton is the presenter of the acclaimed BBC4 series 'Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession'. Here he tells the story of our world through maps.

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, world maps 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 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 - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to 'the third world'.

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

Penguin Books Ltd; September 2012
544 pages; ISBN 9781846145704
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: A History of the World in Twelve Maps
Author: Jerry Brotton
 
  • News
Meet the Author: Jerry Brotton - BBC News
Sat, 25 Aug 2012 12:43:34 -0700
BBC NewsMeet the Author: Jerry BrottonBBC NewsA new book by Prof Jerry Brotton, A History of the World in Twelve Maps, argues ...
Why every world map you're looking at is WRONG: Africa, China and India are distorted despite access to accurate ... - Daily Mail
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:10:48 -0700
Daily MailWhy every world map you're looking at is WRONG: Africa, China and India are distorted despite access to accurate ...
The Mapmaker's Dilemma - North Coast Journal
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 01:35:55 -0700
North Coast JournalThe Mapmaker's DilemmaNorth Coast JournalStill, his invention of "what may be the most influential ...

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