Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World” as Want to Read:
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  14,641 Ratings  ·  1,481 Reviews
In this New York Times bestseller, updated for 2016, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers—“fans of geography, history, and politics (and maps) will be enthralled” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, ma
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Scribner (first published July 9th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Paul Bryant
Aug 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
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 morning.

Well, you really shouldn’t laugh, but –

Once I
...more
Jeanette
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. In my youth, when exact structures of observance w
...more
Lisa
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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, vegetation, climate and distribution of agricultural o
...more
Will Once
Aug 20, 2016 rated it liked it
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 quarter of the way through the book I was really enjo
...more
Andrew Smith
Have you ever thought what a complex world it is we live in? Why do some countries look to have it all whilst others seem destined to always struggle? Each country has its own history of rivalries and ancient disputes with neighbouring nations – where do these stem from? And what about the frequent border changes – why have these occurred and surely they’ve created additional tensions, haven’t they? I have an old Reader’s Digest Great World Atlas (published in 1961) and a quick perusal of the pa ...more
Stefan
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, non-fiction
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. Rather, the author just uses the generic maps that ...more
Carlos
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction-btr
What a great read, this was such an interesting topic, well explained and clear . I highly recommend this book to any lover of geopolitical issues and whoever wants to get a glimpse on how the foreseeable future might play out . If you love maps and history this book is for you!
Dr Osama
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 فصلا يتناول كل منها بلدا أو اقليما جغرافيا وهي كالتالي: روسيا، الصين، الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، أوروبا الغربية، أفريقيا، الشرق الأوسط، الهند وباكستان، كوريا واليابان، أمريكا اللاتينية، والمنطقة المتجمدة الشمالية. الفكرة الرئيسية التي يناقشها الكتاب
...more
Thomas Ray
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Explain Everything about the World, Tim Marshall, 2015, 263 pp.

This is actually a rather shallow, cursory look at geopolitics from a standard pro–U.S.-military, neoliberal viewpoint. The ten maps are just ordinary maps of ten areas, Russia, China, U.S., W. Europe, Africa, Mideast, S. Asia, Korea/Japan, Latin America, Arctic.

The author’s claim, that natural corridors and natural barriers explain “everything,” is belied by the rise and fall of empires as plain
...more
Joseph
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq ...more
Paul
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, general, politics
Prisoners of Geography – A Much needed lesson

As 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 husband was an officer in the Polish Police. My Grandfather
...more
Jo (An Unexpected Bookish Geek)
"Geography has always been a prison of sorts-one that defines what a nation is or can be, and one from which our world leaders have often struggled to break free"

This book is a rather grand introduction to geopolitics. It contains ten respectably shirt chapters and there are illustrations showing us the geo strategic realities for the different countries.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the Arctic. It was most interesting and there is such a lot going on there.
This book has gone into a lot
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
“Prisoners of Geography” is brief (too brief in my opinion) but yet the book is a delightful and informative read. The intertwined story of human development, war and geography is coherently arranged and very interesting. It has a lot of maps - hooray!

These pages reveal the occasional underlying rationality behind why governments sometimes behave the way they do, as well as maybe some reasons why some countries are so impoverished while others have done very well financially. Politics and histor
...more
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 ..."
Ray
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Dana Stabenow
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 are dictated by the eternal quest for a warm-water port, the second is China's equally eternal quest of finding water routes unobstructed by the island archipelago likes of the P ...more
Simon Clark
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 making points. This being my first book on the subj ...more
Daniel Afloarei
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Educativa pentru cei care doresc sa inteleaga contextul politic actual. As fi vrut doar sa explice mai in detaliu anumite aspecte istorice.
Book Concierge
Subtitle: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World - or in U.K. editions: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics

I’ve always been relatively good at geography, and yet I wouldn’t say I’m particularly interested in or fascinated by the subject. Until now.

This was a selection for my F2F book club and I’ll admit I went into it with some reluctance. So, I was pleasantly surprised at how very readable and understandable Marshall’s work is. I quickly became eng
...more
Cher
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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 shackles of gravity, we are still imprisoned in our own
...more
Annikky
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 absolving the perpetrators of any blame, as their actio ...more
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 what they want. Russia, for instance, has had to de
...more
Jesus
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
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 Poverty
Plus: the maps in the book are not great either :-(
Becky
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Peter Mcloughlin
Very good book for putting oneself in the collective shoes of various geopolitical powers and their fears and strategy. The book takes into account the geographic advantages and threats of various regions and explains why great powers make the moves they do and gives some insight into what is likely to be coming down the road. A good primer for gaining literacy in geopolitics.
Ana
A book about the complexity of geopolitics, written with the simplicity necessary for a neophyte to get it. Big plus for the author's sense of humour, which permeates from time to time in the middle of the most serious subjects, giving you a laughing jolt when you least expect it. Totally worth the read for anyone interested in the subject.
Biblio Curious
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The chapter on the Arctic is chilling! There's a lot going on up north! He explains current events based on their geographical influences or causes. Very insightful book and highly recommended as an introduction for Geopolitical Issues.
Greg
Good to know the Mississippi River "has more miles of navigable river than the rest of the world put together" because having cruised the Nile, those cataract dives and rolls, especially at night, are terrifying. Lucky for me, I was traveling alone and the cruise company had smartly located the couples and families on the bottom level of the ship so that when we flipped over, the boat would land upright. Oh, and Russia has no year-round warm water ports but 8 ice-breaker ships but the US has onl ...more
Jennifer
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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" began on a digression so let's see how well I do ...more
Tomáš Ulej
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neskutočné, koľko vecí v súčasnom svete je ovplyvnených len tým, či niekadiaľ tečie rieka alebo či má krajina pohorie. Nikdy som nemal rád geografiu, lebo som jej nerozumel. Mať tak túto knihu keď som mal 15, možno by to bolo inak. Mindchanger roka 2017.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Prisoners of Geography / Tim Marshall - 4**** 2 15 Mar 27, 2018 06:41AM  
Fans of Maps: Prisoners of Geography 3 11 Feb 28, 2018 10:04AM  
  • Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War
  • Afgantsy: The Russians In Afghanistan, 1979-1989
  • Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: How Human Values Evolve
  • Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century
  • A Dirty War
  • Wer den Wind sät: Was westliche Politik im Orient anrichtet
  • The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet Afghan War
  • Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Operation Valkyrie
  • Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia
  • Small Wars, Faraway Places: Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World, 1945-1965
  • Six Months in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Truman--from World War to Cold War
  • Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game & the Race for Empire in Central Asia
  • The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland
  • The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World
  • Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West
  • Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left
  • The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State
  • Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War
244 followers
Tim Marshall was Diplomatic Editor and foreign correspondent for Sky News. After thirty years’ experience in news reporting and presenting, he left full time news journalism to concentrate on writing and analysis.

Originally from Leeds, Tim arrived at broadcasting from the road less traveled. Not a media studies or journalism graduate, in fact not a graduate at all, after a wholly unsuccessful care
...more
More about Tim Marshall

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
    $12.99 $2.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A. Lincoln
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99
“Sometimes you will hear leaders say, “I’m the only person who can hold this nation together.” If that’s true then that leader has truly failed to build their nation.’ That” 12 likes
“There are fifty American states, but they add up to one nation in a way the twenty-eight sovereign states of the European Union never can. Most of the EU states have a national identity far stronger, more defined, than any American state. It is easy to find a French person who is French first, European second, or one who pays little allegiance to the idea of Europe, but an American identifies with their Union in a way few Europeans do theirs. This is explained by the geography, and the history of the unification of the United States.” 9 likes
More quotes…