Susan Schulten


On her book A History of America in 100 Maps

Cover Interview of June 26, 2019


My hope is that this book demonstrates that maps are essential artifacts of history. Judging from the enthusiastic reception the book has had to this point, I have every expectation that maps and graphic materials of all sorts will only become more central to the study of history. In my own research, maps have put into high relief people and places that otherwise remain invisible to the historical record. For instance, by studying hundreds of manuscript maps drawn by schoolgirls after the Revolution, I’ve come away with a deeper understanding of the way women were educated. There are many more examples like this, where maps don’t just complement our beliefs about the past but raise new questions about it.

To put it briefly, when people hear me speak, or reach out to me about the book, the most common thing they say is this: I will never look at a map the same way again.