Cartography enthusiasts rejoice: the bestselling author of Just My Type reveals the fascinating relationship between man and map.
Simon Garfield’s Just My Type illuminated the world of fonts and made everyone take a stand on Comic Sans and care about kerning. Now Garfield takes on a subject even dearer to our fanatical human hearts: maps.
Imagine a world without maps. How would we travel? Could we own land? What would men and women argue about in cars? Scientists have even suggested that mapping—not language—is what elevated our prehistoric ancestors from ape-dom. Follow the history of maps from the early explorers’ maps and the awe-inspiring medieval Mappa Mundi to Google Maps and the satellite renderings on our smartphones, Garfield explores the unique way that maps relate and realign our history—and reflect the best and worst of what makes us human.
Featuring a foreword by Dava Sobel and packed with fascinating tales of cartographic intrigue, outsize personalities, and amusing “pocket maps” on an array of subjects from how to fold a map to the strangest maps on the Internet, On the Map is a rich historical tapestry infused with Garfield’s signature narrative flair. Map-obsessives and everyone who loved Just My Type will be lining up to join Garfield on his audacious journey through time and around the globe.
1st Edition, 1st Printing
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm a map addict, history and geography jock, and a fan of Simon Garfield's writing. Put those all together and you've got a five star review of Garfield's latest book, "On the Map". British author Garfield has a wide-ranging oeuvre of titles. He's written about everything from WW2 wartime Britain to the music industry to the joys of stamp collecting (while also discussing personal matters) to a book on fonts, and, finally, to this book on maps.
The verb "to map" can be used in many different ways. Of course, the most popular way is "to map" geographical places, but you can also "map" diseases, family histories, economic development, and much, much more. Garfield writes about all these in his new book, but primarily focuses on mapping geographical places. He traces the development of maps from prehistoric ages, paying close attention to the various expeditions devoted to mapping what was then thought to be unknown. Expeditions like Lewis and Clark in the US northwest, the...
Don't judge this book by its cover. Highly illustrated - but with small, black and white maps! The reading is a bit dry, too. I'll finish it, but the rave reviews that Smithsonian Magazine gave this are overrated. If I'd seen this in a book store (and not on-line) I would not have bought it.
The historical part of the book was fairly good, but not as authoritative as, say, a Smithsonian article. I really liked the ancient history of maps and was enthralled until we got to mapping the brain. From there on, the book was 'thin,' and I actually didn't finish the last two chapters other than a light scan to see if there was something there I wouldn't want to miss. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in history.
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