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Geographies of Mars – Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Geographies of Mars: Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet

K. Maria D. Lane


One of the first maps of Mars, published by an Italian astronomer in 1877, with its pattern of canals, fueled belief in intelligent life forms on the distant red planet—a hope that continued into the 1960s. Although the Martian canals have long since been dismissed as a famous error in the history of science, this book argues that there was nothing accidental about these early interpretations. Indeed, it argues, the construction of Mars as an incomprehensibly complex and engineered world both reflected and challenged dominant geopolitical themes during a time of major cultural, intellectual, p ... More

Keywords: Mars, red planet, Martian canals, geography, European imperialism, American expansionism, astronomy, Percival Lowell, Alfred Russel Wallace, Lester Frank Ward

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780226470788
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226470795.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

K. Maria D. Lane, author