Cities of the World: A History in Maps

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University of California Press, 2005 - Architecture - 208 pages
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Condensing centuries of history into one volume, Cities of the World traces the historic form and special character of the world's greatest cities through a breathtaking collection of maps and panoramic views. Peter Whitfield focuses on more than sixty cities--from Athens to Brasilia, Washington to Moscow, San Francisco to Saigon, and Venice to Lhasa. He presents an extremely wide range of maps, historic prints, and photographs from many periods that show how the architectural form and the social life of our cities have been shaped--not only by their geographical setting, but also by religion, royal power, commerce, social ideals, and occasionally artistic vision. These images illustrate the historic heart of the cities: the ancient harbors, the hilltop fortresses, the encircling walls, and the houses, churches, and palaces that have been added over the centuries. For the armchair traveler or anyone passionate about the history of human civilization, this beautiful, unique book captures the richness of the urban fabric and reflects the collective memory of each metropolis.

Cities of the World demonstrates how the city was linked to the birth and progress of civilization itself, how it has acted as a focus for ideas and technologies, arts and sciences, and even religious devotion. It shows the ways that some cities grew slowly into haphazard, unplanned beauties, while others were shaped by the will of masterful individuals. Whitfield chose the cities featured here not only because they are richly and beautifully illustrated, but also because they demonstrate a notion of spirit--an outward and inward uniqueness.

Many of these historic maps have a pictorial quality that vanished long ago from the functional town-plan. Depicting the classical city-state, the medieval fortress, the baroque capital, and the industrial metropolis, the sumptuous illustrations in this book chronicle how simple outlines found on Babylonian clay tablets evolved into the stylized pictures of medieval times and spectacular bird's-eye panoramic views, finally culminating in the highly functional mass-produced maps of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Wonderfully evocative of the places they depict and the artistic tastes of their time, these maps shed new light on civilization itself, with all of its contradictions, shortcomings, energy, and aspirations.

Copub: British Library
 

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Cities of the world: a history in maps

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Whitfield (The Charting of the Oceans ) is former director of Stanford University's International Map Centre in London. For this unique book, originally published by the British Library, he has ... Read full review

Review: Cities of the World: A History in Maps

User Review  - Kris McCracken - Goodreads

A snapshot of history through the lens of the map. I enjoyed it, but don't expect the works! Read full review

Contents

Preface
8
The City in History
9
Teotihuacan a vanished city
27
Alexandria
29
Amsterdam
33
Athens
35
Bath
37
Beijing
41
Mantua
115
Marseille
117
Mexico City
119
Moscow and St Petersburg Leningrad
123
Nagasaki
129
Naples
131
New York
135
Oxford
139

Berlin
43
Bern and Zurich
47
Boston
49
Bristol
53
Calais
57
Cambridge
59
Cape Town
61
Chicago
63
Cologne
67
Constantinople
69
Cuzco
73
Delhi
75
Durham
79
Edinburgh
81
Florence
83
85
85
Helsingor
87
Isfahan
89
Jerusalem
91
Karlsruhe
95
Lhasa
97
Lisbon
99
Liverpool
103
London
105
Luxembourg
111
Manchester
113
Palmanova
141
Paris
143
Philadelphia
149
Quebec and New Orleans the cities of New France
151
Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia
155
Rome
159
Saigon Ho Chi Minh City
165
St Andrews
167
Salt Lake City
171
Salzburg
173
San Francsico
175
Santo Domingo
177
Savannah
179
Seville
181
Stockholm
183
Sydney
187
Tangier
189
Venice
191
Vienna
195
Washington
199
Wiirzburg
203
Azilia and City of the Sun unbuilt dream cities
205
Bibliography
206
Index
207
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Peter Whitfield is an independent scholar and a leading expert in map history and exploration. He is a former director of Stanford's International Map Centre in London. His previous books include The Image of the World (1994), The Mapping of the Heavens (1995), The Charting of the Oceans (1996), New Found Lands (1998), Landmarks in Western Science (1999), Astrology: A History (2001), and Sir Francis Drake (2004).

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