The Rise and Fall of the National Atlas in the Twentieth Century

The Rise and Fall of the National Atlas in the Twentieth Century

Power, State and Territory

By John Rennie Short

Many countries produced an official national atlas in the twentieth century. This book examines these national atlases as an intriguing window into the connections between science, state, territory and power.

Hardback, 250 Pages


July 2022

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

The publication of the National Atlas of Finland in 1899 marks the beginning of the era of the modern national atlas. It is a period that coincides neatly with the twentieth century. The modern national atlas mirrors and embodies some of the important themes of this turbulent century, including the complex connections between nation, state and territory, the rise of state-sponsored science; the growth of nation-states; the geography of biopolitics. 

Between 1900 and 2000, more than seventy countries produced a national atlas, an official or quasi-official rendering of the nation-state in maps and accompanying text. A useful working definition of a national atlas is “a generally comprehensive, officially sanctioned single-country atlas.” This book considers the reasons behind and characteristics of this state-sponsored cartographic explosion. The changing form of the national atlas provides an intriguing window into the connections between science, state, territory and power.

The primary material for this study is a close reading of thirty-seven of these national atlases from countries across the world. They represent a wide range of countries from rich to poor, progressive to regressive, and capitalist to communist. In total, these atlases provide a range of different state arrangements and national experiences. 


No reviews for this title.

Author Information

John Rennie Short is a professor in the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He has published widely in a range of journals and is the author of fifty books. 


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The Early National Atlas; 3. Cartographic Anxieties: The Emergence of the Modern National Atlas; 4. Cartographic Ruptures; 5. National Atlas, Global Discourse; 6. The Physical Worlds of the National Atlas; 7. The Social Worlds of the National Atlas; 8. The End of the National Atlas?


No Podcasts for this title.

Latest Tweets

  • 'Start Me Up and Keep Me Growing: Management Learnings from the Rolling Stones' by Bertold Bär-Bouyssiere is finall…

    - 11:26:33 on 16/06/2022
  • At @NorwayinUK last week Geir-Egil Løken, Svein Tore Bergestuen, Asbjørn Rachlew discussed their new Anthem publica…

    - 11:26:33 on 01/06/2022
  • RT @DrToddLandman: New book with @AnthemPress coming this July! Six years of podcasts crafted into a book: #humanri…

    - 11:26:33 on 01/04/2022
  • 'In Defense of Reason After Hegel' by Richard Dien Winfield is finally here! It undermines the assault on truth per…

    - 11:26:33 on 31/03/2022
  • Out now: 'Gender, Sexuality and Feminism in Pakistani Urdu Writing' by Amina Yaqin. This book sets out an unconvent…

    - 11:26:33 on 31/03/2022
  • Tune-in to a discussion with Markos Kounalakis on his latest book, 'Freedom Isn't Free' moderated by Bill Whalen.…

    - 11:26:33 on 31/03/2022
  • Out now! 'Sounding Prose' by Natascha Veldhorst. This book is about the presence of music in novels. More specifica…

    - 11:26:33 on 30/03/2022
  • 'Logos and Life' by Roger Teichmann is finally here! The essays cover topics in philosophy of mind, philosophy of…

    - 11:26:33 on 30/03/2022
  • 'The Whole Durn Human Comedy' by Joseph McBride is finally here! This is a groundbreaking, incisive critical study…

    - 11:26:33 on 23/03/2022
  • Out now! 'Emerging Thoughts in Disability and Humanness' by Elizabeth DePoy & Stephen French Gilson. Find out more…

    - 11:26:33 on 22/03/2022

Comodo SSL