Stamp Stories, Vol 1

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Postage stamps provide a window into our world, its past, its people and places… in this souvenir guide, author Chris West explores the remarkable stories behind the stamps, covering subjects as varied as the birth of the UN, the break-up of the Soviet Union, China's cultural revolution, and many more.

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What's in this Book?

This 52-page souvenir printed guide features beautifully crafted essays covering a wide range of stamps and the stories behind them. Providing an insight into both the philatelic history of a wealth of countries and the politics, people, places and culture of the nation, the guide covers subjects including:

  • China's 'Cultural Revolution' 1968
  • The French Foreign Legion
  • JFK's last Christmas at the White House
  • The Berlin Airlift 
  • USA's Pacific Railroad
  • Finland's unique Eurovision winner
  • Japan's puppet state of Manchukuo
  • The creation of the Suez Canal
    …and many more often remarkable, always fascinating, stories.

About the author

Chris West has written books on history, politics, business and psychology, as well as a series of crime novels set in 1990s China.

His interest in philately began as a boy in the 1960s, when, for him as for many other children of that era, stamps offered a window on the world. Growing up, other interests took over – but in his fifties he discovered his old collection in an attic. ‘This time it was all about history,’ he says. ‘The stamps were little rectangular time machines.’

First Class: A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps, was published in 2012, and was one of the ten Independent Bookshop ‘Picks’ for that year. A similar book about the USA followed in 2014. 

Chris now writes a column for Stamp Collector, each month featuring a different stamp and the history behind it. This collection brings together a selection of these stories, first published in the monthly magazine.

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