What is a country? While certain basic tenets-such as the clear demarcation of a country's borders, and the acknowledgment of its sovereignty by other countries and by international governing bodies like the United Nations-seem applicable, journalist Joshua Keating's book explores exceptions to these rules, including "breakaway," "semi-autonomous," or "self-proclaimed" countries such as Abkhazia, Kurdistan, Somaliland, a Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S.-Canada border, and an island nation whose very existence is threatened by climate change.
Through stories about these countries' efforts at self-determination, as well as their respective challenges, Keating reveals that there is no universal legal authority determining what we consider a country. He argues that although our current world map appears fairly static, economic, cultural, and environmental forces in the places he describes may spark change. Keating ably bridges history with incisive and sympathetic observations drawn from his travel and personal interviews with residents, political leaders, and scholars in each of these countries.
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by Joshua Melville
by Joshua Kaplan
by Joshua Mohr
by Joshua Khan
"Author Joshua Keating's book on the longing of peoples like the Kurds for a nation of their own is a compelling work in itself. But he would have been better served if a more experienced narrator had delivered this audiobook edition. His discussion challenges and broadens our notion of nationhood and illuminates many of conflicts that endure today, some of them centuries old. As a writer, Keating is relaxed, companionable, and informative. As a narrator, he's stiff and overly regular in his cadence. The idea of a world soccer championship between "invisible" nations is droll, sad, and stirring all at once, and would make an excellent film premise. As a listening experience, the same material is still interesting, but flat. D.A.W. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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