The Mapmaker’s Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

Washington State University Press, Pullman WA 2005



  • American Library Association, Best of the Best University Publications of 2005

“I would like to point out also the very positive reaction that Jack Nisbet’s extraordinary new book, The Mapmaker’s Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau, is receiving in Canada. Any question about the need for an interpretative guide for David Thompson’s activities has, in my mind, been made completely moot by this work. After reading Nisbet’s book, I recognized within it all of the material, clearly and succinctly presented, that we need to build an interpretive case for Thompson’s relevance anywhere from the Rockies west in North America.”


– Bob Sandford, Chair, United Nations International Year of Fresh Water

“The Mapmaker’s Eye’s interplay of talents shared by both Thompson and Nisbet makes this a special book. It is as though Thompson’s interests, abilities, and life have mentored Nisbet’s own development as a writer, naturalist, and educator. The abilities enable to book to go beyond illuminating the complex chronology of Thompson’s travels west of the mountains. Nisbet wants us to enter the world of Thompson through the explorer’s own eyes by providing reasoned understandings of the emotional texture of his life. Written as a companion piece to the Northwest Museum of Arts & Cultures exhibit of [the same name], the combination here represents a stunning achievement for author and museum alike.”


– William Layman, Columbia Magazine