catechism's Reviews > Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline

Cartographies of Time by Daniel Rosenberg
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bookshelves: nonfiction, scitech, maps, visual-arts, history

This is a very pretty book (although many of the illustrations could have been bigger), and it's sometimes an interesting and well-written one (assuming you are into hilarious chronography puns!), but I didn't feel it hung together very well, and I'm not sure if it was because the authors were trying to do too much or too little. eg: It mentions that the evolution of the timeline is a conceptual one, but the concept of time itself is largely ignored. The work of narrative historiography, while outside the scope of the book, probably should have featured just a little more prominently in the sections of the book talking about historical narratives. I also felt like it jumped around way too much when discussing religion, and it stayed pretty firmly in the camp of western civ.

That all said, I thought the individual chapters were generally pretty good (my favorite was the chapter on artistic representations of time); it just lacked some larger coherent point.

In my head, it goes pretty well on a shelf with with Tufte and other designy books (100 Diagrams That Changed the World); nerdy pop-sci books about calendars (The Calendar); extra-nerdy math books (Calendrical Calculations); and I don't know, some philosophical survey book like Philosophy of Time. It doesn't quite fill the gaps between those things, but it's a start.

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Reading Progress

November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: scitech
November 26, 2012 – Shelved
November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: nonfiction
November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: maps
November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: visual-arts
November 26, 2012 – Shelved as: history
December 1, 2013 – Started Reading
December 6, 2013 – Finished Reading

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