Mapping Europe's Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire

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9780226744254: Mapping Europe's Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire

The simplest purpose of a map is a rational one: to educate, to solve a problem, to point someone in the right direction. Maps shape and communicate information, for the sake of improved orientation. But maps exist for states as well as individuals, and they need to be interpreted as expressions of power and knowledge, as Steven Seegel makes clear in his impressive and important new book.Mapping Europe’s Borderlands takes the familiar problems of state and nation building in eastern Europe and presents them through an entirely new prism, that of cartography and cartographers. Drawing from sources in eleven languages, including military, historical-pedagogical, and ethnographic maps, as well as geographic texts and related cartographic literature, Seegel explores the role of maps and mapmakers in the East Central European borderlands from the Enlightenment to the Treaty of Versailles. For example, Seegel explains how Russia used cartography in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and, later, formed its geography society as a cover for gathering intelligence. He also explains the importance of maps to the formation of identities and institutions in Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, as well as in Russia. Seegel concludes with a consideration of the impact of cartographers’ regional and socioeconomic backgrounds, educations, families, career options, and available language choices. 

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About the Author:

Steven Seegel is assistant professor of history at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of Ukraine under Western Eyes

Review:

“[A] fascinating topic. . . . Recommended.” (E. Edson, Piedmont Virginia Community College Choice)

“Seegel intricately analyzes the cartography of imperial Russia and Poland-Lithuania as the science evolved and historical demands were placed on it. This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original. Seegel should be congratulated for creating it, and the University of Chicago Press, for producing it.” (Robert Legvold Foreign Affairs)

“[R]emarkable and compelling. . . . Mapping Europe’s Borderlands is an important book, . . . providing the basis for a fundamental reappraisal of the history of this hugely important area over the past few centuries.” (Adam Zamoyski Times Literary Supplement)

“[T]his work is underpinned by impressive scholarship. The author has evidently examined hundreds of original maps and associated materials in many libraries and archives across Europe and the United States, has consulted numerous scholars, and appears to have command of several languages.” (H-Net)

“[B]eautifully illustrated. . . . The book is awash in maps of all sorts, some in brilliant color. The sheer number of them cited or explained is remarkable, proving Seegel’s wide-ranging research. He . . . never fails to tell us about the story behind the pictures, giving us a sense of the men who plotted the maps and, in some cases, paid for them with broken lives and careers. . . . Anyone interested in the problems of nationality and geography in the Russian-ruled borderlands of Eastern Europe should read this book.” (Willard Sunderland, University of Cincinnati American Historical Review)

Mapping Europe’s Borderlands makes a valuable contribution and offers directions for future research. It is painstakingly researched, bringing together information from sources not only in English, but also in Russian, German, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and other languages. It is extensively illustrated. This book should appeal to a broader range of readers of the history of cartography because much of what it reveals about the mapping of Russia, East, and East Central Europe easily is applicable elsewhere in the modern world of empire.” (Dennis Reinhartz, University of Texas at Arlington Imago Mundi)

“Seegel offers a thoughtful framework by which historians can read maps against the grain, uncovering ideologies related to anthropology, geology, statistics, and numerous other domains of natural knowledge.” (Michael D. Gordin Isis)

“A rich study of East European and Russian cartography from the Enlightenment to the end of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Steven Seegel scrutinizes the scientific and pedagogical value of military, historical, and ethnographic maps, geography textbooks, and cartographic literature in eleven different languages. The result is a detailed work that illuminates how Russia adopted the Enlightenment’s instruments of scientific progress and adapted them into tools of modern governance. . . . By inviting readers to view East European lands through the prism of geographers, Steven Seegel has made a noteworthy contribution to the study of territory and space in Russian and East European history.” (Kitty Lam, Michigan State University Slavonica)

“The book is not only a real showpiece of the author‘s erudition and brilliant orientation in a vast multilingual literature of the subject, but it is first and foremost a critical contribution to our understanding of the ‘situated messiness’ of east central European borderlands and the place contested cartographies and constructed geographies have played in this region’s historical formation between 1772 and 1919.”
(Andrzej Nowak, Jagiellonian University, Poland Journal of Historical Geography)

“[Mapping Europe’s Borderlands] will undoubtedly serve as a point of reference for academics in a wide range of disciplines, from anthropology and geography to history and sociology.” (Gwilym Eades, University of London Cartographica)

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The simplest purpose of a map is a rational one: to educate, to solve a problem, to point someone in the right direction. Maps shape and communicate information, for the sake of improved orientation. But maps exist for states as well as individuals, and they need to be interpreted as expressions of power and knowledge, as Steven Seegel makes clear in his impressive and important new book. Mapping Europe s Borderlands takes the familiar problems of state and nation building in Eastern Europe and presents them through an entirely new prism, that of cartography and cartographers. Drawing from sources in eleven languages, including military, historical-pedagogical, and ethnographic maps, as well as geographic texts and related cartographic literature, Seegel explores the role of maps and mapmakers in the east central European borderlands from the Enlightenment to the Treaty of Versailles. For example, Seegel explains how Russia used cartography in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and, later, formed its geography society as a cover for gathering intelligence. He also explains the importance of maps to the formation of identities and institutions in Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, as well as in Russia. Seegel concludes with a consideration of the impact of cartographers regional and socioeconomic backgrounds, educations, families, career options, and available language choices. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780226744254

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