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A New York Times Bestseller “Maps allow the armchair traveler to roam the world, the diplomat to argue his points, the ruler to administer his country, the warrior to plan his campaigns and the propagandist to boost his cause… rich and beautiful.” – Wall Street Journal 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, maps of the world 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 almost 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. Brotton shows how each of his maps both influenced and reflected contemporary events and how, by considering it in all its nuances and omissions, we can better understand the world that produced it. Although the way we map our surroundings is more precise than ever before, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been. Readers of this beautifully illustrated and masterfully argued book will never look at a map in quite the same way again. “A fascinating and panoramic new history of the cartographer’s art.” – The Guardian “The intellectual background to these images is conveyed with beguiling erudition…. There is nothing more subversive than a map.” – The Spectator “A mesmerizing and beautifully illustrated book.” —The Telegraph From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
'Fascinating...sumptuously produced with lots of full-colour images, is a kind of potted treasury of cartographical history that gleams with pieces-of-eight-like snippets of information...this is an enthralling book, and joins the likes of Simon Garfield's On the Map and Jerry Brotton's A History of the World in Twelve Maps in the field of popular reaffirmations of the ingenuity of geography.' Travis Elborough, Spectator 'A fascinating book that I will always treasure.' Sir Ranulph Fiennes 'This wonderful book is a reminder of how much careful thought was given to the shape of the world even in ancient times - the landscape, how places are related to one another. I pored over these maps for hours, imagining those minds hard at work, visualising how it all connected as a whole. Just brilliant.' Neil Oliver 'Visually stunning...it's gone straight to the top of my Christmas present list.' The Bookseller 'I remember how well I liked to turn the pages of my childhood atlas and travel the world to find out where countries and cities were. But there was never anything about why the maps were created - or who drew them. Theatre of the World was my big chance to tell the stories of all those men and women map makers whose amazing work deserves to be celebrated.' Thomas Reinertsen Berg Beautifully illustrated and rich in detail, Theatre of the World reignites our curiosity with the world both ancient and modern. Before you could just put finger to phone to scroll Google Maps, in advance of the era of digital mapping and globes, maps were being constructed from the ideas and questions of pioneering individuals. From visionary geographers to heroic explorers, from the mysterious symbols of the Stone Age to the familiar navigation of Google Earth, Thomas Reinertsen Berg examines the fascinating concepts of science and worldview, of art and technology, power and ambitions, practical needs and distant dreams of the unknown.
Great Maps takes a close look at the history of maps, from ancient maps such as medieval mappa mundi to Google Earth. The latest in a lavishly illustrated DK series about masterpieces, this fascinating book tells the stories behind great maps and reveals how they have helped people to make sense of their world.
Mapping the World is a one-of-a-kind collection of cartographic treasures spanning thousands of years and many cultures, from an ancient Babylonian map of the world etched on clay to the latest high-tech maps of the earth, the seas, and the skies above. With more than one hundred maps and other illustrations and an introduction and commentary by Ralph E. Ehrenberg, former Chief of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, this book tells a fascinating story of geographic discovery, scientific invention, the art of mapmaking, and the efforts of mapmakers everywhere to render our shape-shifting world in ever more innovative and meaningful ways. The book draws from the finest map collections in the world, including the libraries of the National Geographic Society, the Library of Congress, and the British Library, and is organized into several chronological sections. Each section includes a brief introduction that places the maps in their historical context, followed by a gallery of cartographic masterpieces from different parts of the world, giving readers a unique comparative perspective on the state of geographic knowledge and mapmaking during different historical periods. Special "portfolios" within each section feature key cartographic innovators and maps of exceptional artistic quality or significance, such as the Waldseemuller Map, the first to use the name America; or the life and work of a groundbreaking cartographer, such as Gerardus Mercator, who gave us the Mercator projection; or the latest computer-generated maps that open new windows on the cosmos. In addition to including examples of all the world's most prized and famous maps of exploration and discovery, the book features many other examples of maps that rarely get the attention they deserve---geological maps, road maps, prisoner escape maps, tourist maps, city maps, military situation maps, mental maps, and much more. With its broad historical and cultural range, unmatched variety of maps from many of the finest map collections in the world, more than one hundred illustrations, and a fresh and authoritative perspective on the history of cartography, Mapping the World will delight everyone with an interest in maps and mapmaking like no other book on the subject.
In 1570, when it became clear she would never be gathered into the Catholic fold, Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope. On the principle that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend', this marked the beginning of an extraordinary English alignment with the Muslim powers who were fighting Catholic Spain in the Mediterranean, and of cultural, economic and political exchanges with the Islamic world of a depth not experienced again until the modern age. England signed treaties with the Ottoman Porte, received ambassadors from the kings of Morocco and shipped munitions to Marrakesh. By the late 1580s hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Elizabethan merchants, diplomats, sailors, artisans and privateers were plying their trade from Morocco to Persia. They included the resourceful mercer Anthony Jenkinson who met both Süleyman the Magnificent and the Persian Shah Tahmasp in the 1560s, William Harborne, the Norfolk merchant who became the first English ambassador to the Ottoman court in 1582 and the adventurer Sir Anthony Sherley, who spent much of 1600 at the court of Shah Abbas the Great. The previous year, remarkably, Elizabeth sent the Lancastrian blacksmith Thomas Dallam to the Ottoman capital to play his clockwork organ in front of Sultan Mehmed. The awareness of Islam which these Englishmen brought home found its way into many of the great cultural productions of the day, including most famously Marlowe's Tamburlaine, and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice. The year after Dallam's expedition the Moroccan ambassador, Abd al-Wahid bin Mohammed al-Annuri, spent six months in London with his entourage. Shakespeare probably began to write Othello six months later. This Orient Isle shows that England's relations with the Muslim world were far more extensive, and often more amicable, than we have appreciated, and that their influence was felt across the political, commercial and domestic landscape of Elizabethan England. It is a startlingly unfamiliar picture of part of our national and international history.
This book provides an essential insight into the practices and ideas of maps and map-making. It draws on a wide range of social theorists, and theorists of maps and cartography, to show how maps and map-making have shaped the spaces in which we live. Going beyond the focus of traditional cartography, the book draws on examples of the use of maps from the sixteenth century to the present, including their role in projects of the national and colonial state, emergent capitalism and the planetary consciousness of the natural sciences. It also considers the use of maps for military purposes, maps that have coded modern conceptions of health, disease and social character, and maps of the transparent human body and the transparent earth.

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