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.
andquot;Charts the political and social upheavals of the last century by means of maps, digging below the functional surface to reveal how maps of the time reflected popular ideas, prejudices, and waves of progress. . . . The highly eclectic result serves in itself as a reminder of the myriad ways in which we see and interpret the world around us.andquot;
andquot;Chronicles and#39;the first period of near-universal map literacy.and#39; Its beautiful entries are not only traditional maps; the authorsand#39; careful language shows that some of the items that were and#39;printed, drawn, or otherwise constructedand#39; last century were technically diagrams. Others showed imaginary places or were rendered as, for example, postcards. The images are accompanied by lengthy histories of the items and the circumstances under which they were created, making the work ideal for readers of cultural and cartographic history.andquot;
andquot;It has been said that history is nothing more than chronology and geography. Two British specialists in antiquarian maps, Tim Bryars and Tom Harper, aim to prove this point with their book, A History of the Twentieth Century in 100 Maps, setting forth maps that serve as historic markers of the 20th century. . . . A History of the Twentieth Century in 100 Maps succeeds in showing how maps depict the brutalities and wonders of the last century.andquot;
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
Alexey V. Postnikov
is a research fellow in the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Marvin Falk is professor and curator of rare books emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.Lydia T. Black (1925-2007) was
Table of Contents
I. The Russian Advance Toward the Pacific Ocean
II. Are America and Asia Joined?
III. Mapping the Distribution of Water and Land in the North American Pacific (1750-1800)
IV. The Exploration and Cartography of Russian America
V. The Sale of Alaska and the International Expedition to Effect a Telegraph Link between North America and Europe via Siberia
Conclusion: Russian Heritage and the Influence of Geographic Explorations in Alaska