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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)


“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
  • 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.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Travel writing at its finest.” — Andrew Carroll, best-selling author of War Letters and Here Is Where

“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

“A smart, funny meditation on the nature of American empire, Mack’s book has its poignant moments too, as he asks difficult questions about statehood and American identity.” — Jodie Vinson, The Longitude Blog

“[Mack] finds surprising patriotism (and adventure) in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” — Allen Pierleoni, Sacramento Bee

“Rollicking.… Mack peppers the account of his 30,000-mile trip with liberal doses of history.” — Poornima Apte, Flung magazine

“Funny, fascinating, and eye-opening in all the best ways.” — Glenn Dallas, Manhattan Book Review

“With an eye for irony and amusing detail, [Mack’s] travelogue is often hilarious yet inevitably thoughtful.” — David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express

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