57 books like The Imaginative Landscape of Christopher Columbus

By Valerie Irene Jane Flint,

Here are 57 books that The Imaginative Landscape of Christopher Columbus fans have personally recommended if you like The Imaginative Landscape of Christopher Columbus. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Story of Maps

Toby Lester Author Of The Fourth Part of the World: An Astonishing Epic of Global Discovery, Imperial Ambition, and the Birth of America

From my list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and an editor with eclectic interests. I’ve published two books of popular history—Da Vinci's Ghost (2012), about Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and The Fourth Part of the World (2009), about the map that gave America its name. I’ve also written extensively for national publications on such topics as the sociology of new religious movements, privacy protection in the Internet age, the Voynich manuscript, the revisionist study of the Qur’an, the revival of ancient Greek music, and alphabet reform in Azerbaijan. I’m presently a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. From 1988-1990, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen.

Toby's book list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery

Toby Lester Why did Toby love this book?

You can certainly find more recent surveys of the history of cartography, but this accessible work, first published in 1949, still stands out as an engaging and enlightening survey of the territory. Lloyd Brown begins his story some 2000 years ago, in Alexandria, Egypt, with the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose geographical ideas came together in the work of Claudius Ptolemy, and he then goes on, in an enjoyable narrative style, to show how scholars and monks and merchants and sailors and scientists all contributed to the art of mapmaking. The first half of the book provides an excellent summary of the kinds of maps that thinkers and travelers would have been familiar with by the time the Age of Discovery got underway.

By Lloyd A. Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Story of Maps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An important and scholarly work; bringing together much information available heretofore only in scattered sources … easily readable." — Gerald I. Alexander, F.R.G.S. Cartographer, Map Division, New York Public Library
Early map making was characterized by secrecy. Maps were precious documents, drawn by astrologers and travelers, worn out through use or purposely destroyed. Just as men first mapped the earth indirectly, via the sun and stars, so must the history of maps be approached circuitously, through chronicles, astronomy, Strabo and Ptolemy, seamanship, commerce, politics. From the first determination of latitude 2000 years ago through the dramatic unraveling of longitude 1700…


Book cover of The Tropics of Empire: Why Columbus Sailed South to the Indies

Toby Lester Author Of The Fourth Part of the World: An Astonishing Epic of Global Discovery, Imperial Ambition, and the Birth of America

From my list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and an editor with eclectic interests. I’ve published two books of popular history—Da Vinci's Ghost (2012), about Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and The Fourth Part of the World (2009), about the map that gave America its name. I’ve also written extensively for national publications on such topics as the sociology of new religious movements, privacy protection in the Internet age, the Voynich manuscript, the revisionist study of the Qur’an, the revival of ancient Greek music, and alphabet reform in Azerbaijan. I’m presently a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. From 1988-1990, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen.

Toby's book list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery

Toby Lester Why did Toby love this book?

When the story of Christopher Columbus gets told, it’s typically as a tale of his having sailed west to get quickly to the east. But in this gorgeously produced, exhaustively researched study, Nicolás Wey-Gómez argues that to understand Columbus and his story properly, you have to understand it as a story about voyages to the south. Columbus inherited a powerful set of assumptions about the nature and peoples found in southern latitudes, and it’s those assumptions, Wey-Gómez contends, that allowed Columbus and the many Europeans that followed him to the New World to justify their various colonial enterprises.

By Nicolás Wey Gómez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tropics of Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A radical revision of the geographical history of the discovery of the Americas that links Columbus's southbound route with colonialism, slavery, and today's divide between the industrialized North and the developing South.

Everyone knows that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic, seeking a new route to the East. Few note, however, that Columbus's intention was also to sail south, to the tropics. In The Tropics of Empire, Nicolás Wey Gómez rewrites the geographical history of the discovery of the Americas, casting it as part of Europe's reawakening to the natural and human resources of the South. Wey…


Book cover of Ptolemy’s Geography in the Renaissance

Toby Lester Author Of The Fourth Part of the World: An Astonishing Epic of Global Discovery, Imperial Ambition, and the Birth of America

From my list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and an editor with eclectic interests. I’ve published two books of popular history—Da Vinci's Ghost (2012), about Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and The Fourth Part of the World (2009), about the map that gave America its name. I’ve also written extensively for national publications on such topics as the sociology of new religious movements, privacy protection in the Internet age, the Voynich manuscript, the revisionist study of the Qur’an, the revival of ancient Greek music, and alphabet reform in Azerbaijan. I’m presently a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. From 1988-1990, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen.

