Prisoners of Geography

Prisoners of Geography Book Cover Prisoners of Geography
Tim Marshall
Politics
Scribner
2015
Paperback

The author sets out with a big challenge ahead of him, namely to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers with ten maps.
Geography cannot be changed. Political boundaries can be, usually with the aid of the army. Some political groupings may be formed by more peaceable means. Often peace is threatened by geography, however, a small strip of land or sea can be a tinderbox between nations.
In this interesting book, the author looks at Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic and considers how their physical geography can affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders. All of this is achieved in a fairly neutral tone that seeks to look at the facts, rather than pushing a particular line or agenda, delivering surprising analysis at times. Sometimes we do not know the world as well as we think we might.
Many questions are asked. Some deep and meaningful, others more abstract yet interesting nonetheless. This is one of those books that you probably don’t go out looking for, but should you stumble across it or receive it as a gift you will be very happy with it. Geography, politics and elements of the news cycle can be brought to life with this book. You just need an open mind.
Christmas is coming. This could be an ideal book for the curious reader. You might need two copies though, as if you start leafing through it there’s a big danger you will be hooked.