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A History of the World in Twelve Maps [Kindle Edition]

Jerry Brotton
4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)

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“[A] rewarding journey for the intellectually intrepid.”
“If there’s a single takeaway from this fascinating and richly illustrated book, it’s that mapmaking is perennially contentious.”
—The Daily Beast
 “A stimulating and thought-provoking study of how the mixing of science, politics, and even religion influenced and continues to influence cartography.”
“This history of 12 epoch-defining maps—including Google’s—is a revelation… Brotton offers an excellent guide to understanding these influential attempts at psychogeographical transcendence.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Maps allow the armchair traveler to roam the world, the diplomat to argue his points, the ruler to administer his country, the warrior to plan his campaigns and the propagandist to boost his cause.  In addition, they can be extraordinarily beautiful… All these facets are represented in British historian Jerry Brotton’s rich A History of the World in 12 Maps.”
—Wall Street Journal
“Author Jerry Brotton's book dips into maps spanning millenia of human experience, from Ptolemy's Geography (circa 150 AD) all the way up to Google Earth, the dynamic, increasingly omnipresent Internet Age way that we answer the age-old question "Where am I?" …Along the way, he finds some marvelous things.”
—Christian Science Monitor


Jerry Brotton is the presenter of the acclaimed BBC4 series 'Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession'. Here he tells the story of our world through maps.

Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it. But far from being purely scientific objects, world maps are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age.

In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps - from the mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to 'the third world'.

Although the way we map our surroundings is once more changing dramatically, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been - but that they continue to make arguments and propositions about the world, and to recreate, shape and mediate our view of it. Readers of this book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.


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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"A History of the World in 12 Maps" by Jerry Brotton is an unusual and successful experiment to tell the history of the world through 12 maps throughout human past and present.

Inside his interesting book Brotton brought and describe twelve maps from Ptolemy's Geography made in year 150 until Google Earth map from year 2012, together with ten other maps which were drawn in the meantime.

These other 10 maps are:
- year 1154 - Muhammad Al-Idrisi maps created for the King of Sicily
- year 1300 - The Mappamundi from Italy
- year 1402 - Kangnido World Map from Japan Empire, one of the oldest maps that picture East Asia
- year 1507 - Martin Waldseemuller from Germany made world map where term America was first time used
- year 1529 - Diogo Ribeiro map called first scientific map ever
- year 1569 - Map from Gerard Mercator from Belgium that used a navigational grid
- year 1662 - Dutch Joan Blaeu Atlas major
- year 1793 - Map of French Republic made by Cassini family, the first maps that used triangular measuring
- year 1904 - Halford Mackinder maps, the first geopolitical maps
- year 1973 - Arno Peters projection map, his invention

The author is showing world history and evolution of man knowledge through world maps tracing science and social powers that influenced authors while they were making their maps.

From today's perspective it's interesting to learn about all the influences that existed and acted on authors - political, social and even personal - which remained forever recorded in their artistic and scientific works important for human history.
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War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
0 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen E-books are perhaps not for me 7. Oktober 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This was a test buy.
I am not sure e-books are for me.
Apart from that, this is a great book, and I might even buy the hardcover edition.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.8 von 5 Sternen  29 Rezensionen
40 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Better titled "The History of 12 Maps" 5. Februar 2014
Von robert johnston - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
First paragraph ... I winced at the author's overwrought narrative style ... too many adjectives, adverbs and thesaurus derivatives ... too little Strunk & White editing. I'm perfectly comfortable reading overly complicated narrative but it wastes time wading through it ... I can't help being irritated by the style and so risk missing the substance.

If you can get past the overwrought writing style, you might think that the cartographer author would have taken a lesson from his own history and replaced words with sketches and notes. Every map discussed would be improved by the authors own sketch rather than 1000 words. One would expect a map book to be well illustrated but this one is not. The 5' long Hereford Mappa Mundi for example is deconstructed in narrative fashion. If the author had photographed his chosen maps ... imaged them with the best camera available... and then described them with side by side sketches, translations and notes, the book would be 100% better.

Cartography is a reading hobby for me and there are better books. The 12 maps the author chose are interesting, but by comparison, the author makes much ado ... way to much ado, over these.

