ETW #16 Exploring the U.S. Territories with Author Doug Mack


Doug Mack joins the podcast this week as we chat about his book “The Not-Quite States of America,” all about the U.S. territories.

You can listen to the podcast here on this page or on any of these services: iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher.

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St Thomas US Virgin Islands

I’m not sure why exactly, but I have long been fascinated by the U.S. Territories. Maybe it’s because many are remote or perhaps it’s due to the fact that we hear so little about them. Well, most of them. In case you weren’t aware, the five American territories are: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. We also have a whole host of other possessions, mostly strewn about the Pacific. Our history as de facto colonizers is not a well-publicized one, so it was with extreme interest that I recently read the book “The Not-Quite States of America.” I honestly couldn’t put it down and as soon as I was finished, I asked the author – Doug Mack – to join me on the podcast to chat about the territories.

Doug Mack is a writer specializing in travel, culture, and personal essays. His first book, “Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day,” was a National Geographic Traveler Book of the Month and his most recent book, “The Not-Quite States of America,” was a Smithsonian Top 10 Travel Book of 2017. He has written for the New York Times, Slate, Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. Doug lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. Find him online at or on Twitter @douglasmack.

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More about “The Not-Quite States of America”


By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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