Prisoners of geography: ten maps that explain everything about the world, by Tim Marshall

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  • July 2016
    Book Review

    Maps, world atlases, and travel books have always been invaluable sources of geographic knowledge. These sources, and their pedagogical significance, are a powerful tool used by geopolitical actors to control territories, peoples, and discourses. Thus, world leaders, even leaders of weak nations, are acutely aware of their geography’s importance. This is crucial in the assessment of a state’s geopolitical strengths and weaknesses in relation to its national progress and survival. Perhaps this is the very reason states have sought to control geostrategic locations such as gates, seaways, plateaus, farmlands, hillsides, mountain passes, and water resources since the beginning of statehood. These strategic locations are believed to be advantageous to those who control them.