Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall. Book that tries to put the geography back in geopolitics, looking at how the physical landscape has determined history and current politics. The ten maps, each with a chapter, are: Russia; China; USA; Western Europe; Africa; The Middle East; India and Pakistan; Korea and Japan; Latin America; The Arctic.
A good book. He writes in a crisp, informative, entertaining way. Despite the title he avoids going too far and ignoring culture and politics altogether. He's quite good on how the geography around Russia makes it vulnerable to invasion unless it controls the plains around it, and how successive rulers have tried to that. I've read about this before but he's also good on how the geography and lack of navigable rivers in Africa are a problem for development, while the placid river networks of Europe are great for internal trade.
Overall, worth reading.
We used to think that politics should be a realm of stability and business of innovation. Today, it seems as if the opposite is the case: we have disruption in politics and secular stagnation in business.
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