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Cartographic Encounters: Indigenous Peoples and the Exploration of the New Worldby John Rennie, Professor Short
Synopses & Reviews
Theres no excuse for getting lost these days—satellite maps on our computers can chart our journey in detail and electronics on our car dashboards instruct us which way to turn. But there was a time when the varied landscape of North America was largely undocumented, and expeditions like that of Lewis and Clark set out to map its expanse. As John Rennie Short argues in Cartographic Encounters, that mapping of the New World was only possible due to a unique relationship between the indigenous inhabitants and the explorers.
In this vital reinterpretation of American history, Short describes how previous accounts of the mapping of the new world have largely ignored the fundamental role played by local, indigenous guides. The exchange of information that resulted from this “cartographic encounter” allowed the native Americans to draw upon their wide knowledge of the land in the hope of gaining a better position among the settlers.
This account offers a radical new understanding of Western expansion and the mapping of the land and will be essential to scholars in cartography and American history.
About the Author
John Rennie Short is a professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is the author of more than thirty books, including Representing the Republic, Global Dimensions, Making Space, and The World through Maps, which was named by Discover as one of the best science books of 2003.
Table of Contents
Part One: Introduction
1 Creation Myths and Cartographic Encounters
2 Amerindian Mappings
Part Two: Colonial Cartographies
3 Encounters in a Settled Land
4 Landing in a Strange Land
Part Three: Imperial Cartographies
5 Surveying the West: Lewis and Clark...and Others
6 Expedition into the 'Desert'
7 Fremont and Tah-Kai-Buhl
8 'Warren's Map'
9 Closing the Frontier in the West
Part Four: Conclusions
10 Cartographic Encounters in Australia
11 Journey's End
Appendix: Composite Journeys
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