The conclusion recaps the ways in which the previous chapters used the lives of the mapmen to argue for a less literal, more personal and nuanced interpretation of their maps. It reaffirms maps as made by powerful and transnational men, more than just geopolitical schemers, as not modern in the way they left room for chaos and tension, as symbols of the fraternal bonds of the mapmakers, and as blueprints for messy, multigenerational legacies and affairs. It ends by urging a comprehensive consideration of the maps, the mapmen, and their science: as indicative of an imagined world of higher callings and politics, a call to frontiersmanship in modernity’s shrinking of the world, a legacy of transcultural racism, and intimate culminations of the self and society of the men who made them.
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