Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

A History of America in 100 Maps

  • Written by  Geordie Torr
  • Published in Books
A History of America in 100 Maps
04 Jan
2019
by Susan Schulten • The British Library • £30 (hardback)

Maps are about so much more than simply depicting geographical territory. As author Susan Schulten writes in this illuminating new book, they ‘both reflect and mediate change. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared.’ All of which makes maps an excellent vehicle for investigating and depicting history’s meandering path.

Schulten has divided her book into nine eras, covering the period from 1490 to 2001, starting with Henric Martellus Germanus’s Ptolemaic world map, which Schulten argues played a role in instigating Christopher Columbus’s voyage of discovery, and ending with a map of the area around Ground Zero in New York which was drawn in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks. The maps include depictions of immigration and internal migration, gerrymandering, epidemiology, continental drift, road networks, vice, political affiliations and subterranean mineral resources, all of which have been drawn from the British Library’s collections and some of which have never previously been published. 

Screenshot 2018 11 29 at 12.14.49 pmEdward Savage's painting of President George Washington and the first family

The book takes a global view of American history and hence not all of the maps are of America itself, with several examples showing aspects of the overseas wars in which American soldiers fought and died. Each map is discussed at length, with Schulten providing insights into both what the map tells us about American history and the history of the map itself – not to mention the history of cartography as a discipline. 

Beautifully produced and written in a very engaging and accessible style, this is one of those rare books that’s both visually arresting and intellectually enriching. With each map profile essentially selfcontained, the book is perfect for dipping into, each new ‘episode’ opening a window on a different facet of American history and eventually building into an epic story of the rise of one of the world’s most powerful nations.

Click here to purchase A History of America in 100 Maps by Susan Schulten from Amazon

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

It makes you angry - extremely. It makes you sad…

Books

by Rory O’Grady • The Conrad Press • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Penny Johnson • Melville House • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Monisha Rajesh • Bloomsbury • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jon Mathieu • Polity Press • £19.99 (hardback)

Books

by Matthieu Auzanneau • Chelsea Green Publishing • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Nancy Campbell • Scribnern • £14.99 (hardback)

Exhibitions

Paris is home to Europe’s largest science museum. Its latest…

Books

by Richard Wrangham • Profile Books  • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Yasha Levine • Icon Books • £14.99 (paperback)

Books

by Matthew Carr • Hurst • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Seamus O’Brien • Kew Publishing • £40 (hardback)

Books

by Simon Jenkins • Viking • £25 (hardback)

Films

A harrowing and honest portrayal of the working life of…

Films

One man’s recreation of an epic 1930s survival experience deep…

Books

by Tom Harper • The British Library • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Susan Schulten • The British Library • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Ben & Marina Fogle • William Collins • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Tim Flannery • Allen Lane • £25 (hardback)