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Republic or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems (Hardback)
  • Republic or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems (Hardback)
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Republic or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems (Hardback)

(author)
£14.99
Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 27/08/2015
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There are a couple of hundred songs that are sung by millions across the world each day, that school children know by heart and sports fans belt out perfectly even after eight beers. And they aren't pop songs - they are national anthems. These are songs which inspire the fiercest of feelings: for some they are a declaration of nationalistic pride; for others a rallying cry for revolution; and for others still they serve as a shameful reminder of past wrongs. And yet, despite the fact that for many of us they form a fundamental part of our national consciousness, the fascinating stories underlying the creation and adoption of each national anthem have rarely, if ever, been told. In Republic or Death, Alex Marshall brings the incredible stories of the world's national anthems to life. Taking in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas North and South, he embarks on an adventure that includes cycling the route along which French revolutionaries marched as they first sang La Marseillaise; entering a competition for the best singer of the Star-Spangled Banner; and attempting to bribe his way to an audience with the king of Nepal in order to uncover the story behind the only national anthem written on a Casio keyboard. In the course of his enthralling and often hilarious travels, Alex encounters everyone from senior politicians and anthem composers to the sports fans and activists from whom these songs evoke such a wide range of emotions. Along the way, he uncovers the fascinating cultural and musical history of the world's anthems, and also asks us to consider what they mean for us today.

Publisher: Cornerstone
ISBN: 9781847947413
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 505 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"[An] entertaining survey . . . As well as reminding us that there are countries whose national tune still has a power to inspire, Marshall also digs out some choice nuggets about the anthems of the world." * The Times *
"Endlessly engrossing . . . Makes you realise how wrong most of us have been to take national anthems for granted, as if they somehow just appeared, rather than being the products of often fascinating history." * Reader's Digest *
"Fascinating . . . Totally exceeded my expectations. Giving it my highest possible recommendation. Go read it." -- Ed Yong, 'Not Exactly Rocket Science' * National Geographic *
"Very funny and entertaining and very informative." -- Robert Elms * BBC London *
"Hilarious ... unforgettable ... will inspire deep thought over the meaning, construction and symbols of patriotism and national identity." * Times of India *

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