The Fourth Part of the World : The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name
by Toby Lester

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More About The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester
  • ISBN-13: 9781416535317
  • ISBN-10: 1416535314
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publish Date: November 2009
  • Page Count: 462

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 116.
  • Review Date: 2009-06-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

With the excitement and exhilaration of an explorer, Atlantic contributor Lester sets off on his own journey of discovery across the seas of cartography and history. In 2003, the Library of Congress paid $10 million for the only existing copy of the 1507 map that was the first to show the New World and call it “America.” Lester ranges over the history of cartography, such as the zonal maps of the Middle Ages that divided the world into three parts—Africa, Europe and Asia. In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann, working with a small group of scholars in a small town in eastern France produced their map, based on Amerigo Vespucci's voyages to the West and discovery of South America. In just a few decades the Waldseemüller map was out of date, but its world-changing status lived on, and in 1901 a Jesuit priest, poking around a small German castle, stumbled on a copy. Lester traces the map's journey to America over the next century in a majestic tribute to a historic work. First serial to Smithsonian magazine. (Nov. 3)

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