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The Role of U.S. Territories and Outposts - McKinney
Doug Mack, Author, Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day; Writer, Travel + Leisure & National Geographic Traveler

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Some curious points in the development of the nation get the spotlight when the Council hosts author and travel writer Doug Mack. He'll be discussing places that usually only get the attention of Americans when roll call votes at political conventions are underway: those bits of geography known as "U.S. territories."

His program, titled "The Role of U.S. Territories and Outposts," is derived from his latest book, The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA.

Mack describes these places as the "scattered shards in the Pacific and the Caribbean, the not-quite states ― American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He says "their 4 million people" are as "often forgotten, even by most Americans."

Yet, he notes, these places are "filled with American flags, U.S. post offices, and Little League baseball games. How did these territories come to be part of the United States? What are they like? And why aren’t they states?"

There is a note that may be of particular interest to Texans devoted to a certain cuisine. On his Facebook page, Mack writes, "I've eaten my share of barbecue, and the very best was on Guam. It's all about the marinade. I need to try making this at home."

The Mack book has been praised my many reviewers ― one called it an "informative romp" and another described it as an "entertaining account of the territories’ place in the USA, and it raises fascinating questions about the nature of empire. As Mack shows, the territories aren’t mere footnotes to American history; they are a crucial part of the story."

Mack, based in Minneapolis, is also the author of Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day, his 2012 adventurous tale about negotiating a trip through Europe while using the famed 1960s guidebook Europe on Five Dollars a Day.

He's written travel pieces for many of the nation's leading newspapers, magazines and online sites.

Mack explains, "I specialize in offbeat takes on familiar topics and issues ― the unexpected story hiding in plain sight, the new angle on the thing you thought you knew all about. I'm a travel writer who doesn't mind being called a tourist or, at times, staying firmly on the beaten path, because I believe there are always plenty of stories left to find, if only you know where to look. Many of my stories offer a strong sense of place and a deep dive into history."

Among the oddities he discovered for his latest book: The sun rises and sets on America at two places named Point Udall. The easternmost is on the island of Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Atlantic and the westernmost is on Guam in the Pacific. The east point is named for Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The western point is named for Stewart's brother, Morris "Mo" Udall, a former U.S. Congressman who ran against Jimmy Carter for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017
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Time:
11:45 AM Buffett Luncheon
Noon Program & Book Signing
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Place:
Eldorado Country Club
2604 Country Club Dr.
McKinney, TX 75070
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Tickets:
$15 Members
$25 Non-Members
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