Lost Countries

Empires rise and fall. New countries are established only to dissolve after a few years. The history of these lost countries are brought to life in this book where 50 of the worlds lost countries are presented.

Berge tells the forgotten story of countries that existed for only one month, a year, or a few decades – before they disappeared. They bear enigmatic names such as Heligoland and Tripolitania. And what is the story behind Mandchukuo, which existed from 1932-45, or Allenstein in 1920? These lost countries have fascinating stories to tell, whether they were short-lived like Eastern Karelia, or more tenacious such as the Orange Free State.

The range of countries presented in this book reflect different aspects of world history during the 19th and 20th centuries, with their ideologies, imperialism, struggle for resources, immigration waves, and major and trivial wars. This is a different kind of world history – told through stamps and maps, from countries that have quite literally been erased from the map.

Unique and very special, Nowherelands: An Atlas of Vanished Countries 1840-1975 is a different kind of history book that will have an immense appeal for history buffs, postage stamp collectors, and political science students. Exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, Nowherelands is certain to be [an] extraordinary, unusual, and popular addition to both community and academic library World History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Midwest Book Review

The author draws upon fiction and eyewitness accounts plus historical sources, filling out the narratives contained in each stamp and giving readers a view into decades of colonialism, nationalism, rebellion, imperialism and conflicts large and small… Nowherelands demonstrates with authority that even these tiny scraps of ephemera are interwoven with vital clues to culture and history along with their design.»

Print Magazine

This is a fascinating book written by an architect…Bjorn Berge’s witty text casts an unconventional eye on these lesser-known nations.

North Carolina Modernist Houses

Berge revels in anecdotes about megalomania and unorthodox negotiation techniques, strange and important historical events, statistics and literary quotes, suggestions for further reading and food recipes, yes even that.

Stavanger Aftenblad

A book to get lost in… To be pompous: We are all our own country, we desperately try to communicate with each other and try to wear symbols of authenticity and uniqueness. And soon we’ll be gone, too. Just like the countries of Inini, Batum and Mafeking.

Dagens Næringsliv

Exuberantly cheerful and wise, packed with surprising facts .This book carries a kind of Solomonic life wisdom about man’s futile striving to enrich himself, at any cost. … It is a beautiful, cheerful and educational book.


This invention is so good that one can turn yellow with envy: writing a book about a country that no longer exists. … Each country is devoted to just four pages, and on these are unrolled shocking world history, lyrical descriptions and subtle details … an exceptionally beautiful book.

Author Erika Fatland, for Aftenposten