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Republic or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  14 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 27th 2015 by Random House Books
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Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
interesting book travelling around the world looking at national anthems and looking at the history of them.
Marijn Schafer
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dit boek gaat over volksliederen van over de hele wereld. Dat klinkt misschien wat suf maar de schrijver reisde de hele wereld over -van Bosnië tot Japan tot Paraguay tot Zuid-Afrika- en heeft veel mensen geïnterviewd. Soms hilarisch, soms ontroerend en altijd interessant. Je leert veel over de cultuur en de politiek in al deze landen.
Adrian Matthews
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this as I have a some casual interest in National anthems so learning a bit about the history behind some of them was interesting. Chapter on South Africa particularly good not least as I learned the anthem for this years party piece on New Years Eve (last year was the old Soviet national anthem). Poignant as well as I was at the RWC2015 semi final behind some South Africans who sang the anthem with gusto - particularly the Uit die blou van onse Hemel part .... Hmm.
Vikas Datta
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant - a humorous but also insightful romp through the making and influence of national anthems...
Rachel Kesal
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good fun, full of interesting stuff
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a fun read, though the author gets a little too clever at times.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Alex Marshall's Republic or Death! is a book which is part history, part travelogue and part human interest tale. As his subtitle suggests, the focus here is upon national anthems. I am writing a chapter about a national anthem for my PhD thesis and, having seen this book in a Penguin newsletter, I decided to pick it up and see what Marshall had to say about them because, as he points out, there doesn't appear to be a great deal of academic literature on the subject.

Unsurprisingly this is a dist
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant observations on history, culture and the politics of national identity, laced with the wit and irreverent humour that we expect from Alex Marshall.
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I do love a Goodreads giveaway - sometimes I stumble across a gem that might have otherwise passed me by.

Republic or Death! is a tour around eleven very different countries via their national anthems. I expected a light-hearted travelogue, but it's much more considered than that. For each country there is a brief history of its anthem, and Alex Marshall has tried to interview key people involved in or related to the composition or choice of the song. He also speaks to many ordinary people to get
Oct 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
A terribly ignorant, romantic, useless, trivia bloated, uninspired story about "what I have read lately, with *a* theme". In the race to get a university diploma, some people would take anything as long as the header is nice. Than they get unemployed, but they are too good for the table waiting in their native village. So they get to write blogs and publish.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book lots more than I imagined I would when I read the title! It is an engaging and enlightening read. I like Alex's relaxed style and am looking forward to his next adventures, Travels in search of ......?
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Who knew national anthems could be this fascinating? An excellent travelogue, often in less explored corners of the globe, tracking the history of national anthems as a genre through specific examples. Highly recommended.
Diane Henry
Aug 14, 2015 marked it as to-read
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Hi, I'm a London-based journalist who writes for The New York Times.

I normally write things like this, but have spent the past few years also researching and writing my first book about national anthems - their stories and meaning today - which I really hope you enjoy.

I used to be an environmental journalist, if you ever fancy a far-too-detailed discussion about climate change!

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