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The Not-Quite States of America

Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA

Doug Mack (Author)

Overview | Formats

“To truly understand the United States, one must understand The Not-Quite States of America.” —Mark Stein, best-selling author of How the States Got Their Shapes

Everyone knows that America is 50 states and… some other stuff. The U.S. territories—American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—and their 4 million people are little known and often forgotten, so Doug Mack set out on a 30,000-mile journey to learn about them. How did they come to be part of the United States? What are they like today? And why aren’t they states? Deeply researched and richly reported, The Not-Quite States of America is an entertaining and unprecedented account of the territories’ crucial yet overlooked place in the American story.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming February 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35561-1
  • 5.6 × 8.2 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA


Endorsements & Reviews

“Having ventured 30,000 miles to visit U.S. territories around the world, Doug Mack has embarked on one of the most extraordinary ‘American’ journeys of all time. Hilarious and moving, Mack also tackles serious issues—from the history of slavery in the U.S. Virgin Islands to the role of Guam in World War II to the battles over the sweatshops of Saipan—all while exploring how these not-quite states came to be part of America. This book, quite simply, is travel writing at its finest.” — Andrew Carroll, author of War Letters and Here Is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History

“Mack includes you in all the fun of his journey.” — Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times

“Mack catalogues his thirty-thousand-mile trek through [the territories], and examines the traits they have inherited from the U.S.—little-league games, star-spangled banners—and the cultural crisscross that makes them unique examples of America’s own hybridized culture.” — The New Yorker

“A read you can’t put down and can’t quit rolling around in your mind afterward.” — Nichole L. Reber, Ploughshares

“Witty and thoughtful, with plenty of vibrant characters and vivid descriptions, The Not-Quite States of America is also a well-researched history and a highly enjoyable travelogue. Frequent fliers and armchair travelers alike will relish Mack’s account.” — Katie Noah Gibson, Shelf Awareness

“Throughout [this] deft narrative, Mack presents numerous revealing vignettes of far-flung Yankee civilization.… An entertaining, informative guidebook.” — Kirkus Reviews

“An informative romp.” — Library Journal

“One will never think about the United States in quite the same way after this enjoyable read.” — Booklist

“A thoughtful assessment of American colonialism.… [Mack] explores each territory with an open mind and an open notebook.” — Publishers Weekly

“Our fellow Americans living in territories may not have senators or members of Congress to represent them. But they do have Doug Mack’s terrific book to reintroduce us to their unique histories and cultures and to point out just how connected we all really are to the people in these seemingly far-flung places. A fun and fascinating adventure.” — Brady Carlson, author of Dead Presidents

“To truly understand the United States, one must understand The Not-Quite States of America. Doug Mack opens our eyes to the variety of reasons we need them in this consistently entertaining read.” — Mark Stein, author of How the States Got Their Shapes

“Doug Mack, a connoisseur of the offbeat, turns his keen eye to the USA’s forgotten lands, and the result is the Great American Road Trip with a twist. Funny and engaging, Mack is the perfect guide to these simultaneously strange and familiar places, and the book goes to the heart of a perennial and, these days, urgent question: What does it mean to be American?” — Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Genius