Atlas of World History

atlas coverThe Times Concise Atlas of World History
Barraclough (Ed.)
4th Ed

Submitter: At last!  I can finally weed this atlas because the teacher retired.  So many students needed to access print historical atlases, that I had to keep it around.  I am really mystified as to why a 1992 edition of an atlas would feature Stalin against the USSR flag.  Reminds me of when Americans complained about Sherwin-Williams’ “Cover the Earth” ad back in the Cold War days.  There have been significant geographic changes and trends since 1992–even some reminiscent of the Cold War–so this atlas will be “deposed.”

Holly: I get that an atlas of world history would feature something historical on the cover, but Stalin and Russia? It’s an “interesting” choice, anyway. A historical atlas is a beautiful thing to have on-hand in print, but as you can see in this list, there have been geographical changes significant to world history since 1992. I’m not sure how this publisher defines “history” but it feels like there are missing pieces that would qualify.


atlas back cover

The world in the 1990s


  1. What did people say about the Sherwin-Williams’ ad? The idea that there were complaints is new to me.

    1. I find historical atlases to be very interesting for their divergent views of the past. Sometimes an atlas can show an historically important player like the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, “one of the largest[3][4] and most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe,” that is seldom talked about very much in standard history books. (Wikipedia) If I saw this book at a library book sale, I’d buy it.

    2. The Sherwin-Williams ad featured a can of red paint being poured over a globe, which some interpreted as a reference to the spread of “World Communism”. Just Google “Sherwin Williams Communism” to see a few examples of this nuttiness.

    3. It’s a globe being covered by red, which is pretty evocative if you’re completely paranoid about Communists doing their best to stage a world revolution.

      These days, it just looks like the kind of thing a not-so-subtle supervillain would use to announce that he intends to drown the world in blood. Seriously, SW, your logo is creepy.

    4. I had no idea there were complaints! Back in the 80s, all my punk rock friends made a point of having one. The SWP employess could never figure out why their hats were so popular.

  2. First time I took a serious World Geography class in school was in 1992. The teacher opened with “Look, i’m sorry about this. Everything we’re going to teach you is wrong, but I have to stick to the textbook until the new editions come out.”

    1. ¨…AND the board agrees that new textbooks are in order, which might take even longer!¨ The school librarian would have been a hero for adding a 1992 historical atlas to the collection!

      1. I think if I were an atlas or geography textbook writer, I might just spend 1990-1993 on sabbatical. (Possibly the rest of the ’90s too, but you gotta get back to work at SOME point)

  3. Not “Russia,” Holly.
    The Soviet Union, or “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”
    There IS a difference. Well, at least *was*.

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