John Davies and Alexander J. Kent, "The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World" (U Chicago Press, 2017)


Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union conducted an ambitious yet clandestine programme to map the world - from big cities like New York and Tokyo, to seemingly-obscure towns like Gainsborough (Lincolnshire) and Pontiac (Missouri). The programme was unlike any other of its time, encompassing a wide variety of topographic maps and city plans in incredible detail. The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is not only a compilation of some 350 extracts of this collection, but also a deep dive into the provenance, nature and applications of these Cold War era Soviet maps. 

Join us as we talk to co-authors John Davies and Alex Kent about the joys  of working with maps, the difficulties they encountered researching the Soviet mapping programme, and their visions for the future. 

Listeners interested in contributing to John and Alex's research may contact them at Prints of Soviet City Plans are also available on their website

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