Tim Marshall




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Over the last twenty years, walls stretching thousands of kilometres long have been erected all around the world. Despite globalisation and advances in technology, humanity is more divided than ever. In this book, Tim Marshall invites us to reflect on the reasons driving us to put up walls, and to develop a deeper understanding of international dynamics and the roots of strong nationalist sentiment. Divided uses real-life examples to explore and analyse the current situation, in which globalisation is becoming stronger than ever, while at the same time, more walls and fences are being built as a means of protection from anything considered to be different.

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Analysis and key concepts


China: the digital wall that the country has built around itself as a modern-day Great Wall


The United States of America: the most famous wall in the world that doesn’t even exist, laying bare the country’s internal divisions


Israel and Palestine: a wall to stem outside violence, as well as barriers between people belonging to the same nation


The Middle East: tall ‘top-security’ walls throughout the city centres, and barriers for protection from anything new or different


India: visible cement walls to stop illegal immigration, and invisible barriers created by the caste system


Africa: a wall of sand that separates Morocco from Sahrawi territory, and walled residential communities for the rich


The Berlin Wall: built to keep people in their own country


Northern Ireland: city walls separating Catholics and Protestants




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Gain insights into the reasons why people are divided and what pushes them to build barriers.
  • Recognise that often external walls are built to protect from an outside enemy due to a lack of inner unity.
  • Understand what is happening in the world and the identity issues by which many countries are afflicted.

Tim Marshall is a British journalist, originally from Leeds, who was a foreign correspondent for the BBC and Sky News and was sent on assignments to cover wars in various countries, including Croatia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. He has written for the Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and The Sunday Times, as well as being the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller, Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics. He also has a website featuring articles analysing international politics, thewhatandthewhy.com.

Publishing house:

Elliott & Thompson Limited