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Putting "America" on the Map: The Story of the Most Important Graphic Document in the History of the United Statesby Seymour Schwartz
Synopses & Reviews
In 1507, a German cartographer created a world map that, for the first time, included the continental landmasses in the Western Hemisphere, discovered within the 15 previous years. He inserted the name "America" on the southern continent, honoring Amerigo Vespucci, who had erroneously been credited with setting foot on South American soil before Christopher Columbus. With the aid of the newly invented printing press, the name "America" became the accepted designation of land in the New World.
In a colorful narrative that reads like a good mystery, Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz brings to life the amazing history of Americas "baptismal certificate." Since its creation the Waldseemüller World Map of 1507 has been surrounded by intrigues and controversies.
Schwartzs compelling story, which includes many amazing twists and turns, also features cameo appearances by Alexander von Humboldt, Washington Irving, Frédéric Chopin, George Sand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ogden Nash, J. Pierpont Morgan, Paul Mellon, and German Chancellors Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder.
Book News Annotation:
Mysteries and controversies swirl, but the official story is that the wall map was created in 1507 by Martin Waldseemüller, known about from references in other works, then discovered by accident in 1901. It is said to be the first map showing the new world, which Waldseemüller chose to call America rather than Columbia. American cartographic historian Schwartz discusses its origins, physical properties, provenance, loss and discovery, publication, and recent acquisition by the Library of Congress. Annotation Â©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In 1507 the Waldseem]ller World Map was created. It was the first time a map included the continental landmasses in the Western Hemisphere. The name "America" was inserted on the southern continent. Since then it has been surrounded by many intrigues.
About the Author
Seymour I Schwartz, MD (Pittsford, NY), a world-renowned surgeon, is the author of Gifted Hands: Americas Most Significant Contributions to Surgery. He is equally renowned as a cartographic historian. He served on the board of directors of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, and on the board of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, and is the author of The Mismapping of America, The Mapping of America (with Ralph E. Ehrenberg), and This Land Is Your Land, among other books.
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