2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: A History of the World in Twelve Maps (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Jerry Brotton focuses on twelve different maps to show how these have over time shaped our view of the world. He begins with a clay tablet from Babylon and ends with Google Earth. He shows (or reminds us) that maps are not necessarily value-free and can be used to reinforce political ideas. (Many years ago I remember criticism of West Germany for using maps in school text books that showed Germany as encompassing East Germany. This was not accidental. Today if you look online for maps of Israel they may not show the new (illegal) settlements.) Does anyone else remember the classroom world maps with the British influence marked in pink? "That's all ours," we were told.
This is a beautifully produced book. The colour illustrations are lovely - even though I would have liked them to have been a bit larger. It is densely packed with facts and ideas (perhaps a bit too densely packed in places) and gives the reader plenty to digest and mull over.
A History of the World in Twelve Maps is the sort of book that can be read straight through or dipped into at random. Anyone who likes maps cannot fail to be fascinated by this book.