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What is a country? Acclaimed travel writer and Oxford geography don Nick Middleton brings to life the origins and histories of 50 states that, lacking international recognition and United Nations membership, exist on the margins of legitimacy in the global order. From long-contested lands like Crimea and Tibet to lesser-known territories such as Africa's last colony and a European republic that enjoyed independence for a single day, Middleton presents fascinating stories of shifting borders, visionary leaders, and "forgotten" peoples. Beautifully illustrated with 50 regional maps, each country is literally die-cut out of the page, offering a distinctive tactile experience while exploring these remarkable places.
About the Author
Nick Middleton is a geographer, author, and television documentary writer and presenter. A fellow of St Anne's College, he lives and teaches in Oxford, England.
"A fascinating catalogue of stories and a reminder of how varied the world can be when the established geopolitical order starts fraying at the edges."
“Middleton, a geographer at the University of Oxford, has now charted these hidden lands. . . . it feels like you have entered a parallel world with a vibrant, forgotten history and a rich culture.”
"...an engaging browse for YA and adult amateur geography enthusiasts."
"Don’t be fooled by the title of this engrossing, delightfully presented book. You’ll not find Middle-earth, Atlantis or Lilliput inside, but you will find something just as intriguing - real places that are quite noteworthy in the minds and hearts of their nonfictional inhabitants, but are “unrecognized and largely unnoticed states whose claims to legitimacy are made invisible” by their clearly defined, “official” neighbors...Along with the attractive format and the short but informative entries, the jacketless textured gray cover with a dramatic cutout makes “Atlas” a handsome addition to a shelf of geography or political histories. Anyone who keeps such shelves would do well to give this atlas a go, and it’s sure to prompt discussions about what makes a country a 'real country.'"
“From the Isle of Man to Elgaland-Vargaland (this is one you’ll have to read about to believe), we take an armchair voyage to 50 different countries that we may or may not already be familiar with. . . . I learned so much about obscure bits of the world’s history, geography, and political history that I kept quoting tidbits to my family until they were sick of me.”