Prisoners of Geography

Tim Marshall

Prisoners of Geography



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Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics is an interesting journey across the five continents. Through the history of large countries such as Russia, China, the United States, and continents like Europe and Africa, we understand the decisive influence that geography has had in the development of individual countries. In fact, a country’s geography includes its position in the world and its natural borders, as well as its landscape, including its mountains, rivers and plains. Geography is therefore much more important than we might think, as it can condition a country’s political decisions and influence its economic development. Tim Marshall's analysis also uses stories from the past to trace historical boundaries established on paper by man. If on the one hand there is a country’s natural geography, on the other there is man’s incessant desire to expand his power to neighbouring territories, which can alter a country’s entire structure. Most of the disputes between countries around the world derive from poorly drawn borders, and the only hope for the future is that these countries can learn to cooperate, for the sake of a more peaceful world.

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Analysis and key concepts


To better understand our world, it is enough to take a good look at the map of the five continents


A country’s geography influences its development and influences its political choices


Climate and geographical conformation are among the issues that affect a country’s future


Man’s perpetual instinct to expand is also the cause of wars and conflict


In the future, countries will battle for the Arctic and for Space




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Find out how certain countries were established, such as the United States, China, Russia and the continent of Europe.
  • Take a close look at the link between geography and development that influences world order.
  • Understand the difference between natural geographical borders and the artificial ones put in place by the human race.

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,

Publishing house:

Simon & Schuster