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A History of the Twentieth Century in 100 Mapsby Tom Harper
Synopses & Reviews
The twentieth century was a golden age of mapmaking, an era of cartographic boom. Maps proliferated and permeated almost every aspect of daily life, not only chronicling geography and history but also charting and conveying myriad political and social agendas. Here Tim Bryars and Tom Harper select one hundred maps from the millions printed, drawn, or otherwise constructed during the twentieth century and recount through them a narrative of the centuryand#8217;s key events and developments.
As Bryars and Harper reveal, maps make ideal narrators, and the maps in this book tell the story of the 1900sand#151;which saw two world wars, the Great Depression, the Swinging Sixties, the Cold War, feminism, leisure, and the Internet. Several of the maps have already gained recognition for their historical significanceand#151;for example, Harry Beckand#8217;s iconic London Underground mapand#151;but the majority of maps on these pages have rarely, if ever, been seen in print since they first appeared. There are maps that were printed on handkerchiefs and on the endpapers of books; maps that were used in advertising or propaganda; maps that were strictly official and those that were entirely commercial; maps that were printed by the thousand, and highly specialist maps issued in editions of just a few dozen; maps that were envisaged as permanent keepsakes of major events, and maps that were relevant for a matter of hours or days.
As much a pleasure to view as it is to read, A History of the Twentieth Century in 100 Maps celebrates the visual variety of twentieth century maps and the hilarious, shocking, or poignant narratives of the individuals and institutions caught up in their production and use.
Russia first encountered Alaska in 1741 as part of the most ambitious and expensive expedition of the entire 18th century. During the next 126 years the struggle to develop and refine geographic knowledge of the vast region comprising northeastern Asia, the North Pacific, and Alaska met with many obstacles, including inclement weather, the chain of supply over great distances, the need to train expert navigators and cartographers, and false leads due to spurious voyage accounts. For much of this era, critical geographic knowledge was kept as a state secret in Russia and not shared, even with the very navigators and cartographers who were developing much needed maps and navigational aids. Despite this, a rich cartographic heritage developed to be carried forward into the American era.
The traditional Russian cartographic methods were appliedand#160; to new discoveries in Siberia and beyond. Early fur traders and explorers utilized this system which for a time co-existed with the new cartographic methodology utilized in Europe and adopted for use by the Russia of Peter the Great. It became an age of scientific exploration. Great Britain, France, Spain, but especially Russia, sent expeditions. An increasingly complete knowledge of the coasts of North America, with forays into the interior, emerged. Postnikov describes the explorations and richly illustrates how the resulting maps evolved and contributed to the worldand#8217;s knowledge of one of the last great regions of the world to be explored.
About the Author
Tom Harper is curator of antiquarian mapping at the British Library.
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Engineering » Civil Engineering » Cartography