Cover image for Historical atlas of Central America
Historical atlas of Central America
Hall, Carolyn, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Norman, Okla. : University of Oklahoma Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 atlas (xiv, 321 pages) : color illustrations, color maps ; 34 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G1551.S1 H2 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Central America has been a region of global importance since it was first explored by the Spanish early in the sixteenth century. Yet this mosaic of seven states, extending from Guatemala and Belize to Panama, remains one of the least known regions of Latin America. Drawing on more than fifty combined years of research and teaching in Central America, Carolyn Hall and Héctor Pérez Brignoli provide a new interpretation and an innovative synthesis of the region's history and culture in the Historical Atlas of Central America.

The first two sections of the atlas review five centuries of territorial organization, demography, and culture. The final three sections focus on the economic, political, and social issues specific to each century, beginning with the colonial period and continuing to the present day. Lavishly illustrated with more than 140 color and black-and-white illustrations and more than 400 original full-color maps accompanied by explanatory and interpretive text, the Historical Atlas of Central America will serve as a landmark for future studies.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Retired geography professor Hall and history professor P?rez Brignoli, both associated with the Universidad de Costa Rica, and cartographer Cotter (geography, Southwestern Univ.) have collaborated on a rather unusual project. This handsomely produced atlas of Central America is divided into five principal if sometimes overlapping sections: "Environment and Territory"(geography, climate, ecology, and an overview of political boundaries); "People and Places: The Patterns of Cultural Change" (Indian cultures and the Spanish conquest); "Colonial Societies" (colonial repression and the "Pax Hispanica"); "The Formation of National Societies" (postcolonial development, political-territorial evolution, economics, and transportation); and "The Challenge of Development" (20th-century political development, social movements, and revolutions). The authoritative text is enhanced by 405 color maps and 140 color illustrations. The main theme is fragmentation and diversity, which is in evidence here except for a brief period of unity. A 24-page classified bibliography and glossary give this study added dimension. No comprehensive historical atlas of the Central American countries has been issued in recent decades, and this one certainly fills that void. Highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries, especially those with geographical collections.-Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This excellent historical atlas covers seven countries--Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize--from the 16th through the 20th centuries. The preface states its goal: "to produce both a detailed cartographic survey of Central America's development since the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century and a text offering a new interpretation of the region's history and geography over the past five centuries." It achieves both objectives. The atlas provides more than 500 maps in color (most drawn for this publication) as well as many graphs and illustrations. Maps showing physical geography or political, demographic, cultural, economic, and social topics may cover the entire isthmus, one country, or a smaller area. The text combines historical facts with interpretation, giving an overview of many facets of the region's history and contributing to an understanding of the maps. Supplementary material includes a glossary defining Spanish words used in the work, an extensive list of published and unpublished sources on which the publication is based, and an index of personal names, places, and subjects. An important addition to any reference collection covering Latin American or world geography, political or economic history, and many other topics. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections. A. Hartness University of Texas at Austin