FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. The Atlas of Prejudice, also known as the book which was written in English but was first published in Germany, is a continuation of the highly successful Mapping Stereotypes project by visual artist Yanko Tsvetkov. Started in January 2009, the project soon became a viral online sensation. It even received Twitter’s equivalent of an Academy Award:
Marvelous maps of Europe as seen by different groups: http://bigthink.com/ideas/24357
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) October 16, 2010
Two years after, the Guardian newspaper summed up its qualities with the grammatically correct sentence: “No matter where you’re from, you should be able to find something here to offend you.”
The project was gradually expanded to contain more than 40 stereotype maps, which the author describes as cartographic caricatures ridiculing the worst excesses of human bigotry and narrow-mindedness. (I’m speaking in 3rd person to make myself look important.) The essays that accompany them narrate the story of the project and contemplate humanity’s affair with prejudice since the dawn of civilization. They offer an even deeper but equally hilarious perspective on our inherent tendency to randomly blame people simply because someone convinced us that they ate our breakfast.
According to this book, the first domesticated animal was not the dog, but the scapegoat. The razor-sharp irony of the author will guide you through the delusions of the ancient civilizations of Greece and China, reveal the stupefying amalgam of superstition and paranoia of the Middle Ages and it will leave you begging for more with a grotesquely hilarious prediction about the future of Europe.
Update: The Russian edition of the book, Атлас стереотипов и предрассудков, was published by Alpina Non Fiction in September 2013. The second volume of the Atlas of Prejudice is scheduled for publication in Germany next year by Knesebeck Verlag.