Anne Knowles, "Mastering Iron" (U Chicago Press, 2013) and "Geographies of the Holocaust" (Indiana UP, 2014)


Last month on New Books in Geography, historian Susan Schulten discussed the development of thematic maps in the nineteenth century. Such maps focused on a particular topic such as disease, immigration, or politics and raised questions about society and geography. In many ways, these nineteenth-century maps were the predecessors to the maps made through Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In the past decade, geographers and historians have begun using GIS for innovative historical research. Among the most innovative scholars using this technology is Anne Knowles, professor of geography at Middlebury College. Her new books Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800-1868 (University of Chicago Press, 2013) and Geographies of the Holocaust (co-edited with Tim Cole and Alberto Giordano) are superb examples of how scholars can use GIS to better understand the past. In this podcast, Professor Knowles discusses the iron industry in Antebellum America, the Holocaust, and how GIS can help illuminate previously unknown facets of both.

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