Author ORCID Identifier
Journal of Historical Geography
Several years ago, browsing in the British Museum's gift shop, I noticed A History of the World in 100 Objects (2010). The idea of capturing history using material culture is an appealing one, offering readers opportunities to learn about fascinating artifacts in short, easy-to-digest essays. It often sparks similar projects such as The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects (2016). Susan Schulten's A History of America in 100 Maps appears to be such a popular, coffee table book, pairing map images with explanatory vignettes, but do not be taken in: this is a very skillfully constructed narrative of American history using maps, constructed by a master in the field. Schulten, professor of history at the University of Denver, specializes in the development of American geographical imaginations and cartographic cultures in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Here Schulten employs maps to create a ‘virtual tour’ of American history, offering to ‘both illuminate and complicate our understanding of history’ and serving, as an ‘ … unrivaled window into the past’ (p. 9).
Dando, Christina E., "A History of America in 100 Maps, Susan Schulten, University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2018), 256 pages, US$35.00 hardcover" (2019). Geography and Geology Faculty Publications. 72.