• Prisoners of Geography

  • Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics
  • By: Tim Marshall
  • Narrated by: Ric Jerom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (138 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

All leaders are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Yes, to follow world events you need to understand people, ideas and movements - but if you don't know geography, you'll never have the full picture.

If you've ever wondered why Putin is so obsessed with Crimea, why the USA was destined to become a global superpower or why China's power base continues to expand ever outwards, the answers are all here. In 10 chapters (covering Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, India and Pakistan, Europe, Japan and Korea, and the Arctic), using essays and occasionally the personal experiences of the widely travelled author, Prisoners of Geography looks at the past, present and future to offer an essential insight into one of the major factors that determines world history. It's time to put the 'geo' back into geopolitics.

©2016 Tim Marshall (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.

What listeners say about Prisoners of Geography

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Brilliant insight and narration

One of the most enjoyable audible narrators.
The book is both a good and easy read. It links well known global historical facts to world geography that explain world politics of today. I highly recommend for readers who are not majorly involved in politics, but would like to start understanding them.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

I read the chapters on Russia and China with earnest and thought wow! I've learn quite a few things here. Then I skipped to the chapter on Africa and immediately changed my view. Like sooo many other writers on Africa, the continent is described with one overriding narrative: a war torn, conflict stricken land. Africa is AND the about the civil war in the DRC and previous fighting in Angola, Rwanda and Burundi. There is more to African economies than South Africa. For me, the limited scope in the one chapter on Africa was a strong indication of the flawed views the writer took in all the other chapters, so I stopped listening after that. Disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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No PDF maps

Great book and well narrated. But I simply can’t understand how audible would not include the maps from the hard copy as an accompanying pdf. This is one book that absolutely needs a pdf to go with it.
Audible please fix this.

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Why Nations Act The Way They Do

Tim Marshal is the Tim Lahaye of Geopolitics.


I enjoyed listening to his takes and also find it quite helpful

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Amazing Book

This book has made me more keen on today's geopolitics. So damn interesting. Well done.

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Great narrating

Ric Jerome placed much enthasis on the correct local pronunciation of all the different locations.

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  • Unique Pseudonym
  • 07-25-17

Step back and look at politics through a new lens

I have a feeling this will be a book I listen to again at least once. It offers physical geography as a lens through which to understand many aspects of both historical and modern world affairs and makes a pretty convincing case. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Russia and China which offered far more balanced stories than I often read.

75 people found this helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 02-12-18

An interesting and thought-provoking approach

I had wondered if a book based on maps might be unsuitable as an audio book, however, the author guides one to imagine the geography being described. I had realized that some events in history were shaped by geography, but not how all pervasive the influence of mountains, rivers, deserts and seas are on history as well as the legacy of colonialism creating artificial countries without regard to topography, racial groups and religious differences. When it’s pointed out it seems obvious.

I enjoyed the book but was left feeling down-hearted about the future of the planet owing to over-population and climate change combining with the geography of the countries that will be most affected. There certainly seems to be potential for yet more conflicts between countries competing over diminishing resources and vying for influence in the world.

The narrator is excellent.

70 people found this helpful

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  • Anon
  • 03-02-19

good generally, but very euro-centric

Found the overall idea of general geopolitics as a way to explain the world writ large quite refreshing.

My biggest complaint is the lazy coverage of Africa, especially SSA, and the euro-centric assumptions of what technological advancement is, as well as what ails the continent of the African people - very clearly only the bare amount of research about diseases and tribal fragmentation was conducted, and yet a lot more research went into countries like China and the USA. For example, little attention was given to how the ex colonial masters continue to deliberately wreak havoc in Africa so they can take advantage of its large amount of raw precious minerals and other materials, and the problem was rather a surface level "black African politicians are bad" sticker.

It should be recognised that Western revisionist colonial history is not consistent with actual African history, and that there was a deep and rich cultural and technological history pre and post colonialism. The deep and disturbing nature of Western slaughter, pillaging, raping and conquering/enslavement of half the planet should not be simply glossed over as a price of war - this should be recognised as the unremorseful, disgusting series of acts that it was, geopolitics or not.

I would also advise that the final chapter (6, I believe) of the Middle East and South America and a few other areas, be separated out into a few different ~1 hour chapters in this audiobook so it is consistent with the rest of the book, rather than a solid 5 hour chapter.

Didn't seem to get much information about the geopolitical nature of nations like Australia or Canada as well.

67 people found this helpful

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  • practicalshopper
  • 10-20-17

interesting

interesting take on global politics. Great for someone like myself who have buried their heads in the sand and ignored politics for several years

39 people found this helpful

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  • cmj123
  • 08-15-17

Deeply fascinating and enlightening

This book opened my mind to a totally new description of the world, her geography and her politics. It challenged my current perception of humanity, power and resources. The narration of the book was excellent. Love to read more on geopolitics.

28 people found this helpful

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  • michael lindsay
  • 08-22-17

Insightful

Fantastic. Really helps to understand the conflicts of the world and to give some 'alternative' understanding to the conspiracy theories. From religion, geography, ethnicity and mistrust bringing together our history and most likely our future.

Isn't it a shame we can't just share :)

24 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-23-19

A book about maps with no maps

This was a fantastic book to read, however, it was at times difficult to follow the train of thought as the maps are not provided in the audiobook :(

22 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Martin U Jones
  • 04-08-17

Just enthralling, beginning to end!

I listened to the whole thing in a 48 hour time frame. It was fascinating!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-15-17

Very informative

Interesting and well read. It is also updated to current times. Sometimes a little too much detail but overall worth listening to.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Stop the lights
  • 06-02-17

good recap on what most of us already know.

Some good facts and figures thrown in too.

The narrator keeps things moving along nicely.

Not too sure about the Russian accent though. . . .

17 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 02-11-21

Update?

This was a great listen but I’m 4 years or so late! Any chance of an update?
Very interesting 👍

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vik
  • 03-22-20

Contains some cliches but a good book

This book has some old cliches about some countries and ignores some of the smaller countries which have defied geography however this book does give a decent perspective for lots of countries.
Good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-28-22

good

abit too american at times but the good parts was when they were talking about countries other than America lol

.