Qualifications and caveats countering my arguments and narrative in the book North: The Rise & Fall of the Polar Cosmos.
North is in many ways a very partial book. I fully intended to include all the major caveats, alternate views, and complexities. But if there was one clear theme to the feedback I got from drafts, it was: ‘Find your through-line, and cut down on the caveats.’ I guess if you’re foolish enough to take on a history that starts in Africa 200,000 years ago and ends with the Apollo missions to the moon, you have to accept that you’re not going to be able to satisfy all your discursive urges.
To a large extent, North is an attack on hierarchy. Or to be more precise, it’s an attack on the image of hierarchy. Its cosmological history uncovers the ways in which certain facets of the appearance of the world — especially the elevated centrality of the north pole star — are seized, amplified, embellished, and used to justify and naturalise social hierarchies.