Author: Professor Alastair Bonnett

Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781781316399

An extremely valuable volume of maps on a wide range of subjects, stretching from the highly contentious nuclear energy and renewables to such restful topics as peacefulness and happiness, all set within a global context, New Views: The World Mapped Like Never Before should prove to be an insightful source of information for a wide diversity of readers. As such, all public libraries across the globe would benefit from making the work available to both students and members of the general public. The full-page color reproductions of global maps should provide enough mental stimulation to excite any active and inquiring mind. Being multi-focused, New Views should also encourage any specialist who consults these pages to venture outside the bounds of their own narrow sphere of interest into realms that perhaps even boggle the imagination. In short, the pages of this quarto book are worth delving into across a spectrum of concerns.

The actual physicality of the text seems to bring the world into one’s grasp in a much more meaningful way than if one were to try searching for these maps on the internet. The knowledge of the compiler of this collection, Alistair Bonnett, who is Professor of Social Geography at Newcastle University, shows off his academic background in the liveliest of ways. With his previous works including Off the Map, What is Geography? (ironical as the title might seem in the current context) and How to Argue, among others, he clearly has a lively mind that finds many different aspects of his key subject intriguing, and, what’s even better, is that he is able to convey his enthusiasm for cartography to an audience that should be equally intellectually informed and sensually aroused with a sense of wonder by the amount of factual detail that is presented in such an accessible graphic form.

Not relying purely on the illustrative nature of New Views, each of the fifty maps is accompanied by pages of text highlighting the key points of the map concerned. Despite his academic nature, Bonnett writes in a style that should be understandable across the age groups. The lack of obtuseness and abstruseness in the test shows that he is an effective communicator of ideas that stretch far beyond the geographic realm, into the realm of philosophy and religion—no wonder that two of his foci are linguistic and religious diversity. In short, this is an epic work that should receive substantial recognition across the board.