Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

MANMADE WONDERS OF THE WORLD review

MANMADE WONDERS OF THE WORLD review
21 Nov
2019
DK • £30 (hardback)

I am usually disinclined to lump too much praise on coffee table books, which often strike me as a cheap and easy way for a publisher to re-purpose existing photographs, bash out some limited captions and sell the resulting door-stopper for an inflated sum, often relying on a ‘star’ name to write a short introduction and act as a selling point. The name in this case is art historian and BBC television presenter Dan Cruickshank who probably hasn’t stretched himself with this one-page intro, covering some key architectural themes and generally celebrating human ingenuity and artistry.

Stay connected with the Geographical newsletter!
signup buttonSince its inception in 1935, Geographical has reported on many thousands of global issues, allowing readers to look past the boundaries and borders of our world and take a broader perspective. In these turbulent times, we’re still committed to telling expansive stories from across the globe, highlighting the everyday lives of normal but extraordinary people. Stay informed and engaged with Geographical.

Get Geographical’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox every Friday!

Nevertheless, turn the pages and this book contains far more information and intrigue than many others in the genre. It includes pages on more than 200 man-made structures from every continent and every age of human settlement (80 in Europe, 56 in Asia and Australasia, 31 in North America, 23 in Central and South America and 19 in Africa) and is both an aesthetically pleasing ornament and an educational encyclopaedia of global architecture styles, construction materials, religion and history.

Covering all of the most famous landmarks, from Stonehenge and Angkor Wat to the Empire State Building and the Houses of Parliament, as well as lesser known ruins, temples and churches, the book is necessarily a whistle-stop tour. Nevertheless, it manages to cram plenty in, providing enough pub-quiz titbits to keep you busy, answering questions such as why Guggenheim never saw his famous museum, why the Flatiron building is flat and why certain buildings in China feature yellow-glazed tiles.

Though the photography isn’t particularly ground-breaking, the curators of the book have picked some unusual shots. Be it the Taj Mahal shrouded in early dawn mist, or a view across the roof of Notre Dame (particularly prescient in light of the recent fire), there are some interesting views on some of our most famous monuments.

Click here to order Manmade Wonders of the World via 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

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...

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Books

by Paul Wapner • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Lucy Jones • Allen Lane • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Robert Twigger • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20/£13.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Nick Danziger • Unbound • £50 (hardback)

Books

by Riaz Dean • Casemate • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Adam Rutherford • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £12.99/£6.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Emily Chappell • Profile • £14.99 (hardback)

Books

by Christiane Ritter • Pushkin Press  • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Sophy Roberts • Doubleday • £16.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Kapka Kassabova • Granta Books • £14.99 (hardback)

Books

by Gaia Vince • Allen Lane • £20 (hardback)

Exhibitions

Photographer Claudia Andujar has spent 50 years documenting the lives…

Films

Monbiot demonstrates the shocking facts and presents a vision for…

Books

by Andrew Blum • The Bodley Head • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Sue and Patrick Cunningham • Papadakis • £40 (hardback)

Books

by Sanmao (translated by Mike Fu) • Bloomsbury • £16.99…

Books

by Matthew Woodward • Lanna Hall Publishing • £8.95 (paperback)

Books

by John Hemming • Hurst • £20 (hardback)