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Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843

Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843 [Kindle Edition]

Matthew H. Edney

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Product Description

Product Description

In this fascinating history of the British surveys of India, Matthew H. Edney relates how imperial Britain used modern survey techniques to not only create and define the spatial image of its Empire, but also to legitimate its colonialist activities.

"There is much to be praised in this book. It is an excellent history of how India came to be painted red in the nineteenth century. But more importantly, Mapping an Empire sets a new standard for books that examine a fundamental problem in the history of European imperialism."—D. Graham Burnett, Times Literary Supplement

"Mapping an Empire is undoubtedly a major contribution to the rapidly growing literature on science and empire, and a work which deserves to stimulate a great deal of fresh thinking and informed research."—David Arnold, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

"This case study offers broadly applicable insights into the relationship between ideology, technology and politics. . . . Carefully read, this is a tale of irony about wishful thinking and the limits of knowledge."—Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher

"The map has become hot scholarly property"--TLS
"The map has become hot scholarly property. Seen as colonial weapons, as surreptitiously furled nets for enmeshing enemy territory, the dusty maps of empire have been subjected of late to a battery of new readings. . . Edney's study is no postmodern trifle, but a meaty historical dish."--Graham Burnett, Times Literary Supplement, 2/20/98

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8814 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (2 Sep 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FN2PSS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #652,922 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Map Controls the Territory 3 July 2007
By C. W. Johnson - Published on
This book is quite tough going for the non-specialist. But it rewards with description of the earlier forms of map-making by plane table, the shift in perception of territory and space from the route map to the triangulated survey map. It gives strong description of history of the British East India Company through its governance and its information system- the flow of descriptive information over the administrative links between India and England. It goes several steps further in conceptual depth than The Great Arc (a more popular and accessible history of the triangulation survey phase of mapping India). The academic theorising detracts from a reading of technology and administration - but the whole book leaves a lasting impression. Place this story of growing systematisation and control through measurement and mapping against the exploits of soldiers and residents, wars and political campaigns, John Masters' great series of novels, and you get a great enlargement of vision of the eighteenth and nineteenth century subcontinent; finish up with Building The Railways of the Raj 1850-1900 [Ian J. Kerr] for another stimulating contrast of the ideologies of economic control and engineering control and development with the imaginary grids and connecting lines made real, and essential to twentieth century India.
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