A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols (Politics of Place #2) (Paperback)

A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols (Politics of Place #2) By Tim Marshall Cover Image
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Description


Combining keen analysis of current events with world history, Tim Marshall, author of the New York Times bestseller Prisoners of Geography, provides “an entertaining whistle-stop tour of world flags” (Library Journal)—how their power is used to unite and divide populations and intimidate enemies.

For thousands of years flags have represented our hopes and dreams. We wave them. Burn them. March under their colors. And still, in the twenty-first century, we die for them. Flags fly at the UN, on Arab streets, from front porches in Texas. They represent the politics of high power as well as the politics of the mob. From the renewed sense of nationalism in China, to troubled identities in Europe and the USA, to the terrifying rise of Islamic State, the world is a confusing place right now and it’s important to understand the symbols, old and new, that people are rallying around.

In nine chapters (covering the USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, international flags, and flags of terror), Tim Marshall’s A Flag Worth Dying For is a “brisk, entertaining read…that successfully answers a puzzling question: how can a simple piece of cloth come to mean so much? Marshall presents an informative survey of these highly visible symbols of national or international pride” (Publishers Weekly), representing nation states and non-state actors (including ISIS, Hezbollah, and Hamas), and explains how they figure in diplomatic relations and events today.

Drawing on more than twenty-five years of global reporting experience to reveal the true meaning behind the symbols that unite us—and divide us—Marshall “writes with the cool drollery that characterized the work of Christopher Hitchens or Simon Winchester” (USA TODAY). The “illuminating” (The New York Times) A Flag Worth Dying For is a winning combination of current affairs, politics, and world history and “a treasure vault for vexillologists, full of meaning beyond the hue and thread of the world’s banners” (Kirkus Reviews).

About the Author


Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than thirty years of reporting experience. He was diplomatic editor at Sky News and before that worked for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from forty countries and covered conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. He is the author of Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the WorldThe Age of Walls: How Barriers Between Nations Are Changing Our World; and A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols. He is founder and editor of the current affairs site TheWhatandtheWhy.com.

Praise For…


“Bristling with historical trivia and commentary on current events, this entertaining survey of vexillology, the study of flags, examines the banners of more than eighty-five nations, as well as those of the Islamic State, the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and pirates.” The New Yorker

“[Marshall] writes with the cool drollery that characterized the work of Christopher Hitchens or Simon Winchester. He tackles a topic that many people take seriously without taking himself seriously, and the result is a book that explains where many of the flags that capture the world's imagination come from and why.” —USA Today

“In this brisk, entertaining read, Marshall successfully answers a puzzling question: how can a simple piece of cloth come to mean so much? Marshall presents an informative survey of these highly visible symbols of national or international pride.” 
Publishers Weekly

“Country by country the author considers the great diversity of the world's flags, serving up with offhand affection a lively text full of interesting anecdotes and telling details. A treasure vault for vexillologists, full of meaning beyond the hue and thread of the world's banners.”
Kirkus Reviews

"A fascinating tour of the world's ensigns, their histories and meanings…a sobering lesson in just how silly we human beings can be."
—Daily Mail (UK)

"Insightful and entertaining ... a truly fascinating book that feels all the more considered and urgent in today's world of Brexit, Trump, China and ISIS."
Wanderlust magazine (UK)

"Marshall points out that we often forget the aggressive symbolism of established flags ... [they] are a quick, visual way of communicating loyalties, power and ideas."
The Times (UK)

"A must read for anyone wishing to grasp the meanings behind today's international affairs."
Human Security Centre (UK)

"Marshall has drawn on 25 years as a reporter in 40 countries to produce an engagingly written, veritable page-turner. Whether the topic is ethnic identity, Japanese imperialism, Panamanian shipping law or the defeat of Nazism, flags speak volumes about our human condition."
The Jewish Chronicle

“An entertaining whistle-stop tour of world flags ” Library Journal

“Marshall oscillates between telling the story of the way flags unite us and the way they divide us. He is acutely aware that they often do both at the same time, and it is this tension that brings out his most illuminating writing.” New York Times Book Review
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501168345
ISBN-10: 1501168347
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Politics of Place

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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