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New book 'Atlas of Extinct Countries' explores the places that fell off the map

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

There's a very good reason you've never booked a vacation to the Quilombo of Palmeres, the Islands of Refreshment, the Fiume Endeavour or Neutral Moresnet -- they've all ceased to exist. Their stories, and those of numerous others, are detailed in an entertaining new book, "The Atlas of Extinct Countries" by writer Gideon Defoe

And, as is made very apparent in a new book, "The Atlas of Extinct Countries" by writer Gideon Defoe, the reason for their demise isn't always a result of international diplomacy, brinkmanship or peace treaty.

The book, meticulously researched but written for genuine laughs, was inspired by tales that self-confessed "map nerd" Defoe has been collecting over the years.

As was the case with many of these countries, the Italian speaking region of Fiume was redesignated by a pen stroke during horsetrading over frontiers at the end of World War I.

Neutral Moresnet is another tiny nation penciled into existence by larger countries carving up disputed territory, this time at the end of the Napoleonic wars.

"I have a bit of a soft spot for Neutral Moresnet," says Defoe.

"It's charming how this country tries to establish itself," says Defoe.

There are much darker stories too, involving what Defoe calls "degrees of unpleasantness. "

Defoe says that while he's used to conjuring up surreal and sometimes silly plot lines for his novels, the tales collected in "The Atlas of Extinct Countries" are often far more outlandish.

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