The Power of Geography

Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World

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Pub Date 09 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 09 Nov 2021


From the author of the New York Times bestseller Prisoners of Geography, a fascinating, “refreshing, and very useful” (The Washington Post) follow-up that uses ten maps to explain the challenges to today’s world powers and how they presage a volatile future.

Tim Marshall’s global bestseller Prisoners of Geography offered us a “fresh way of looking at maps” (The New York Times Book Review), showing how every nation’s choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas, and walls. Since then, the geography hasn’t changed, but the world has.

Now, in this “wonderfully entertaining and lucid account, written with wit, pace, and clarity” (Mirror, UK), Marshall takes us into ten regions set to shape global politics. Find out why US interest in the Middle East will wane; why Australia is now beginning an epic contest with China; how Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UK are cleverly positioning themselves for greater power; why Ethiopia can control Egypt; and why Europe’s next refugee crisis looms closer than we think, as does a cutting-edge arms race to control space.

Innovative, compelling, and delivered with Marshall’s trademark wit and insight, this is “an immersive blend of history, economics, and political analysis that puts geography at the center of human affairs” (Publishers Weekly).
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Prisoners of Geography, a fascinating, “refreshing, and very useful” (The Washington Post) follow-up that uses ten maps to explain the challenges to...

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Featured Reviews

This was an absolutely wonderful look at how geography has shaped the current political landscape of our times. Marshall covered each of the major "hotspot" areas very well and in deep detail. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in how geography affects politics.

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This author has a great gift of being able to write about a topic that can be potentially very dry and boring and presents it in a very relatable narrative. Facts are put into a perspective that is both intriguing and informative. Also a little bit of humor sprinkled throughout the narrative makes it a very enjoyable read. Also, as with his previous book, Prisoners of Geography, you will .never look at the world the same way again!

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The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall was not what I expected but nevertheless was a very interesting read. I thought it perhaps would be similar to Robert Kaplan’s; The Revenge of Geography, but it is not. I think though they are both complimentary to each other. Mr. Marshal’s book is more about how geography within a country or along its borders influences the thoughts and actions internal to the country as opposed to being more outward or protective leaning.
The book covers ten different regions or countries many of which I knew little and had mean doing mini-deep dives through Google searches to learn more. The book has maps but I always find this difficult to use in an e-book so again I read this book on a tablet sitting by my computer where I often had a map on the screen.
Some of the countries were not so interesting to me; UK, Australia, Greece, Spain as examples. Some were very interesting; Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and some led me to learning more about regions I should know more; The Sahel and Ethiopia. The last because of the conflict going on with the Tigray region.
I do not this book can be considered a “bucket list” book but as a start to learn more about various regions. Mr. Marshall does an excellent job like an expert short story writer in presenting lots of information as an excellent read in a short number of pages on each area.
To conclude, I do recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding how geography can create the thinking within a country and will have you searching for more.

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This is my second read by the author and by now I’m convinced that what Tim Marshall doesn’t know about geopolitics isn’t worth knowing. Which is to say that you can give yourself a splendid, thorough and ingenious look into the makings of the world by reading Marshall’s books.
Worth Dying For was a terrific look at the significance of flags in nation building. This book, a fourth in his series on geopolitics, follows up Prisoners of Geography (which I would love to read some day if our library ever gets their sh*t together and acquires any of the authors books) in contemplating the significance of individual geographical specifics and the way they shape and inform the nations therein.
It isn’t reductive and it isn’t determinism, geography is a serious matter. Not enough water and you’re easily ruined, then again same goes for too much water. Mountainous regions may make your country tough to invade, but it’ll also present numerous challenges for goods distribution, transportation, etc. within. Got natural resources? Good. But are they the kind the world is trying to get away from, like oil? Are you handling them properly or letting others exploit them for you? And so on and so forth.
Marshall spans continents to cover the world at mercy of its geography and then takes it all the way to space, because that is after all, the final frontier and people are inevitable going to want to do that thing that always do with frontiers…mess with them.
I follow politics, read the news daily, read books about the subject, so a lot of it isn’t new to me, but even if you’re familiar with the facts and data, there’s still so much to be gained from reading this book to have a real expert, someone with real life/real place boots in the dirt experience like Marshall, who is also a first class mind and an intelligent, engaging and even humorous author to interpret these facts and data and to weave them into a cohesive narrative stretching from well into the past right into the speculative plausible future. It’s a first rate education burrito wrapped in a smart, well informed and terrifically informative narrative tortilla. Bleak as all get out, but then again, that’s politics for you. Great read. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

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A great academic look at geography and the power of the Earth in a world that technology tries to overpower. Great for someone to start learning about our world and the limitations of the Internet.

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A fine book, that feels more like an expansion upon <i>Prisoners of Geography</i> than a standalone work of its own. <i>Prisoners</i> bills itself as explaining everything about current global politics (and implicitly the past), and <i>Power</i> as explaining the politics of the (near) future, but if that division were true then <i>Power</i> would have ended up with a lot of overlap with <i>Prisoners</i> -- if you think that the "future of our world" won't have anything to do with the geographies of Russia or China you're living in a fantasy world. So this book must be thought of as a companion piece, but within that context it's quite interesting. Certainly <i>Prisoners</i> covered all the big heavy-hitters of geopolitics, but that gives room for this book to cover areas that may have been left on the cutting room floor last time around, but are all the more interesting for being lesser-publicized (such as Australia, Ethiopia, Spain, Greece, and Turkey).

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This was my first Tim Marshall book and I enjoyed it. The author focuses on ten regions he believes will play significant roles in future global politics as a result of their geography. To do this he takes us back to each of the region’s past and through the lens of history lays the case for why the regions, because of their geography and political conditions and ambitions, will all play pivotal roles in our global future. The ten regions are: Australia, Iran, Saudi Arabia,the U.K., Greece, Turkey, the Sahel, Ethiopia, Spain, and Space. Marshall packages history, geography, and his insights together to project what the future may look like in years to come. Despite the density and range of information, the book was surprisingly easy to digest and moved at a nice clip. This was a fascinating, enjoyable, and interesting read with a powerful case to be made for why geography has influenced and will continue to influence the politics of the world as we know it, and potentially the fate of space in the future. A highly recommended read. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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This book was fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Marshall has a good writing style that draws you in with personal anecdotes from the places that he's writing about and I learned a lot along the way. Will definitely recommend this book.

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