Toby's book list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery

Toby Lester Why did Toby love this book?

In the first century A.D., the ancient Greek polymath Claudius Ptolemy produced a work known today simply as the Geography. Ptolemy described the world as the Greeks and Romans knew it at the time—and he did so using latitude and longitude. The Geography largely disappeared from view in Europe during the Middle Ages, as did latitude and longitude on maps, but in the early 1400s the humanists of Florence rediscovered and revived the work, in ways that dramatically improved their understanding of the ancient world and their ability to explore and map it in the present. Shalev and Burnett present a set of scholarly essays that trace the history and the influence of the Geography during that momentous century.

By Charles Burnett, Zur Shalev,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ptolemy’s Geography in the Renaissance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The rediscovery of Ptolemy’s Geography has long been hailed as a key moment in the emergence of Renaissance culture, symbolizing a new rational spatiality, and preparing the way for the Age of Discovery. And yet, the process of the Geography’s introduction, integration and impact in western Europe, as the essays in this volume collectively suggest, was more complex and less predictable than has been traditionally assumed. Whereas previously Ptolemy’s maps attracted most scholarly attention, in this volume the textual tradition of the Geography – Ptolemy’s text, added prefaces, annotations and treatises – stand at the centre. Bringing together a wealth…


Book cover of The History of Cartography, Volume 3: Cartography in the European Renaissance

Toby Lester Author Of The Fourth Part of the World: An Astonishing Epic of Global Discovery, Imperial Ambition, and the Birth of America

From my list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and an editor with eclectic interests. I’ve published two books of popular history—Da Vinci's Ghost (2012), about Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and The Fourth Part of the World (2009), about the map that gave America its name. I’ve also written extensively for national publications on such topics as the sociology of new religious movements, privacy protection in the Internet age, the Voynich manuscript, the revisionist study of the Qur’an, the revival of ancient Greek music, and alphabet reform in Azerbaijan. I’m presently a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. From 1988-1990, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen.

Toby's book list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery

Toby Lester Why did Toby love this book?

You won’t be curling up in bed with this two-volume, 2,272-page encyclopedic history of cartography in the European Renaissance—but if you’ve got a passion for maps, or if you want the most comprehensive source of information on the cartography of the period, it’s a delightful and even essential work to consult. The essays are diverse and deeply informative, and the reproductions, including 80 gorgeous color plates, are a treat to spend time with.

By David Woodward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of Cartography, Volume 3 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the University of Chicago Press launched the land-mark "History of Cartography" series nearly thirty years ago, founding editors J. B. Harley and David Woodward hoped to create a new basis for map history. They did not, however, anticipate the larger renaissance in map studies that the series would inspire. But as the renown of the series and the comprehensiveness and acuity of the present two-part volume demonstrate, the history of cartography has proven to be unexpectedly fertile ground. "Cartography in the European Renaissance" treats the period from 1450 to 1650, long considered the most important in the history of…


Book cover of The Discovery of France

Julie Barlow Author Of The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed

From my list on understanding the French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing books about France and the French for two decades. The adventure began when I moved to Quebec in my early 20s and married a Quebecker. He became my life partner and co-author. I learned his language, immersed myself in Canada’s French-language culture and began writing articles in French. In 1999 we moved to France for three years to study the French. Three books later, we returned to Paris with our daughters to try to demystify French conversation. The result is The Bonjour Effect. I am grateful to the authors on my list for helping me refine my understanding of France, the French and their language. 

Julie's book list on understanding the French

Julie Barlow Why did Julie love this book?

Don’t be intimated by the academic-sounding title. This book just blew my mind. If you want to even begin understanding the French, you have to know where they came from. As Robb proves in this readable work, there is no better way to do this than by looking at French geography. France is a country that evolved out of surprisingly varied landscapes, ethnic origins, languages, and more. Understanding all the pieces of the puzzle, the great struggles that gathered them into a unified country, will forever change how you see the country.

