This chapter introduces readers to the topography of Alsace-Lorraine from the perspective of the migratory storks that fly over the region each year. It then introduces the concept of “cartophilia” as a passion for map making and map reading that spread across modern Europe from the late eighteenth century onwards. Cartophilia, the book argues, was inspired by European nationalist movements and made possible through affordable new printing technologies. The chapter also provides an overview of the book’s main contributions to the history of cartography, spatial history, and the history of European nationalism. It concludes with a description of the book’s six thematic chapters, each of which focuses on a different kind of borderland map.
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