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24 Reviews
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83 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and informative book
"The Map Book" provides ample evidence of Mr. Barber's and his colleagues' knowledge and love of maps. The finely detailed reproductions of the historical maps alone would be worth the price the price of the book, but the addition of the well-informed and entertaining essays which accompany each map imbue the maps with greater meaning and provide a window into the...
Published on December 19, 2005 by viktor_57

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars going blind!
I really looked forward to getting this book and wish I had read the reviews first. While I can enjoy the overall design of the maps, I certainly found my enjoyment lessened by the fact that I cannot read the print on most of them, even with a magnifying glass. This, in turn, lessened the appeal of the text. Just a mess, to be honest.

Didn't any editor notice...
Published on November 18, 2009 by BeachReader


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83 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and informative book, December 19, 2005
By 
viktor_57 "viktor_57" (Fairview, Your Favorite State, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
"The Map Book" provides ample evidence of Mr. Barber's and his colleagues' knowledge and love of maps. The finely detailed reproductions of the historical maps alone would be worth the price the price of the book, but the addition of the well-informed and entertaining essays which accompany each map imbue the maps with greater meaning and provide a window into the thoughts, traditions, and motives of the mapmakers and those for whom the maps were intended. One could open this book at any page and become engrossed from the history and culture represented by each of the maps.

With the physical dimensions and glossy pages of a coffee table books, "The Map Book" goes beyond most of the genre by being not only pleasing to the eye, but stimulating to the mind as well. This book never fails to catch the attention of my guests and I never fail to be pleased at the undeserved compliments given to me from my simply having and displaying the book.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth the wait... finally arrived and it's stunning!, March 12, 2006
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This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
This book just arrived in the mail yesterday! Wow! I never thought I would be saying this about ANY item that takes almost three months to arrive (we are in the 21st century are we not?), but it was worth the wait. The breadth of this book's coverage is amazing - the organization by year is really interesting - you can see the progression of maps (and the dozens upon dozens of invented uses of maps). Many of the maps featured in this book seem to be rare gems. And the paper and print quality are top-notch. Best of all, this book tries to educate while it's busy pleasing the eye, asking its readers thought-provoking questions (like showing a composite satellite image and asking "is this a map"?).

More than just a coffee table book, I am excited to finally own this visual feast! Very thought-provoking... being a geek is cool again! :-)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars going blind!, November 18, 2009
This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
I really looked forward to getting this book and wish I had read the reviews first. While I can enjoy the overall design of the maps, I certainly found my enjoyment lessened by the fact that I cannot read the print on most of them, even with a magnifying glass. This, in turn, lessened the appeal of the text. Just a mess, to be honest.

Didn't any editor notice the size of the print on the maps? Or are they sight-impaired?

I am just glad that I only paid $8 for this, used, including shipping.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice coffee table book, January 14, 2009
By 
This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
This book blends a history lesson with interesting maps. Sometimes the maps leave you wanting more detail, but overall, it's an intriguing idea. I gave it as a gift to a map lover, and it was well received.
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36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better to behold than to read, December 29, 2005
This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
This sumptuous volume of maps covers the topic from a broad perspective. The illustrations are many and pleasing to the eye. But the book seems meant to be displayed on a coffee table as it is almost too heavy to hold and read comfortably. The writing is pedestrian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU LOVE MAPS THIS IS A REAL FIND, October 24, 2013
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This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
Great variety of maps..different time periods..lots of color plates (a must for me). Nice size. Hours of enjoyment. Beats so many others I have purchased in the past
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor binding, January 16, 2011
By 
Susan (Merritt Island, FL, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
I ordered this for my husband for Christmas. He browsed through it a time or two and recently picked it up to read more thoroughly. When he opened it, the back spine broke and opened completely, leaving the internal spine to secure the book. This was a great disappointment, since the maps in the book are fascinating. We've recently begun studying Roman history via some Teaching Company courses and thought this book would be a wonderful reference. Hopefully, a replacement will be sturdier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Insightful. First Rate Quality. Truly "The Map Book", December 18, 2014
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This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
I am retired military (Army Special Forces) and I have a Masters in History (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and I am a map and cartography nut. I have thousands of maps and dozens of Atlas, map & cartography books. I expected a good book from the reviews and I am very happy to report that this is a great book. It is simply excellent and one of the best map books ever published.

As I've only had it for a few days, I am far from finished with it, but it is full of great maps and very insightful and scholarly information that is also fun, interesting, informative and easy to understand. My wife is not a map nut and see has been looking it over and reading it as well. The last two times I went to get it, she had it and was not thrilled to give it back to me. She told me that she thinks it is the best map book she has ever seen and see teaches geography & cartography (and many other subjects) to her Montessori students.

As far as the mechanics of the book itself, it is large (10x12x1.5), very heavy, at just under 4 pounds and the book is very well made. It has great quality paper, great ink (that does not smell like a chemical spill) and a first rate cover & binding.

My complements to the editor Peter Barber and the publisher Walker & Company. I now know why they call it "The Map Book".
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77 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Photos too small to be of any value. And the Empire is dead ., August 3, 2006
This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
Mr. Barber was apparently so taken by the idea of putting together a collection of his favorite maps that he forgot that: 1) there are already more map books on the market than you can shake a compass at and a bigger book of maps is not automatically a better book, 2) his book, like all the others, was inevitably going to suffer from the same defect, namely reproductions of maps so reduced in size as to be unreadable, and 3) putting the primary focus on maps relating to the defunct British Empire may be patriotic to his countrymen but only serves to amuse the rest of the world.

Oh, and the proofreading provided by his publisher leaves much to be desired. That is unless the Japanese actually DID attack Pearl Harbor on December 3, 1941 !
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great coffee table book for the thinking person (at least the hardcover edition), May 15, 2012
By 
Jackal (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Map Book (Hardcover)
If you love historical maps, this is a good starting point. A couple of hundred maps are presented; one page for the map and one for the text. Other reviewers have described the content further so I will just focus on what I perceived as weaknesses:
- Better resolution should have been used for printing. At least the hard cover edition should have been printed so well that one could use a magnifying glass to get more information. Still the resolution is better than similar books printed in the 90s.
- A bit too many maps prior to 1700, around half the book.
- A very UK-centric approach for the last 3-400 years. The French were producing maps very early (not covered), the Germans had great maps with interesting typography 100 years ago (not covered), the Russians have produced very odd maps, like the one's given to soldiers (not covered), and the Japanese also have interesting maps (not covered).
- The text is short and descriptive but not insightful. The book The Image of the World: 20 Centuries of World Maps has a much more insightful text. So that is the book you should read to better understand world maps.

If you want a coffee table book for the thinking person, this is a great choice. Four stars.
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The Map Book
The Map Book by Peter Barber (Hardcover - November 15, 2005)
$50.00 $32.16
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