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On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looksby Simon Garfield
Synopses & Reviews
Cartography enthusiasts rejoice: the bestselling author of the Just My Type reveals the fascinating relationship between man and map.
Simon Garfield's Just My Type illuminated the world of fonts and made everyone take a stand on Comic Sans and care about kerning. Now Garfield takes on a subject even dearer to our fanatical human hearts: maps.
Imagine a world without maps. How would we travel? Could we own land? What would men and women argue about in cars? Scientists have even suggested that mapping — not language — is what elevated our prehistoric ancestors from ape-dom. Follow the history of maps from the early explorers maps and the awe-inspiring medieval Mappa Mundi to Google Maps and the satellite renderings on our smartphones, Garfield explores the unique way that maps relate and realign our history — and reflect the best and worst of what makes us human.
Featuring a foreword by Dava Sobel and packed with fascinating tales of cartographic intrigue, outsize personalities, and amusing pocket maps” on an array of subjects from how to fold a map to the strangest maps on the Internet, On the Map is a rich historical tapestry infused with Garfield's signature narrative flair. Map-obsessives and everyone who loved Just My Type will be lining up to join Garfield on his audacious journey through time and around the globe.
“Simon Garfield is charming company. His passion for the graphic carries the reader along […] On the Map offers a world of revelation.” USA Today
“There is a great deal that is good and charming and fun about this book.” Simon Winchester, The Washington Post
“Garfield has a knack for creating high-spirited, erudite and user-friendly books on subjects that may seem crashingly dull to all but a few fanatics. […] On the Map is a treasure: exhilarating, witty, compulsively readable and just plain fun.” Seattle Times
“Garfield's interest in the human side of mapmaking — the personalities, anecdotes, curiosities — is what makes On the Map such an enjoyable read. […] vastly entertaining.” BookPage
"Garfield is a wonderful writer who deploys suspense to excellent effect, making each chapter read like a delightful short story or mini-mystery; his book speaks of vast, hidden depths." Smithsonian Magazine
“A vivid foray into the romance of maps. [...] A fine, fun presentation of the brand of cartography that continues to whet our imaginations.” Kirkus
“Engaging …full of little conversation pieces” Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Enlightening and impossible to put down [. . .] The length and breadth of his scholarship are staggering, while the witty tone makes for the most convivial of literary guides." Booklist
"Readers will enjoy this romp through 16,000 years of mapmaking." Library Journal, starred review
About the Author
Simon Garfield is the author of twelve acclaimed books of nonfiction. He lives in London and St. Ives, Cornwall, and currently has a soft spot for Requiem Fine Roman and HT Gelateria.
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