By Graham Robb,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Discovery of France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A narrative of exploration-full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language.

Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn…


Book cover of The Historical Atlas of World War II: 170 Maps that Chart the Most Cataclysmic Event in Human History

Gail Kittleson Author Of Until Then

From my list on make-do women of WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Research and writing have shown me that the war-affected baby boomers like me in tangible ways. My father-in-law helped deliver the survivors of the Bataan Death March—what a legacy! My special addiction to the WOMEN of WWII, though, probably stems from my mother, who suffered poverty and restrictions on the home front through it all. Also, my husband (a history major) and I delight in watching documentaries and accurate movies about the war and visiting as many historical sites as possible.

Gail's book list on make-do women of WW2

Gail Kittleson Why did Gail love this book?

The maps in this volume are so instructive, and it offers comprehensive information on all fronts of the war. For one lacking in geographical and military strategy knowledge, I count this book as invaluable to my research.

By Alexander Swanston, Malcolm Swanston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Historical Atlas of World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Historical Atlas of World War II examines all the key events of the six-year conflict, with thoroughly researched text accompanied by 170 highly detailed maps. Incredible multimedia profiles of World War II's most significant battles make Historical Atlas of World War II the next best thing to a time machine.

With realistic maps, detailed accounts, and vibrant illustrations, the book transports the reader to famous World War II battles. Using state-of-the-art technology, special microchips translated the contours of two-dimensional maps of battlefields into realistic renderings of actual landscapes. Illustrators then overlaid these maps with all of the information at their…


Book cover of Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

Maxim Samson Author Of Invisible Lines: Boundaries and Belts That Define the World

From my list on redefining your understanding of geography.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Geography professor at DePaul University with a long-standing obsession with the world, comparing puddle shapes to countries as a small child and subsequently initiating map and flag collections that I cultivate to this day. Having lived in different parts of the UK and the USA, as well as being fortunate enough to travel further afield, I’ve relished the opportunity to explore widely and chat with the people who know their places best. I love books that alter how I look at the planet, and I am particularly intrigued by the subtle ways in which people have shaped our world—and our perceptions of it—both intentionally and inadvertently.

Maxim's book list on redefining your understanding of geography

Maxim Samson Why did Maxim love this book?

I regard this book as the quintessence of a modern geography trade book, a work that compels us to examine the places around us with an increasingly critical eye.

Drawing on current geographical thinking and a rich assortment of case studies from across the globe, Bonnett demonstrates why place matters: it is how we apply meaning to the world. Accordingly, to be placelesswhether through dispossession or demolition on the ground or deletion from the mapis tantamount to not existing at all.

Part of what makes this book such a captivating read is its attention to such concerns. Our relationship with the world may be quite innocuous, characterised by innocent curiosity and a craving for excitement, but it can also assume an ugly side, where people seek to seize places only for themselves. Ultimately, what we make of the planet, mundane and remarkable all at once,…

By Alastair Bonnett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unruly Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A fizzingly entertaining and enlightening book' Daily Telegraph


'Mesmerising' Geographical Magazine


'A fascinating delve into uncharted, forgotten lost places. But it's not just a trivia-tastic anthology of remote destinations but a nifty piece of psycho-geography, explaining our human need for these cartographical conundrums.' Wanderlust

In a world of Google Earth, in which it is easy to believe that every discovery has been made and every adventure already had, Off the Map is a stunning testament to how mysterious our planet still is.

From forgotten enclaves to floating islands, from hidden villages to New York gutter spaces, Off the Map charts…


Book cover of Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place

Jim Miller Author Of Drift

From my list on urban wandering and subterranean history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach literature, Labor Studies, and writing at San Diego City College and have written three San Diego-based novels: Drift, Flash, and Last Days in Ocean Beach, along with Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, a radical history of San Diego that I co-wrote with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew. Both as a writer and as a daily wanderer on the streets of San Diego, I have a passion for the psychogeography of the city space and a deep curiosity for and love of the people I encounter there.

Jim's book list on urban wandering and subterranean history

Jim Miller Why did Jim love this book?

