Home » November 2021 »Regular Features » Currently Reading:

BOOK REVIEW

November 10, 2021 November 2021, Regular Features No Comments

Prisoners of Geography

This book is sub titled; ‘Ten maps which tell you everything you need to know about global politics’ and indeed this indeed is what it does. Each of the ten chapters starts with a clear map of the area to be discussed: Russia, China, USA, Western Europe, Africa, The Middle East, India and Pakistan, Korea and Japan, Latin America and The Artic. Each chapter covers the history of the area, it’s current situation and likely future.     

How the history of each area is controlled by its geography is explained.  How and why things happened and why leaders of the time made different decisions are clearly shown. Time and again I had an ‘Ah, so that’s why!’ moment. 

Ambitious leaders coveting a neighbouring state have always been always constrained by geography, limited by mountains, rivers, seas and deserts or weather patterns. As the author points out; ‘if you don’t know the geography you’ll never know the full picture 

Prisoners of Geography looks at the past present and future to offer essential insight into one of the major factors which determines world history. It puts the geo back into geopolitics. The reader is constantly treated to interesting facts, things often just never thought of, for instance, that there are fifty three countries in Africa and how the boundaries were settled – or often not. 

Author Tim Marshall is well unusually qualified to write this book. As a foreign correspondent of over twenty five years reporting for the Times, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and later diplomatic editor for the BBC he has seen first hand how decisions and events, international conflicts and civil wars can only be understood by taking a full account of the geography of the area. Efforts of the best equipped army have been thwarted by unexpected weather. 

He also notes how modern military technology is now bending the once iron rules of Geography, now finding ways of going over or under some barriers. Also as air power has changed some rules so too, in a different way, has the internet. However geography and how nations have established themselves within that geography remains crucial to the understanding of the world today and in the future.  

I would emphasise that this book is a delight to read, so often books on history while interesting for the information imparted are rather dry going. Prisoners of Geography both provided both pleasurable recreational reading while also offering a ton of really interesting information. It ticked all the boxes for me

Mike Beckett

Comment on this Article:

Sports

Roll the Jack

With Rozanna Muriwai, as the new president of the Martinborough Bowling Club, the Club is humming. “When we returned from Bahrain 2 years ago, we wandered down to the Bowling Green to check it out. Both my husband and I love bowling, says Rozanna. We joined. The social side of …

Rare mother – daughter success at South Wairarapa Karate Club

The South Wairarapa Okinawan Goju Ryu karate club is continuing to grow in both numbers and achievements, and it was great to see two Martinborough locals recently achieve their Shodan (blackbelts) in September this year. Mother and daughter, Clare and Bonnie Miller,  travelled to Dunedin with Senpai Anna Borjesson and …

Sibling Rivalry

It’s not often that two members of the same family compete for the winning place in the Womens’ Silver Golf Championships. But that is just what took place at the Martinborough Golf Club Sunday 7th November.  Debbie Donaldson and Anna Posseniskie, the daughters of Viv and Martin Napier, went head …

Regular Features

Under The Martinborough Stars

Some people see a face, a man, while others a woman holding a tree. I …

Regional Council notes

It’s hard not to reflect on the year just gone through Covid tinted lenses.  While …

Recycling days

Wednesday 8 th  Dec Wheelie bin Wednesday 15 th Dec Glass Wednesday 22th Dec. Wheelie …

News from First Church

As another unusual and eventful year for us all draws to a close we can …

Maree’s musings

PEAR SHAPED With some sense of relief 2021 is coming to an end. It hasn’t …

Library notes

Let the library start your summer with fascinating life stories This spring, as we idly dream …

Inner Wheel South Wairarapa

At our October monthly meeting at the Offering, Debbie Lattey the District Chairman was our …

Recent Comments