Republic or Death!: Travels in Search of National Anthems

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Random House, Aug 27, 2015 - History - 368 pages
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National Anthems have been sung for hundreds of years, inspired patriots and rebels, armies and athletes. Each one has its own story. And yet most of us know almost nothing about them ... until now.

In Republic or Death!, Alex Marshall takes to the road on an adventure that includes cycling the route French revolutionaries marched as they first sang 'La Marseillaise'; entering a competition for the best singer of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'; and attempting to bribe his way to an audience with the deposed King of Nepal in order to uncover the story behind the only national anthem written on a Casio keyboard.

As he encounters everyone from presidents and anthem composers to the sports fans and revolutionaries from whom these songs evoke such a wide range of emotions, he brings the incredible stories behind the world's anthems to life, as well as revealing what they mean to us today.

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About the author (2015)

Alex Marshall grew up in the area where London sinks into Essex. He's an award-winning journalist who has been writing about music and politics for over a decade, and who has been published in the Guardian and by the BBC, amongst others. He started investigating national anthems back in 2008. This is his first book.

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