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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
Alastair Humphreys informs us that he has ‘visited almost half the countries on Earth’ and indulged in his share of epic exploits: ‘I have rowed and sailed across oceans, walked across deserts and cycled across continents’
Carefully selected from Pisani's years living and working in Indonesia, and also her more recent travels, the characters that populate Indonesia Etc are diverse and vividly described, fittingly for what she describes as ‘this kaleidoscope nation’
The paradox at the heart of Ian Morris’s book is that warfare ‘has made humanity safer and richer’. Wars were hellish, but the victors created larger, more secure societies
The Bolon people of northwest Burkina Faso aren’t alone in practising rituals involving the wearing of masks, but for photographer Michel de Combes – whose involvement with the Bolon began as a trader in African curios – their traditions exert a particular fascination
Hoverflies have never been so interesting. Fredrik Sjöberg, an entomologist by trade, lives on an island in an archipelago east of Stockholm

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