Maps & Civilization, Cartography in Culture and Society, Third Edition

by Norman J. W. Thrower, University of Chicago Press, 2008, paperback, 352 pages incl. Notes, definitions, references

Two issues ago we noted U. of Chicago Press had scrapped this book and started over.  Note the U. of C. Press has learned to spell “Civilization” correctly and the Third Edition is now available.  If you don’t have this book, you should. Norman was the first President of CMS and has spoken to us more times than any other person.

So, OK, you say, I’ve already got a copy of the second edition-it’s a hard back , and this one is a paperback, why buy this one? For several reasons-the notes are expanded and a small amount of text added and revised but more importantly, a very complete twenty-five page Select Bibliography is added. Because of the misprinting Norman was even able to include a reference to Nick Kanas’ book Star Maps, so all’s well that ends well.

Seriously, this volume is a complete survey of the history of cartography and a standard text for many Universities. It is meticulously researched work, but not pedantic, easy to read and filled with fascinating facts. It belongs on every map lover’s library shelf. Bring your copy to the January meeting and have Norman autograph it for you.

Reviewed by Bill Warren
From the Society’s December 2008 Newsletter