Newham Bookshop logo 1978-2018

Monday 18 June at 7 pm at Conway Hall

Shore 2 Shore

Shore 2 Shore


Carol Ann Duffy

Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Jackie Kay and Maura Dooley, with music by John Sampson

An evening of readings by some of the
finest poets at work today. More details…

Newham Bookshop line drawing

Newham Bookshop celebrates
40 years’ trading, 1978-2018

Young Palestianians Speak

Friday 11 May at 6.30 pm
at Hamilton House,
London WC1H 9BD

Writing from
the frontline

Michael Rosen, Anthony Robinson, Annemarie Young, Beverley Naidoo and Elizabeth Laird

Newham Bookshop

745-747 Barking Road
London E13 9ER
Telephone: 020 8552 9993
Twitter blue bird logo @NewhamBookshop
Tuesday – Friday
9.30 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm


Republic or Death!
Republic or Death!
is published in hardback by
Random House at £14.99.

The Wanstead Tap is in a railway arch
underneath London Overground.
The nearest station is Wanstead Park.

Tickets £5 from
Newham Bookshop
or The Wanstead Tap

The Wanstead Tap logo
Tuesday 27 October at 7.30 pm at The Wanstead Tap

Alex Marshall
Republic or Death!

Travels in Search of National Anthems

There are a couple of hundred songs that are sung by millions across the world each day, that school children know by heart and sports fans belt out perfectly even after eight beers. And they aren’t pop songs — they are national anthems. These are songs which inspire the fiercest of feelings: for some they are a declaration of nationalistic pride; for others a rallying cry for revolution; and for others still they serve as a shameful reminder of past wrongs. And yet, despite the fact that for many of us they form a fundamental part of our national consciousness, the fascinating stories underlying the creation and adoption of each national anthem have rarely, if ever, been told.

In Republic or Death, Alex Marshall brings the incredible stories of the world’s national anthems to life. Taking in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas North and South, he embarks on an adventure that includes cycling the route along which 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 King of Nepal in order to uncover the story behind the only national anthem written on a Casio keyboard.

In the course of his enthralling and often hilarious travels, Alex encounters everyone from senior politicians and anthem composers to the sports fans and activists from whom these songs evoke such a wide range of emotions. Along the way, he uncovers the fascinating cultural and musical history of the world’s anthems, and also asks us to consider what they mean for us today.

Alex Marshall grew up in the area where London sinks into Essex. He is 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.