Jerry Brotton is the presenter of the acclaimed BBC4 series 'Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession'. Here he tells the story of our world through maps. Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it. But far from being purely scientific objects, world maps are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age. In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps - from the mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to 'the third world'. Although the way we map our surroundings is once more changing dramatically, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been - but that they continue to make arguments and propositions about the world, and to recreate, shape and mediate our view of it. Readers of this book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.
Fresh, exciting and vividly readable, this is popular history at its very best. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. A History of the World is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For ‘the better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.’
This second edition has been thoroughly updated and includes discussions on 9/11 and the second Gulf War, and takes into account the latest historical research. A comprehensive survey of the key events and personalities of this period throughout the world, it includes discussion on topics such as: the rivalry between European nations from 1900–1914 the Depression and the rise of Fascism during the 1920s and 1930s the global impact of the Cold War decolonization and its effects the continuing conflict in the Middle East. A History of the World provides a fascinating and authoritative account of the world since 1900, for general readers and students of world history alike.
A clearly written, accessible and comprehensive text that tells the story of man's journey from the time of the first hominids to the present. Sections include: Ancient World, 10,000 to 500BC, Classical World, 500 BC to AD500, Medieval World, AD500 to 1500, Early Modern World, 1500-1783, 19th Century, the Modern World from 1914 to the first decade of the 21st century. This book tells the story of how we got to where we are today - through conflict and intrigue, power won and lost, and great empires built and destroyed.
This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book's range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor's aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance - how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilisation accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.
A History of the World's Roads and of the Vehicles That Used Them
Author: M. G. Lay
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
This is the first comprehensive history of the world's roads, highways, bridges, and the people and vehicles that traverse them, from prehistoric times to the present. Encyclopedic in its scope, fascinating in its details, Ways of the World is a unique work for reference and browsing. Maxwell Lay considers the myriad aspects of roads and their users: the earliest pathways, the rise of wheeled vehicles and animals to pull them, the development of surfaced roads, the motives for road and bridge building, and the rise of cars and their influence on roads, cities, and society. The work is amply illustrated, well indexed and cross-referenced, and includes a chronology of road history and a full bibliography. It is indispensable for anyone interested in travel, history, geography, transportation, cars, or the history of technology.
From before the age of printing to modern satellite imaging, Visions of the World tells the compelling story of the cartographers, explorers, and surveyors who have mapped our earth. It’s a fresh and beautifully illustrated book, not limited to the traditional Eurocentric view but also aware of different cultures across the globe. What it reveals is fascinating, because maps not only provide a glimpse of how societies view themselves in relation to the world, they also can be tools to distort knowledge, fool enemies, or build and administer empires. View the world through ancient eyes, in the wake of Columbus, during the age of empire, and through the heyday of commerce and imperialism—before examining the revolutions in our own time.
This volume is the third of three that explore all aspects of water - social, cultural, political, religious, historical, economic and technological - from ancient times to the present day. The contributors examine the changing histories of water as a private or common good; the politics of water at local, urban, national and international level; water in cities; great river plans; dams; river biographies; and images of water in religion, myth, literature and art. Empirical and ethnographic case studies from around the world feature.
Filled with anecdotes and fascinating information, "a spicy read indeed." (Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed the World) The perfect companion to Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, Pepper illuminates the rich history of pepper for a popular audience. Vivid and entertaining, it describes the part pepper played in bringing the Europeans, and later the Americans, to Asia and details the fascinating encounters they had there. As Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds, said, "After reading Marjorie Shaffer's Pepper, you'll reconsider the significance of that grinder or shaker on your dining room table. The pursuit of this wizened berry with the bite changed history in ways you've never dreamed, involving extraordinary voyages, international trade, exotic locales, exploitation, brutality, disease, extinctions, and rebellions, and featuring a set of remarkable characters." From the abundance of wildlife on the islands of the Indian Ocean, which the Europeans used as stepping stones to India and the East Indies, to colorful accounts of the sultan of Banda Aceh entertaining his European visitors with great banquets and elephant fights, this fascinating book reveals the often surprising story behind one of mankind's most common spices.