Ben Keene- Historical Maps and What they Teach us

Ben Keene has appeared on National Public Radio, Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio as well as many other nationally syndicated programs to discuss geographic literacy and his work updating a bestselling world atlas. Formerly a touring musician, he now contributes to World Hum, Transitions Abroad, Nordic Reach, Draft, TravelMuse, and inTravel.

image_keene.JPGBecause I don’t enjoy shopping, I rarely buy souvenirs on my trips abroad. Yet two years ago, while browsing the stacks of a used bookstore in St. Andrews, Scotland, I happened across a small volume with a faded red cover that I couldn’t bear to leave behind. Plus, £4.50 hardly seemed extravagant given that I’d paid £3.80 for a pint of beer and a mug of black coffee the night before.

Published in 1928 by Methuen & Co. Ltd. of London, The Fjords and Folk of Norway is a unique combination of travel guide, social history, and encyclopedia. It was peppered with 43 images photographed and captioned by the author Samuel J. Beckett, and to my delight, included a two-color, fold-out map of a country the preface confidently described as “a land in every way ideal for holiday travel.” Given the theme for this year’s Geography Awareness Week, I thought it deserved a mention here.

Keep reading Ben’s full post on his blog!

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