A History of the World in Twelve Maps, By Jerry Brotton
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 03 May 2013
Stretching from Babylon to Google Earth, this truly original work of global history will - literally - alter your world-view. Pace EC Bentley, chaps make maps.
Brotton's dozen examples of the flattened globe track the course of map-making visions from the sacred to exploratory, the imperial to the digital.
Compare Mercator (1569), and its European tilt, with Peters (1973), and its long South, and it's clear that projections have principles.
The neutral map is an "idealistic fantasy". But only via cartographers can we imagine a planetary home.
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