A History of the World in 47 Borders

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Author: Jonn Elledge

Category: Literature & literary studies

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Wildfire

ISBN: 9781472298508

RRP: $59.99

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‘Fascinating and hugely entertaining’ MARINA HYDE

‘By turns surprising, funny, bleak, ridiculous, or all four of those at once’ GIDEON DEFOE

People have been drawing lines on maps for as long as there have been maps to draw on. Sometimes rooted in physical geography, sometimes entirely arbitrary, these lines might often have looked very different if a war or treaty or the decisions of a handful of tired Europeans had gone a different way. By telling the stories of these borders, we can learn a lot about how political identities are shaped, why the world looks the way it does – and about human folly.

From the Roman attempts to define the boundaries of civilisation, to the secret British-French agreement to carve up the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, to the reason why landlocked Bolivia still maintains a navy, this is a fascinating, witty and surprising look at the history of the world told through its borders.

Jonn Elledge is a New Statesman columnist and a contributor to the Big Issue, the Guardian, the Evening Standard and a number of other newspapers. He was previously an assistant editor at the New Statesman, where he created and ran its urbanism-focused CityMetric site, spending six happy years writing about cities, maps and borders and hosting the Skylines podcast. He has written three books, as well as over a hundred editions of the Newsletter of (Not Quite) Everything. He lives in London.

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