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Gordon Peake’s affectionate account of the 21st century’s first new nation reveals a country in which bureaucracy and superstition exert an equal grip: visa applications must be submitted in red folders and people would rather starve than eat fish
New York’s High Line Park is more than an elevated walkway – it’s a narrative connecting New York City to its past. That’s the theme of this colourful guide to the repurposed elevated railway that spans Manhattan
Mark Lynas is a convert. He disparaged nuclear power in the past but now regards it as the ‘world’s most promising source of low-carbon power’
The Great Barrier Reef, writes Iain McCalman, has taken many shapes and forms in the human imagination: ‘A labyrinth of terror, a nurturing heartland, a scientific challenge, and a fragile global wonder’
The Longitude Act of 1714, offering £20,000 to anyone devising a method of calculating longitude at sea to an accuracy of one degree, was ‘an unprecedented moment when natural philosophers put a scientific problem on the political and national agenda’
In Germany, Frank Uekötter notes, environmentalism is so entwined with national identity it’s as if ‘Germans have finally found a type of patriotism that is truly safe’
There’s an Arab proverb: ‘When Allah created Hell, he thought he could improve on it, so he added flies and called it Mesopotamia.’ Much the same has been said about Baghdad, capital city of Mesopotamia, or Iraq as it became known
According to official figures, our windswept moorlands account for just six per cent of the UK’s total area, which, despite drainage, grazing, tourism and other development, is only slightly less than the statistic from the 19th century

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