A History of the World in Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton


I’ve always been fascinated by maps. I love looking at them. I don’t really know why but they have this magnetic quality that seems to draw me in whenever I walk in to a room. A book that combined both maps and history sounds like a perfect match to me. The structure of the book really enhanced the enjoyment. This wasn’t just 12 random maps. Instead each map not only talks about the progression of map making over time but also explores key themes such as faith, empire, globalism and nation. There is no doubting that Brotton knows his stuff – the book contains an absolute wealth of knowledge. Fortunately he’s also an interesting and engaging writer. On this blog I’ve mostly moaned about books being too long but if this had been a history in 15 or 20 maps then that would have been fine with me.

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