I love this classic book that catalogs some of Will Self’s seminal writings about psychogeography, a term that describes the relationship between our consciousness and the geographic spaces we occupy.

Self borrows from the legacy of the avant-garde notions of dérive, or “drift” or disorientation, where one can find oneself by losing oneself. Here, Self playfully positions himself as a rebel against the contemporary world, a time-traveler of sorts, who rolls back the clock and deconstructs history by walking rather than driving in urban contexts.

It’s a book full of surprises and provocative ideas.

By Will Self, Ralph Steadman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Psychogeography as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Provocateurs Will Self and Ralph Steadman join forces in this post-millennial meditation on the vexed relationship between psyche and place in a globalised world, bringing together for the first time the very best of their 'Psychogeography' columns for the Independent. The introduction, 'Walking to New York', is both a prelude to the verbal and visual essays that make up this extraordinary collaboration, and a revealing exploration of the split in Self's Jewish-American-British psyche and its relationship to the political geography of the post-9/11 world. Ranging from the Scottish Highlands to Istanbul and from Morocco to Ohio, Will Self's engaging and…


Book cover of Urban Centres in Asia and Latin America: Heritage and Identities in Changing Urban Landscapes

Matthias Ripp Author Of A Metamodel for Heritage-based Urban Development: Enabling Sustainable Growth Through Urban Cultural Heritage

From my list on understanding that cultural heritage can be part of the solution to climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career in tourism but soon discovered my passion for urban heritage. Working as a site manager for a world heritage site, I gathered extensive insights on various levels of heritage management and urban governance from many colleagues around the world. Today there is no single project or meeting that does not address the challenges of climate change. Obtaining my Ph.D. late in life, in Heritage-Based Urban Development, I quickly became convinced that the traditional ideas of what cultural heritage is do not reflect the situation today and hinder giving cultural heritage a role in climate change prevention and adaption, beyond the narrative that it has to be preserved. 

Matthias' book list on understanding that cultural heritage can be part of the solution to climate change

Matthias Ripp Why did Matthias love this book?

Climate change and urban transformation are global phenomena. It is, therefore, always great to broaden your horizons and learn from other regions of the world.

This book from Simone Sandholz offers great insights into the situation in Asia and Latin America, both regions with a strong dynamic of urbanization and urban centers where high density with correlating high diversity of sometimes conflicting urban functions meet urban cultural heritage. She embraces a holistic understanding of this heritage and focuses on the integration of heritage in urban planning and development.

I highly recommend this book not only for scholars and students who are working on urban issues in Asia and Latin America but also for any urban planner, urban analyst, urban geographer, or heritage scientist who wants to learn from experiences in these parts of the world.

For me, this book opened my eyes to the challenges that urban centers in Asia…

By Simone Sandholz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Urban Centres in Asia and Latin America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book presents an overview of the challenges that cities in Latin America and Asia are facing regarding the preservation of their tangible and intangible heritage. It argues that urban heritage has a value that transcends the mere object's value, constituting a crucial source of identity for urban inhabitants. The same is true for the urban intangible values and practices that are often associated with places or buildings. The empirical research is based on case studies of Kathmandu in Nepal, Yogyakarta in Indonesia and Recife in Brazil; three cities that still comprise core areas with a high percentage of historic…


Book cover of A History of America in 100 Maps

Jeremy Black Author Of Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past

From my list on for people who love maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian fascinated with maps and geography, I have produced historical atlases on the world, Britain, war, cities, naval history, fortifications, and World War Two, as well as books on geopolitics and maps. I am an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and of Policy Exchange.

Jeremy's book list on for people who love maps

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

An excellent example of the British Library’s History … in 100 Maps series, this book, by an expert, on the American geopolitical imagination, combines a first-rate text with instructive maps. Handsomely produced, it is good value.

By Susan Schulten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of America in 100 Maps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout its history, America has been defined through maps. Whether made for military strategy or urban reform, to encourage settlement or to investigate disease, maps invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such they offer unrivaled windows onto the past.
 
In this book Susan Schulten uses maps to explore five centuries of American history, from the voyages of European discovery to the digital age. With stunning visual clarity, A History of America in 100 Maps showcases the power…


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