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Worth Dying For

The Power and Politics of Flags
Written by: Tim Marshall
Narrated by: Ric Jerom
Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins

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Publisher's Summary

When you see your nation's flag fluttering in the breeze, what do you feel? For thousands of years flags have represented our hopes and dreams. We wave them. Burn them. March under their colours. And still, in the 21st century, we die for them. Flags fly at the UN, on the Arab street, 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 we need to understand the symbols, old and new, that people are rallying round.

In nine chapters (covering the USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, international flags and flags of terror), Tim Marshall draws on more than 25 years of global reporting experience to reveal the histories, the power and the politics of the symbols that unite us - and divide us.

©2016 Tim Marshall (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This might be the comprehensive flag volume we've all been waiting for - a slick yet detailed and well-researched journey through some of the world's most infamous and interesting flags…. Marshall guides us through this myriad of stories admirably." ( Geographical Magazine)
"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)
"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." (Robbie Millen, The Times)

What members say

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  • mr r d eggels
  • 18-05-18

meh!

Some interesting bits, but ultimately weighed down by the dry narration which makes for an effective sedative. Not anywhere near as good as Prisoners of Geography.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Bryony
  • 24-04-18

Very interesting

Some slightly dubious accents from the narrator. They were not necessary and sometimes distracted from the dialogue

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jock
  • 28-12-17

Arrgh - the Narrator

Subject matter is fascinating; the author's writing is sublime, the research is of a high quality, though in no way academic. But the flipping narrator is beyond annoying. If the narrator had only maintained his normal speaking voice through, this book would be wonderful. But the faux put on attempts at accent are beyond bad. It's difficulty to know whether the fake American, the appalling Trump impression, the cringeworthy Scots accent or the incredibly grating Northern Irish attempts are worse. I haven't mentioned the Slavic attempts, or the countless others (though I am conscious I just did) which detract from the author's hard work and craftsmanship. Narrator hang your head in shame - you are ruining this wonderful book.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-12-17

Loved it

Brilliant. This is a well performed audiobook, a fascinating story, with detail, intrigue, and humour.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Vats
  • 25-09-17

Worth reading

As stated in the introduction, not a comprehensive guide to all flags but a slightly more general view at the flags and concept of a flag. Still, you do get the stories for all major flags, how they came about, what they stood and stand for. And a great ending.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rafal
  • 03-12-19

Judge this book by its cover

Don't expect more than what it says on the cover. Perfect for vexillologists and flag lovers.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jamie
  • 12-02-20

Good book, with some interesting history

really liked this one, however it's nothing compared to prisoners of geography another tim Marshall book. if enjoyed this one give that one ago.

the book is well thought out and explains some fascinating history behind some of the key flags in the world, however most will recognize that certain flags have more meaning to certain groups already.

that being said you are bound to find something you did not know about certain cultures and flags, which will help your understanding of geo politics.

the book is well read and laid out, would definitely recommend to anyone.

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  • Nathan Watson
  • 30-01-20

Author talks too slowly - listen to at 1.10 speed

Author talks too slowly - listen to at 1.10 speed. Very good book overall though

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  • Charles King-Tenison
  • 13-11-19

Fascinating Story

A classic statesman of British politics gives his views on the recent British political history and a superb insight to development of modern politics!

Well worth a read.

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  • Miriam Emilia
  • 11-11-19

All this knowledge will come handy

Such an insightful and interesting book. The reader was much slower than the usual audible recordings, so I had to speed it up!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-03-19

interesting topic

Entertainingly read by Ric Jerom, although the occasional signs of Tim Marshall's biases detracted from my enjoyment of the content a little

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-18

Interesting and informative

A nice overview of national flags around the world and their historical, cultural and political significance. Tim Marshall's writing was quite engaging and sometimes humorous which was well presented by the narrator.