An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist: A compendium of fifty unrecognized and largely unnoticed states by Nick Middleton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been intrigued about micronations and unrecognized nations for a long, long time. I used to make little maps as a kid, devour atlases and such. It's just always been there. I was told about this absolutely gorgeous book a while back and knew I needed to own a copy.
In terms of presentation, this is one of the best I've seen. The maps are cut out from the pages before them, allowing for basic demographics on one page and capsule histories on the following. You get a very basic look at each "nation" and then move right on to the next one. It's a lot of fun, and perhaps more of an introductory piece.
The book ultimately loses points for me because of the overall lack of detail and the choices made as to which to highlight. For every oddity like Sealand, you get a lot of indigenous lands or annexed provinces that maybe don't belong in a volume like this in this sort of presentation. Plus, giving what amounts to one page of detail for each nation (for example, much of Sealand is given to the armed attempt to take it over by the British government and not much else; even the
introductory piece gives more detail in their shortform piece than this does) simply doesn't give the sort of weight or depth that a lot of these deserve. I wanted more!
Overall, though, this is just as much a conversation piece as it is a conversation starter. Absolutely a must have for those who love pretty books or want a good starter to the micronation/lost nations discussion, but if you're already well-versed and data presentation isn't your cup of tea, you might want to look elsewhere.
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