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The Image of the World: 20 Centuries of World Maps Hardcover – 29 Oct 2008

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Hardcover, 29 Oct 2008
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About the Author

Peter Whitfield is a historian, critic and poet. He was formerly the director of Stanfords International Map Centre in London and now runs the publishing company Wychwood Editions --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
modern maps aren't always better 10 Nov. 2001
By simpcity - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a fetish we have made of accuracy and precision in maps! These maps--even the mediaevil ones showing the location of the Garden of Eden--are coherent world views. Many of the maps have been restored to their original look.
Hard to know where to draw the line between art, science, religion and history. Excellent text.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book has a very insightful text 15 May 2012
By Jackal - Published on
Format: Paperback
The focus is exclusively of world maps. The book has (surprisingly) a very interesting text to accompany the pictures. Unfortunately, the picture resolution is not great, but all the pictures are in colour. You can actually find better resolution pictures on wikipedia, but buy the book for the insightful text.

An alternative is The Map Book. It has the same theme and more than double the number of maps than the current book. Also better resolution images, but much less insightful text. So this book as the feel of a coffee table book for the intellectual man.

If you love maps, buy both. It is interesting to note the differences: This alternative book shows a Medieval huge map that was bombed by the Brits during the war. The book under review does not even mention this masterpiece but instead notes that continental Europe was not so interested in world maps at the time. Okay, I'll stop making esoteric comments.

I can really recommend the book. Four stars.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Lovely to Look At, Delightful to Read 19 Nov. 2007
By Theseus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I keep coming back to this book. Intelligent. Graced with beautiful design. Now if I only had unlimited income to spend on old maps.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The book is a good survey of the history of cartography, but is of little use for in-depth scholarship 8 Jan. 2014
By Gene Rhea Tucker - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a slightly updated edition of Peter Whitfield’s 1994 work. Whitfield, who has published similar, image-laden overviews of cartographic and scientific history, offers a learned and accessible introduction to the story of (primarily Western) cartography from classical times to the present. Laudably, this production is an eye-catching book that also serves to acquaint the lay reader with the notion that maps are not just quaint illustrations, but windows into the world of their creation.

The book is a good survey of the history of cartography, but is of little use for in-depth scholarship. Each map is described in detail, but there are no footnotes or reference material for each map; there is a general bibliography for further reading, a list of image credits, and a serviceable index. The illustrations are eye-pleasing, though some are too small to offer any detail, and much information is lost in the crease between pages. Still, Whitfield’s it is a great introductory to the sweep of cartographic history and admirably does the job of presenting maps as more than geographical tools but cultural productions.
Limited maps 29 Dec. 2013
By Smart1 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The map is very Euro-centic. I was hoping it included more Atlas from other countries. Maybe it will appear on the second print.
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