In her new book A History of America in 100 Maps
(University of Chicago Press 2018), historian Susan Schulten
uses maps to explore five centuries of American history, from the voyages of European discovery to the digital age. Schulten’s “visual tour of American history” considers the different purposes for which maps are created—maps as tools of statecraft and diplomacy, maps made to amuse and entertain, and maps made as instruments of social reform. Some of the maps she discusses document journeys, others strategize for war. Some trace the spread of disease, others the pathways of rivers or the decline of endangered species. Some are produced by trained cartographers, others by amateurs, one by a young schoolgirl. Together, they offer a compelling—and at times quite beautiful—case for the power of maps to shape our world and the ways we navigate through it.
You can preview some of the maps in the book here
Carrie Lane is a Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton and author of A Company of One: Insecurity, Independence, and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment. Her research concerns the changing nature of work in the contemporary U.S. She is currently writing a book on the professional organizing industry. To contact her or to suggest a recent title, email firstname.lastname@example.org.