A Brief History of the World in 47 Borders: Surprising Stories Behind the Lines on Our Maps

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About the Author
Jonn Elledge's previous books include The Compendium of (Not Quite) Everything and Conspiracy: A History of Boll*cks Theories, and How Not to Fall for Them. At the New Statesman he created and ran its urbanism-focused CityMetric site, spending six happy years writing about cities, maps, and borders. He lives in London.
The last decade in global politics is a reminder that history never moves in a straight line--but that hasn't ever stopped politicians and powerbrokers from trying to draw them on the maps that hang on the walls of our classrooms and corridors of power. This addictive book from the ever-curious Jonn Elledge proves that and then some. Full of stories you thought you understood and those even the nerds in your life will never have known, this clever, confounding history will help you see the world from a new angle--if you can ever put it down.--Patrick Maguire, author of Left Out
A brilliant account of how these lines on a map shape lives, destinies, and economies. You'll never look at a map in the same way again.--Stephen Bush, Financial Times columnist
Somehow, Jonn Elledge turns geo-political history into a funny, fascinating, and revealing insight not only into the world today but into the frailty and determination of the human spirit. Packed with 'I never knew that' information (the sort that you read out to anyone in the room with you), A History of the World in 47 Borders shows us that history doesn't repeat itself, but it plays out in weird ways right under our noses. He's such a lovely writer. A delight from start to finish.--Miranda Sawyer, author of Out of Time
All borders are artificial and every nation is an invention. Jonn Elledge provides a witty grand tour of the fascinating, disturbing, and downright bizarre decisions that made the world what it is today.--Dorian Lynskey, author of The Ministry of Truth
This is brilliant fun, explaining the modern world in enjoyably bite-sized chapters. It's exactly the book you hope it will be.--Rob Hutton, author of The Illusionist
Acclaim for the UK edition

Totally fascinating and hugely entertaining. This book is a nerd's paradise without borders--but with jokes. Jonn Elledge has such a gift for looking at complicated bits of the world, then telling you all about them in a way that feels not like a textbook, but like an incredibly fun and interesting conversation in the pub.--Marina Hyde, author of What Just Happened?!
By turns surprising, funny, bleak, ridiculous, or all four of those at once, A Brief History of the World in 47 Borders unknots some of the weird historical and geographical tangles we've managed to get ourselves into. And it's timely too, if only because our preoccupation with drawing lines never seems to abate.--Gideon Defoe, author of The Atlas of Extinct Countries