Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall

Prisoners of Geography

All leaders are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Yes, to follow world events you need to understand people, ideas and movements – but if you don’t know geography, you’ll never have the full picture.If you’ve ever wondered why Putin is so obsessed with Crimea, why the USA was destined to become a global superpower, or why China’s power base continues to expand ever outwards, the...

Details Prisoners of Geography

TitlePrisoners of Geography
Release DateJul 9th, 2015
PublisherElliott & Thompson
Number of pages256 pages
GenreNonfiction, History, Politics, Science, Geography

Reviews Prisoners of Geography

  • Paul Bryant
    Once I read this true crime account of this serial killer and they didn’t find the bodies, I think they got him on dna, and so they ask him what did you do with the bodies. They were wondering what genius plan of disposal the guy had come up with to make ten corpses disappear without trace. And he says I cut em up and put them out with the trash. If I couldn’t get em in the bin I put em in black bags. They just took em away, every Thursday mo...
  • Jeanette
    Outstanding!If one reads only one politico book this year, read this one. Wanting to compose a 20 paragraph reaction, at least that long upon each one of the 10 world "entities" that this book is divided into! (Not always a continent, but sometimes that nomenclature relates.) Well, I will not. Because Marshall's concise and succinctly factual is beyond my superlatives OR my summation of it, could ever be.But possibly I could make one comparison. ...
  • Lisa
    This is an amazing journey through the world, zooming out of particular localities and looking at the geographical shape of bigger areas that helped form the history, culture and population of the world we share. I read the first chapters on Russia, China, Europe, USA and Africa constantly nodding my head, realising that it was possible to explain many things I had thought about for long hours by analysing natural borders, rivers, mountains, vege...
  • Joseph
    Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About The World by Tim Marshall attempts to explain the world by presenting ten maps of the planet. Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than 25 years of reporting experience. He was the diplomatic editor at Sky News, and before that was working for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from thirty countries and covered the conflicts in Cro...
  • Paul
    Prisoners of Geography – A Much needed lessonAs someone whose family has been victims of the Geography of where they lived and who they were in an often much forgotten episode of the Second World War. People forget that when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 their allies Russia invaded Poland on the 17th September 1939. My great-Grandmother was ‘exiled’ to Siberia because her son was fighting for the enemy (the Polish Government) and her hus...
  • Dr Osama
    كتاب سجناء الجغرافيا: عشر خرائط تخبرك كل ما تحتاج معرفته عن السياسات العالمية. مؤلف الكتاب تيم مارشال. مراسل قناة سكاي نيوز البريطانية السابق والذي نقل أحداث كثير من الحروب والأخبار من دول العالم المختلفة. الطبعة الأولى 2015.يتألف الكتاب من إحدى عشر ...
  • Riku Sayuj
    Marshall could have kept up the initial presentation and analysis throughout the book, but at some point the editors decided to shorten the pages and compress regions together. As a fellow reviewer says, "It is solid stuff, but after some time this geography thing gets a bit repetitive – plains, mountains, rivers, plainsmountainsrivers, portsportsports ..."
  • Will Once
    The premise of this book is interesting - that much of international politics is about geography. Country A doesn't go to war with country B because there is a range of mountains between them. Country C enjoys a strong trading economy because it has access to the sea. And so it goes.Most people reading it will probably get one or two "aha" moments when the book gives them an insight they hadn't had before. It's a good point well made. About a qua...
  • Simon Clark
    A very interesting overview of global geopolitics and the geography that informs it. By splitting the world into distinct regions Marshall allows for the isolation of particularly important geographical features, such as the North European Plain on Russian politics, and the lack of navigable rivers hampering internal development in Africa. The author is clearly authoritative and even includes a few personal anecdotes with foreign ministers when m...
  • Ray
    This is a good introduction to geopolitics. In ten short chapters it illustrates the geostrategic realities for countries and regions. It explains why the Ukraine is so important to Russia, the limits of chinese assertiveness in its backyard and why africa is so poor.My only criticism is that it is too short
  • Stefan
    Overall an interesting read, but little new information for anyone with more than just a passing interest in history or (geo-)politics. There is too much ''America is awesome'' and too little actual in depth information. Furthermore, the title is somewhat misleading. I had the impression that there would be ten actual maps, ones that you don't see or use very often to define your view of the world, but could be considered important nonetheless. R...
  • Cher
    3 stars - It was good.Interesting and extremely relevant read – I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the Arctic. -------------------------------------------Favorite Quote: When we are reaching for the stars, the challenges ahead are such that we will perhaps have to come together to meet them: to travel the universe not as Russians, Americans, or Chinese but as representatives of humanity. But so far, although we have broken free from the shac...
  • Dana Stabenow
    Brisk, well written, continent by continent (excluding Australia) survey of how geography is destiny, beginning with Putin going down on his knees every night to ask God why He didn't put mountains in Ukraine. I really liked the way Marshall organized it, too. The first chapter is Russia and how so much of their actions is dictated by the eternal quest for a warm-water port, the second is China's equally eternal quest of finding water routes unob...
  • Becky
    A very interesting read that provides a potted history of the geopolitical realities. At times the tone was a little strange but I think this is largely the result of attempting to pitch highly complex ideas at ordinary readers. There are lots of fascinating detail here, and the book does give you a lot to think about.
