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Cities of the World: A History in Maps [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Peter Whitfield
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2005
Peter Whitfield's latest work, 'Cities of the World' is a fascinating and original look at the world's greatest cities, as he traces their historic form and special character through the city maps and panoramic views produced over the centuries. Illustrating the classical city-state, the medieval fortress, the baroque capital and the industrial metropolis, the images show how the architectural form and the social life of our cities have been shaped - not only by their geographical setting, but also by religion, royal power, commerce, social ideals, and occasionally artistic vision. Condensing centuries of history in one volume, 'Cities of the World' is a thought-provoking and unique book for the armchair traveller, or indeed for anyone passionate about the history of human civilisation. From Athens to Brasilia, Washington to Moscow, San Francisco to Saigon or Venice to Lhasa, 'Cities of the World' is a journey via maps, exploring man's perennial love-hate relationship with his finest, most complex and troubling creation, the city.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: British Library Publishing Division (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712348689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712348683
  • Product Dimensions: 31.4 x 23.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,167,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Peter WHitfield's Cities of the World is as intriguing as it is attractive. --The Scotsman

About the Author

Peter Whitfield is an independent scholar and a leading expert in map history and exploration. He is a former director of Stanford's International Map Centre in London and now runs his own company publishing facsimiles of historic maps. He is the author of a number of bestselling books including British Library Historic Lives: Sir Francis Drake, Astrology: A History, New Found Lands, Charting of the Oceans, Mapping of the Heavens and The Image of the World (all British Library Publishing).

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure to Own 26 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I chose this book as a Christmas present and couldn't put it down on Christmas Day. It is a beautiful book, full of the most fascinating information. A real pleasure to own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Way to Show History 10 Mar 2006
By John Matlock - Published on
The author has collected some 150 maps from the history of about sixty cities from around the world. I expected these maps to be beautiful works of art, but I didn't expect that the differences in the maps would show much more than that. The nature of the maps seem to show a lot about how the map maker viewed the city. The maps date from several hundred years ago when map makers were not all using Mercator projection in a more or less standard fashion.

Here are maps of many styles. Some show the roads of a city, some show the fortifications, some are more concerned with making a pictorial representation of the city. ==As the subtitle of the book says, here in only a few pages the history of the city can be seen. The cities grow, and the view of the city changes with the will and skill of the map maker.

This book gives me a completely different view of maps and what they can show. Highly recommended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Substantial 28 Jun 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This book is suitable for a coffee table, but also could be considered a college planning course text book. As a geographer, I found this book intriging and filled with information about the development of cities, as well as many maps, both modern and historic.
5 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A thin, lazy, uninteresting book 22 Jun 2006
By Joel Katz - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The worst anthology of maps I have ever encountered, lacking depth or a point of view, and with no historical or cartographic intelligence. How can you reveal anything about a place ot a culture with two maps? How can you pretend to say anything about Rome or its cartographic history without Nolli's 1748 masterpiece? A ridiculous effort.
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