I'm late to the party on this 2016 best seller, but Tim Marshall's Prisoners of Geography needs to go on your reading list immediately. The Aughts fad for treating Non-State Actors as the Next Big Thing caused a lot of people to forget that geopolitics is still a thing. Subject matter experts will find some of these takes a bit thin (it's pretty hard to do India-Pakistan justice in 50 pages) but nearly everyone short of expertise on a given region will learn a lot here. And the best part is that even if you fancy yourself an expert on one country or region, there are nine other chapters to tell you things you probably do not already know. 100/100 read immediately.

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  1. J.D. Says:

    Just ordered it on Amazon (yes, I know I'm horrible, but I rarely have time to peruse an actual bookstore). Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Jestbill Says:

    Denver Public Library.

  3. Kaleberg Says:

    If you just learn about the world from the news, all kinds of stuff seems to be surprising. Books like this are a great way to anticipate problems and understand the driving forces. Some of these are better than others. John Gunther did a whole series of popular books like this in the 1960s. More people should have paid attention. More recently, I'll recommend Kaplan's Monsoon which discusses the politics of the nations around the Indian Ocean. I wasn't surprised by the situation in Burma.

  4. Gene Altshuler Says:

    One good recommendation deserves another. One of the most revelatory books in recent years that explains the mind-set of those who support Trump in Arlie Hochschild's Strangers In Their Own Land. Stunning in the insights it provides to people wallowing in industrial pollution which has sickened themselves and their children say: "Pollution is the price we pay for Capitalism."

    I know your first reaction is that these people are woefully ignorant, there is that but it is not that simple.

  5. Mo Says:

    Thanks for the recommend, ordered it immediately. Which we can do now, thanks to Kindle.

    Too, also:

    China's Asia Dream: Empire Building Along the New Silk Road, by Tom Miller

    The Silk Roads: A New History of the Worls, by Peter Frankopan

    Black Dragon River: A Journey Down the Amur River Between Russia and China, by Dominic Ziegler

    The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia's New Geopolitics, by Andrew Small

    China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa, by Howard French

    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia, by Bill Hayton

  6. Scm Says:

    I second the Robert Kaplan recommendation, his work is consistently good. Quality insight in this vein also comes from George Friedman, via Stratfor, Geopolitical Futures, and his own independent writings.

  7. Heywood J. Says:

    I'll throw in for Kaplan's Monsoon as well. Great book, it's all coming true, just faster.

  8. Dave Dell Says:

    Public Library. I'm too old and have too many books to add one to the permanent collection unless I know I'm going to re-read it.

  9. wetcasements Says:

    Best book I read this summer was Michatel Twitty's _The Cooking Gene_. He re-enacts 18th century slave kitchens to demonstrate that "American" food has deep roots in African and the Caribbean.

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  11. Laurent Says:

    Couldn’t resist, bought it right now. Antidote to empty, no basis in fact, wheels off the carriage discussions.

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