Top critical review
Historical maps are weak so unsure about others
9 September 2018
I bought this as an adult reference material for me and my father (retired geologist) since it claimed to have all kinds of latest information on human geography, and it does look colorful with lots of maps representing lots of statistics. The core of the book, the physical and political maps, also look alright while flipping through pages. However, by happenstance, the historical maps caught my eye. I scanned them and was really disappointed.
The emphasis on empires and kingdoms has an unabashed North Indian view, or NCERT view, whichever you prefer. For instance, maps show even Ghazni's empire, of all things, in special color whereas the major Tamil and Kannada empires, which essentially ruled the whole of Deccan continuously for 1500 years or more till Mughals, Marathas and Europeans overpowered them, and contributed to Indian art, literature and culture immensely, are simply clubbed as "others" with the name smacked across the general region with no special color. (the only saving grace is the prominent mentioning of the Vijayanagara empire). This was both disappointing and enraging at the same time. Half of Indian history continues to be underrepresented. Is this what young students have to know and learn?
Now, I understand that these maps are only additional information while the essence of an atlas is the physical geography, but if they commit to include human geography as well it better be balanced with credit being given where it is due. Based on this, I am now unsure if other information is represented adequately balanced or is lopsided as well. So I give it only two stars.