Details

ISBN-10: 1609456807
ISBN-13: 9781609456801
Publisher: Europa Compass
Publish Date: 06/08/2021
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 5.50" W, 1.30" H

An Atlas of Extinct Countries

Hardcover

Price: $26.00

Overview

Prisoners of Geography meets Bill Bryson: a funny, fascinating, beautifully illustrated–and timely–history of countries that, for myriad and often ludicrous reasons, no longer exist.

“Countries are just daft stories we tell each other. They’re all equally implausible once you get up close.”

Countries die. Sometimes it’s murder, sometimes it’s by accident, and sometimes it’s because they were so ludicrous they didn’t deserve to exist in the first place. Occasionally they explode violently. A few slip away almost unnoticed. Often the cause of death is either “got too greedy” or “Napoleon turned up.” Now and then they just hold a referendum and vote themselves out of existence.

This is an atlas of 48 nations that fell off the map. The polite way of writing an obituary is: dwell on the good bits, gloss over the embarrassing stuff. This book refuses to do so, because these dead nations are so full of schemers, racists, and con men that it’s impossible to skip the embarrassing stuff.

Because of this – and because treating nation-states with too much reverence is the entire problem with pretty much everything – these accounts are not concerned with adding to the earnest flag saluting in the world, however nice some of the flags might be.

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Reviews

★ "This book is a sparkling gem."–Booklist (Starred Review)

"Defoe brings a light touch to this unique collection... The author's superior talent for vivid similes and punchy writing do justice to the tales of megalomaniacs and fools. This is perfect for fans of Atlas Obscura."–Publishers Weekly

"Both educational and entertaining, An Atlas of Extinct Countries is an irreverent look at the history of defunct nations and the larger-than-life personalities behind them."–ForeWord Reviews

"As fun and light-hearted as Defoe's writing seems on the surface, there's always a comment being made. Great fun."–The Independent

"Not just a recitation of nations that no longer exist, An Atlas of Extinct Countries is a very pointed and very funny critique of nation-states, borders, and the flawed men who make them....a timely cautionary history."–Lit Hub

"Defoe keeps things moving along and has a winning proclivity toward footnotes–where he does some of his best writing–and nonsensical asides."–Kirkus Reviews

"Equal parts satire and farce as if written by Monty Python, Defoe skewers everyone and everything in a laugh-out-loud performance."–Publisher's Weekly

"Very funny, very silly and highly original."–Esquire

"One of the biggest joys in my life this year, stuffed with witty one-liners and good-humored observations on the human condition."–Sacramento News & Review

"Throughout the book, Defoe manages to mix nonsensical jokes with subtle social commentary... Equal parts witty and absurd, it will put a smile on the face of even the stiffest reader."–Memphis Flyer

"Not just a recitation of nations that no longer exist, An Atlas of Extinct Countries is a very pointed and very funny critique of nation-states, borders, and the flawed men who make them....a timely cautionary history."–Lesley Rains, City of Asylum Bookstore (Pittsburgh, PA)

"Defoe brings a light touch to this unique collection [...] The author's superior talent for vivid similes and punchy writing do justice to the tales of megalomaniacs and fools. This is perfect for fans of Atlas Obscura."–Publisher's Weekly

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Details

ISBN-10: 1609456807
ISBN-13: 9781609456801
Publisher: Europa Compass
Publish Date: 06/08/2021
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 5.50" W, 1.30" H
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