An Atlas of Extinct Countries
Gideon Defoe, famed for his revelations about pirates, briefly tells the often hilarious and occasionally sad tales of failures among little-known countries with scant opportunity to find space in an atlas. Such countries are, or rather were, scattered all over the globe, founded, touted, described, plundered by brash optimists, many of them operating on the wrong side of the law.
In a page or two, Defoe names each country, its capital and currency, as well as the reason for its birth and demise. Most became enclaves in larger countries, such as Sedang, now tucked into Vietnam, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island), now engulfed by Chile. The majority came to grief from “a combination of rats, disease, not thinking things through, and godawful Europeans.” The nineteenth century Republic of Texas apparently “Didn’t want to really exist in the first place.” The once-upon-a-time Republic of West Florida was “swallowed” by the United States.
Today’s scams are nothing compared with some of the outrageously successful ventures that fizzled out over the years, much to the distress and despair of gullible investors. Now, as we begin to travel again after a year spent at home, we must be sure our destination actually exists.
|Page Count||304 page|
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