Maps and the 20th Century

£20.00 Was £25

Accompanies a major exhibition at the British Library.This book will tell a global story of the most turbulent century in history through its most powerful and important object: the map. It includes over 120 illustrations of the most important and unusual maps of the period from the world’s greatest map collection, and uses them to tell the story of war, peace, depression, prosperity, and social and technological change that has made the world what it is today. This bold new history will challenge the reader’s perceptions about maps, revealing them as objects of persuasion and power, as well as humour and even sadness. Above all it will open the reader’s eyes to the prevalence of maps in everyday life.

Product details

Highlights will include a trench-map of the Somme battlefields, a bomb damage map of London, laminated rifle-maps from Belfast in 1990, the original sketch for the London Tube, early maps of the ocean floor, a poster showing Mao studying a map on his Long March, and a Russian Mars globe from 1961. Many of the illustrations will be unexpected: the United Nations flag, the first stamps of Independent Latvia, which were printed on the backs of maps, and a motorway sign. Leading historians of cartography, society and art will explore the myriad ways in which maps were made, used and understood during 100 years of conflict, change and upheaval.Over 120 illustrations from the world’s greatest map collection tell the story of war, peace, depression, prosperity, and social and technological change.

Tom Harper
British Library
Publication date
3 November 2016
272 pages
280 x 220 mm

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Keep up to date with news and events at the British Library

Sign up to our newsletter