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German propaganda map showing western European migrants to America, c. 1939


Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line

British Library, 4th November to 1st March 2017

The emblem of the United Nations depicts a map of the world held in two olive branches symbolising peace. It may sound uncontroversial, but the first version centred on the United States and cut off part of Argentina; it had to be revised. As this exhibition will demonstrate, maps are political dynamite.

Maps became potent tools in the 20th century, which saw the movement of people and the frequent toppling and creation of new states. It was also during this century, curator Tom Harper suggests, that their use became commonplace, rather than the preserve of landowners, scholars and the military. The British Library has drawn together over 150 maps and related objects, from the first one of AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood to a trench-map of the Somme battlefields.

Victor Pasmore, Towards a New Reality

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s November issue: Sam Tanenhaus argues Donald Trump is a consequence of the American government ignoring the people—and they’ll have to deal with his impact whether he wins or loses the presidential election. Diane Roberts explores the rage eating America by looking at the people that government has failed. Switching the focus to the UK, David Marquand and a quartet of commentators assess Labour’s position—with varying conclusions. Also in this issue: Matthew Qvortrup looks at the relationship between Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, two of Europe’s most important politicians whose lives have long been intertwined. Andy Burnham, Labour’s candidate for the mayor of Manchester, lays down the reasons why the northern powerhouse is so important and Prospect’s Arts and Books Editor Sameer Rahim reviews Zadie Smith’s latest novel.