  • xe01
    I bought the book from Waterstones Bookshop in Picadilly, London and I was excited about reading it as I've never really read a book on geopolitics. Even though this book is not really an introduction to the field of geopolitics, I think readers can treat it as such. The copy I'm reviewing is the hardcover one. The other reviewers discussed some of the topics covered in this book, so I will not repeat what they said and will just go straight to m...
  • David Canford
    A fascinating book which analyses how different countries see the world due their geography and historical experience. It should be required reading for government ministers across the world so they have a better understanding of where the other side is coming from.
  • Tom Ewing
    As a youth I studied the Annales school of history - a structuralist method which deals with geography first as a motor of history, and human plans and actions very much last. I say 'studied' rather than 'read' because Annales history was notoriously dry and notoriously long. Tim Marshall's book takes a similar approach but is brief, crisp and only mildly arid.Prisoners of Geography is at its strongest when explaining why big global powers want w...
  • Josh Duxbury
    I was going to give this 3 stars but the unnecessarily cliche conclusion reduced this to two. After providing a very basic overview of geopolitics in 10 regions, the author prescribed a method to save the world by working together as 'humanity', not as nations. He has ignored the fact that geopolitics is about nations' competing interests. While I did learn some things from this book, the main problem I have with this is that it is labelled as ge...
  • Martin
    Ein solides Buch, wenn auch die Kapitel stark in ihrer Aussagekraft schwanken. Interessanterweise schafft es der Autor, gerade die komplizierteren Regionen wie den Nahen Osten, Indien und Pakistan oder Afrika relativ ausführlich zu beschreiben, mit zahlreichen möglichen Aussichten und Was-Wäre Wenn-Beispielen. Hingegen sind seine Analysen betreffend den stabileren Regionen teilweise eher kurios.Man muss gar nicht so weit wie ich denken und die...
  • Jesus
    The book seems to me about geo-tactics, mostly about how geography defines possible military attacks and defences.It did not convince me of its thesis that we are prisoners of geography.The one that convinced me of exactly the opposite was Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and PovertyPlus: the maps in the book are not great either :-(
  • Liz
    This book is a bible when understanding what is going on in the world. I studied geography as an undergrad and I don't remember it being this fascinating. I jumped around in the book as my interest and the news was drawing attention to certain areas of conflict so I could get some understanding of the "bigger" picture or the map of the area. I found this most enlightening and makes me a better judge of the "news" that is being presented. I got th...
  • Shaunak Bhatt
    Anyone who has ever wondered why countries fight for small pieces of land or islands/rocks in the middle of nowhere needs to read this book. A nice read on foreign policies and how geography dictates the stances taken by different countries be it in arctic, eastern Europe or south china sea. I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in current affairs, politics and geography.
  • Gillian
    Really informative and interesting take on geopolitics and understanding the world we live in today.
  • Jennifer
    This was a title-buy. I don't think I've ever made a title-buy before (although I guess it's possible, seeing as how I have definitely bought the definition of too many books). Slightly more reasonable than buying a book based on its pretty cover, and less reasonable than buying a book based on its plot, being drawn to this title worked out okay this time. (Which I guess makes sense, since the subtitle is pretty explanatory.) Anyway. This "review...
  • Nicole
    I was completely fooled by the attention-grabbing subtitle. It was only when I was halfway through the book that I learned the original subtitle was "Ten Maps That Tell You Everything About Global Politics", which is WAY more accurate. I still may have picked up the book, but at least I wouldn't have been so confused for the first hundred pages! Anyway, this is a general overview of how geography played a role in the development of certain countr...
  • Simon
    I wish I’d had this book to read before starting my MA in international history and politics back in 1996. It’s a very readable survey of contemporary geopolitics – how the strategy, security concerns and foreign policies of nation states are shaped by hard geography, whether that’s mountain ranges, coastlines, navigable rivers, access to natural resources or shifts in population. It offers a remarkably economical survey of world history,...
  • Annikky
    All you need to do to enjoy this book is to ignore the title, the subtitle and the central tenet of the text.* Yep, as simple as that. Let me explain. Was Putin really forced to annex Crimea, as the book implies? Did China have no other choice than to occupy Tibet? Of course not. There are always options, even if there are geopolitical arguments for or against certain actions. The 'prisoners of geography' rhetoric comes dangerously close to absol...
  • Neil Fox
    When I was in school we always studied History and Geography as two distinct and mutually exclusive subjects. In fact they're not, and if you also wondered what the "Geo" in Geopolitics signifies, then this book's for you. Using 10 Regional maps beginning with Russia and ending with the Arctic, Marshall make the case that Geography - the World's great mountains, rivers, oceans, deserts, jungles, steppes, plains and plateau and their accompanying ...
  • Ramo Essawi
    An exceptional book that delves in to the not always obvious geographical factors that continue to affect world politics. Relationships between nations become much clearer when looked at through the geographical lens. While geography isn't exclusively responsible for international politics, it plays a huge part. More than you may think. This book is filled with "wow" and "I didn't know that" moments. Must read.
  • Luis
    Excelente introducción a la geopolítica for dummies, explica por que las naciones y sus habitantes no empiezaron ni están en el mismo punto de partida, y la probreza, prosperidad y carácter de una nación pueden verse grandemente moldeadas por su situación geográfica.