Summary of Prisoners of Geography

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9 Overall

8 Importance

9 Innovation

10 Style


In this thought-provoking study, former journalist Tim Marshall looks at the modern world and offers an obvious if often-ignored explanation for, among other things, why Africa is poor and why America rarely suffers attack: geography. Many analysts downplay the importance of oceans, mountains, jungles and deserts, but Marshall argues that physical terrain is a crucial geopolitical player. Map by map, he catalogs the world powers’ geographic strengths and weaknesses. For instance, China’s rare weak spot is its flat border with Vietnam. For the US, it’s the proximity of a hostile Cuba. Marshall’s breezy tour of the globe is a joy to read. getAbstract recommends it to all curious thinkers especially travelers, international investors, global managers, professors, students, policy makers and NGO personnel.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How physical features shape the world and its societies,
  • Which powers benefit from geographic advantages, and
  • What geographic factors increase nations’ financial literacy and economic mobility.

About the Author

Tim Marshall is a former foreign correspondent for Britain’s Sky News television and an authority on foreign affairs. He has reported from 30 countries, including numerous war zones.



Geography as History and Destiny
Did you ever wonder why China and India share an expansive border, yet have no common linguistic or political characteristics? The same reason explains why these ambitious giants never have warred against each other, with one brief, forgettable exception...

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    Valeriy Mitrokhin 10 months ago
    I do not quite agree with the author before looking for a straw in someone else's eyes it's better to remove the beam from my eyes

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