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Apollo's Eye: A Cartographic Genealogy of the Earth in the Western Imagination Paperback – September 10, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


Well written, copiously illustrated, and with an excellent section of notes at the end of each chapter, the author and publishers of this book are to be commended.

(David Cooper Geography)

The richly embroidered garment he has woven together provides a really stimulating argument for anyone interested in the links between representation and political process... Apollo's Eye is constantly thought-provoking.

(Chris Perkins Society of Cartographers Bulletin)

Apollo's Eye will appeal to a broad range of readers, in part because its subject is so keenly relevant to current world events. Cosgrove's erudition is as impressive as ever... Cosgrove shows convincingly how successive understandings of the globe were inflected and distinguished by new technologies and techniques of analysis and representation.

(David L. Hays Cultural Geographies)

A fascinating and unique history.

(Sylvia Bender Western Association of Map Libraries)

From the Author

"Earthbound humans are unable to embrace more than a tiny part of the planetary surface. But in their imagination they can grasp the whole of the earth, as a surface or a solid body, to locate it within infinities of space and to communicate and share images of it."—from the Preface --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cartographic Genealogy of the Earth in the Western Imaginati
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; New Ed edition (September 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801874440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801874444
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,887,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on February 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Astronaut Joseph Allen recently made the observation that exploring the Moon in the 1960s was never really about going to the Moon. “With all the arguments, pro and con, for going to the Moon,” he commented, “no one suggested that we should do it to look at the Earth. But that may in fact be the one important reason.” This observation is useful in focusing attention on the Earth as a wholistic object in the cosmos and the consideration of Western Civilization’s relationship to it. Denis Cosgrove has contributed in this excellent book a discussion of how the Earth as a globe has been perceived throughout history.

Cosgrove builds his discussion around the key concepts of the globe as classical, Christian, oceanic, visionary, emblematic, enlightened, modern, and virtual. Each of these themes is explored in a chapter and the narrative marches through these ideas as individual epochs. They were not really contained in this way, of course, but it is useful methodology for analysis.

Most importantly, Cosgrove asks how conceiving of the Earth as a Christian globe, or a modern globe, or whatever else it has been envisioned over time has affected the evolution of Western Civilization. This book is very much focused on the West and western thought about the Earth; very little is considered concerning Asia, Africa, or other regions of the world.
Most importantly, "Apollo’s Eye: A Cartographic Genealogy of the Earth in the Western Imagination" offers an important contribution by focusing on the globalization of the recent past as a means to connect the peoples of the world into a larger whole. At some level Cosgrove invokes the Spaceship Earth concept in suggesting that human developments over time may be reaching a unity never seen before.
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