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, maps of the world 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. On this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps – from the almost mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of nowadays. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which every of the maps used to be made, showing how every conveys a highly individual view of the world. Brotton shows how every of his maps both influenced and reflected latest events and how, by reading it, we will be able to better bear in mind the worlds that produced it.
Although the way we map our surroundings is changing, Brotton argues that maps nowadays are no more definitive or objective than they’ve ever been, but that they continue to define, shape and recreate the world. Readers of this book will never take a look at a map in somewhat the same way again.