I paid $26 for the book expecting quality maps illustrations and drawings as Kindle doesn't do maps well. As there are so few maps in this hardback, and the few maps that are here are dark, illegible, and downright terrible ... if you think that you must read the book, save the hardcopy money, buy the Kindle and use wiki to bring in the higher fidelity original images this author should have included in his book.

p.s. I write reviews to help consumers cut through the publishers representations and call the book as I see it. The "no" vote this review got the day after I wrote it is typical of the publisher/author money making side of the transaction punishing a less than flattering review and hiding behind an anon "No" vote with no comments. These aren't going to make the work any better. I would have preferred to write a glowing review that might attract more readers to this arcane subject. But ... I said it's "OK" ... it' is just as easily tipped to 2 stars= I don't like it but give it the benefit of doubt because I want to see more authors writing great books in this genre.
42 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating 15. November 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
To my regret I gave up on geography very early on in Schools days, map reading to me was a real chore and somewhat abstract. It was not until later on in life did I realise that maps could be much more, and the ideas presented by Jerry Brotton book `A History of the World in Twelve Maps'; manages to illustrate in an academic fashion, but not convoluted or highbrow, but rather palatable form the complexities behind maps in terms of their political, economic, social and very philosophical make-up. By looking at the people that put these paradigms together, and their need/reasons, that made put the maps they were working on in the first - but also the ideological pressures behind their decisions.

I give two broad examples; firstly the way in which European nations fought over Africa in the 19th and 20th century's used their cultural and diplomatic bias to 'carve up' the so called `Dark Continent', these boundaries and so called countries within Africa are still reeling from effects of these map makers. There is Hitler's use of Maps, to help prescribe the need for 'Lebensraum' - Living Space in the East and claims over Sudetenland. His use of maps to attain further concessions from those in Europe who thought they could somehow placate him through diplomatic appeasement. Ultimately Hitler had map in mind for Europe and much larger Germany at its center.

Mr Brotton's book is not necessarily a light read, but I found it fascinating, it throws out interesting ideas and concepts. Maps are not boring dusty items but full of information that may not always be self-evident; as one reviewer put it succinctly an `intelligent read' and I would recommend it.
48 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Imbalance between the 12 maps selected and supporting material 10. Februar 2013
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The 12 maps Brotton has selected to represent the history of the world is interesting, with ample opportunity to discuss whether his selections are the most important representations of specific cultures. It is interesting to contrast his book with the related BBC series, "Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession" (2010). While Brotton's vast expertise, knowledge, and passion for maps is unquestionable, his book occasionally bogs down under the weight of events supporting the development of each map, but not directly related. IMHO, there is sometimes too much emphasis on politics, at the expense of technological and scientific advances in the art and sciences of geodesy, physics, and cartography. I understand Brotton's choices in this regard; I just feel he could have been more succinct with much of the politics. The result is, in places, a cumbersome narrative. In all, however, Brotton's book is a compelling analysis of maps as artifacts of art, culture, and power, and the way humanity views itself in the world.
32 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Thoughtful and rewarding 8. November 2012
Von Sid Nuncius - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a very interesting and beautifully presented book. Jerry Brotton manages to present very scholarly and deeply thoughtful ideas in an accessible way, although you do need to concentrate hard as this is not a filleted digest but a full development of his theses - among them that that maps are political and ideological constructs and say a great deal about their makers and the society they live in as well as about the places they depict.

Dense and somewhat challenging but well worth the effort is probably the closest I can get to an overall description of the book, so if you like a thoroughly intelligent read which will make you think about things you hadn't really considered before, this is definitely for you
17 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the greatest history books in the market! 19. Januar 2013
Von HansRik - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Brotton's "A History of the World in Twelve Maps" cannot get enough praise! I bought this book expecting a lot, and it met and exceeded all my expectations. This book does a great job at contextualising the historical, political, religious, and socioeconomic circumstances in which maps were made (maps are made after all to reflect a reality) - and then goes on to explain how that map played a role in influencing the society in which it was made.

Anyone who has ever seen a map (and that's a large number of people!) should read this book to understand the context of the map they are seeing.

I certainly learnt a lot reading this book. For example, did you know that the Mercator projection was not intended as a Eurocentric representation of the world, but rather carries a message of religious toleration, combined with Stoicism and humanism? Or did you know that Ptolemy's geographical knowledge influenced future cartographic methods, including geospatial applications such as Google Earth?

This book is expensive, but is worth the investment, both for people interested in cartography or maps in general, and people who like to interpret history in a new way.
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