Review: Monmonier, From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow

May 30, 2006
By

jacket imageIn today’s Boston Globe Michael Kenney writes about Mark Monmonier’s "entertaining and enlightening" new book, From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame. Kenney summarizes the book’s description of the process of renaming controversial geographic locations and why it’s important: "Monmonier writes, ‘how a nation manipulates and preserves its place and feature names says a lot about its respect for history, minority rights and indigenous culture.’"
From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow probes this little-known chapter in American cartographic history by considering the intersecting efforts to computerize mapmaking, standardize geographic names, and respond to public concern over ethnically offensive appellations. Interweaving cartographic history with tales of politics and power, celebrated geographer Mark Monmonier locates his story within the past and present struggles of mapmakers to create an orderly process for naming that avoids confusion, preserves history, and serves different political aims.
Read an excerpt.

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