Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics
Tim Marshall - 2015
Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas, and concrete. To understand world events, news organizations and other authorities often focus on people, ideas, and political movements, but without geography, we never have the full picture. Now, in the relevant and timely Prisoners of Geography, seasoned journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.In ten, up-to-date maps of each region, Marshall explains in clear and engaging prose the complex geo-political strategies of these key parts of the globe. What does it mean that Russia must have a navy, but also has frozen ports six months a year? How does this affect Putin’s treatment of Ukraine? How is China’s future constrained by its geography? Why will Europe never be united? Why will America never be invaded? Shining a light on the unavoidable physical realities that shape all of our aspirations and endeavors, Prisoners of Geography is the critical guide to one of the major (and most often overlooked) determining factors in world history.
Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do
Andrew Gelman - 2008
Since then the color divide has become a symbol of a culture war that thrives on stereotypes--pickup-driving red-state Republicans who vote based on God, guns, and gays; and elitist, latte-sipping blue-state Democrats who are woefully out of touch with heartland values. Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State debunks these and other political myths.With wit and prodigious number crunching, Andrew Gelman gets to the bottom of why Democrats win elections in wealthy states while Republicans get the votes of richer voters, how the two parties have become ideologically polarized, and other issues. Gelman uses eye-opening, easy-to-read graphics to unravel the mystifying patterns of recent voting, and in doing so paints a vivid portrait of the regional differences that drive American politics. He demonstrates in the plainest possible terms how the real culture war is being waged among affluent Democrats and Republicans, not between the haves and have-nots; how religion matters for higher-income voters; how the rich-poor divide is greater in red not blue states--and much more.Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State is a must-read for anyone seeking to make sense of today's fractured American political landscape.Myths and facts about the red and the blue:Myth The rich vote based on economics, the poor vote "God, guns, and gays."Fact Church attendance predicts Republican voting much more among rich than poor.Myth A political divide exists between working-class "red America" and rich "blue America."Fact Within any state, more rich people vote Republican. The real divide is between higher-income voters in red and blue states.Myth Rich people vote for the Democrats.Fact George W. Bush won more than 60 percent of high-income voters.Myth Religion is particularly divisive in American politics.Fact Religious and secular voters differ no more in America than in France, Germany, Sweden, and many other European countries.
Beyond the Map
Alastair Bonnett - 2017
Out there fleets of new islands are under construction and eye-wateringly insane micro-nations are struggling into the light; unseen rivers are tumbling under sleeping cites and once secret fantasy- gardens are cracking open their doors. As groups like Islamic State fabricate proto-states whose boundaries ebb and flow with each passing day, it certainly feels as if all the old maps are being frantically scribbled over or torn up. The world’s unruly places, the zones unmarked on any official map, are multiplying and changing fast. In this book, Alaistair Bonnet presents the stories of 43 of these extraordinary places, all of which will challenge the very concept of place. The ever more unruly maps of human and physical geography can seem overwhelming. Perhaps that’s why little places, the small secrets, the hidden surprises, have become so important. Alastair will set out on a journey across the world in search of a diverse range of modern utopias, from the Dubai Shopping Mall to the caliphate of the Islamic State, from the Findhorn eco-community in Scotland to Cybertopias such as Second Life. Follows in the great tradition of writing on place and what it tells us about ourselves and the world, and our previous success with Off the Map. Off the Map was very well reviewed and received - would be great title for coverage in national newspapers, and their magazines. Alastair is availble for publicity and would be great for radio interviews, for Radio 4 programmes and debates. Perfect for fans of Iain Sinclair, Robert Macfarlane, The Atlas of Remote Islands and Paul Farley's Edgelands as well as Simon Garfield's On the Map
The Revenge Of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate
Robert D. Kaplan - 2012
Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world. In The Revenge of Geography, Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. The Russian steppe’s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland. Kaplan then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia. Remarkably, the future can be understood in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties: China, able to feed only 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 percent arable, has sought energy, minerals, and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma, Iran, and Zimbabwe, putting it in moral conflict with the United States. Afghanistan’s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India’s main enemy. Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy-producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Finally, Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far-flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico, which is on the verge of becoming a semifailed state due to drug cartel carnage. A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century’s looming cataclysms.
Modern China: A Very Short Introduction
Rana Mitter - 2008
This Very Short Introduction offers an indispensable starting point for anyone who needs to quickly know the themes and controversies that have shaped modern China. Prize-winning author and scholar Rana Mitter examines the modern history, politics, economy, and thriving cultural scene of contemporary China, and its relations with the wider world. This lively guide covers a range of social issues from the decline of footbinding and the position of women in society, to the influence of television and film, and the role of the overseas Chinese diaspora. It covers many prominent figures as well, such as the Communist leaders, the last emperors, and prominent writers and artists throughout China's history. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam
China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World
Ted C. Fishman - 2005
Fishman's bestselling explanation of how China is rapidly becoming a global industrial superpower and how the American economy is challenged by this new reality.China today is visible everywhere -- in the news, in the economic pressures battering the globe, in our workplaces, and in every trip to the store. Provocative, timely, and essential -- and updated with new statistics and information -- this dramatic account of China's growing dominance as an industrial superpower by journalist Ted C. Fishman explains how the profound shift in the world economic order has occurred -- and why it already affects us all. How has an enormous country once hobbled by poverty and Communist ideology come to be the supercharged center of global capitalism? What does it mean that China now grows three times faster than the United States? Why do nearly all of the world's biggest companies have large operations in China? What does the corporate march into China mean for workers left behind in America, Europe, and the rest of the world? Meanwhile, what makes China's emerging corporations so dangerously competitive? What will happen when China manufactures nearly everything -- computers, cars, jumbo jets, and pharmaceuticals -- that the United States and Europe can, at perhaps half the cost? How do these developments reach around the world and straight into all of our lives? These are ground-shaking questions, and China, Inc. provides answers. Veteran journalist Ted C. Fishman shows how China will force all of us to make big changes in how we think about ourselves as consumers, workers, citizens, and even as parents. The result is a richly engaging work of penetrating, up-to-the-minute reportage and brilliant analysis that will forever change how readers think about America's future.
Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power
Meghan L. O'Sullivan - 2017
“Riveting and comprehensive...a smart, deeply researched primer on the subject.” —The New York Times Book ReviewAs a new administration focuses on driving American energy production, O’Sullivan’s “refreshing and illuminating” (Foreign Policy) Windfall describes how new energy realities have profoundly affected the world of international relations and security. New technologies led to oversupplied oil markets and an emerging natural gas glut. This did more than drive down prices—it changed the structure of markets and altered the way many countries wield power and influence. America’s new energy prowess has global implications. It transforms politics in Russia, Europe, China, and the Middle East. O’Sullivan considers the landscape, offering insights and presenting consequences for each region’s domestic stability as energy abundance upends traditional partnerships, creating opportunities for cooperation. The advantages of this new abundance are greater than its downside for the US: it strengthens American hard and soft power. This is “a powerful argument for how America should capitalise on the ‘New Energy Abundance’” (The Financial Times) and an explanation of how new energy realities create a strategic environment to America’s advantage.
Comrades: A World History of Communism
Robert Service - 2007
It offers a succession of incisive pen-portraits of outstanding leaders and decisive events and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. It draws on material from many national collections and several major languages and is the most up-to-date account produced since the 1960s. Ranging across not only the high politics and ideology of the most prominent communist regimes but also daily life under communism, culture and propaganda, Service analyses communism's appeal abroad as well as local attempts to set up communist administrations. He ends by showing that there was more to communism than mere brutality and demonstrates that while communism in its primordial form is now dead in most countries, the causes of its ability to gather support among intellectuals and ordinary people have not vanished: economic poverty and political oppression. And the lasting message of the book is that something must be done to eradicate poverty and oppression if the world is to avoid a repetition of totalitarianism in some new form. It is a highly readable, compellingly argued and an exciting work of history, if not always a comforting one.
The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order
Bruno Maçães - 2018
A profound piece of political thinking' Ben Judah, author of This Is London In this original and timely book, Bruno Maçães argues that the best word for the emerging global order is 'Eurasian', and shows why we need to begin thinking on a super-continental scale. While China and Russia have been quicker to recognise the increasing strategic significance of Eurasia, even Europeans are realizing that their political project is intimately linked to the rest of the supercontinent - and as Maçães shows, they will be stronger for it.Weaving together history, diplomacy and vivid reports from his six-month overland journey across Eurasia from Baku to Samarkand, Vladivostock to Beijing, Maçães provides a fascinating portrait of this shifting geopolitical landscape. As he demonstrates, we can already see the coming Eurasianism in China's bold infrastructure project reopening the historic Silk Road, in the success of cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, in Turkey's increasing global role and in the fact that, revealingly, the United States is redefining its place as between Europe and Asia.An insightful and clarifying book for our turbulent times, The Dawn of Eurasia argues that the artificial separation of the world's largest island cannot hold, and the sooner we realise it, the better.
Vietnam: Rising Dragon
Bill Hayton - 2010
A breathtaking period of social change has seen foreign investment bringing capitalism flooding into its nominally communist society, booming cities swallowing up smaller villages, and the lure of modern living tugging at the traditional networks of family and community. Yet beneath these sweeping developments lurks an authoritarian political system that complicates the nation’s apparent renaissance. In this engaging work, experienced journalist Bill Hayton looks at the costs of change in Vietnam and questions whether this rising Asian power is really heading toward capitalism and democracy.Based on vivid eyewitness accounts and pertinent case studies, Hayton’s book addresses a broad variety of issues in today’s Vietnam, including important shifts in international relations, the growth of civil society, economic developments and challenges, and the nation’s nascent democracy movement as well as its notorious internal security. His analysis of Vietnam’s “police state,” and its systematic mechanisms of social control, coercion, and surveillance, is fresh and particularly imperative when viewed alongside his portraits of urban and street life, cultural legacies, religion, the media, and the arts. With a firm sense of historical and cultural context, Hayton examines how these issues have emerged and where they will lead Vietnam in the next stage of its development.
China's Asian Dream: Empire Building along the New Silk Road
Tom Miller - 2017
Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In 2014, President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared that the lion had awoken. Under Xi, China is pursuing an increasingly ambitious foreign policy with the aim of restoring its historical status as the dominant power in Asia. From the Mekong Basin to the Central Asian steppe, the country is wooing its neighbors with promises of new roads, railways, dams, and power grids. Chinese trade and investment presents huge opportunities for China’s neighbors, and its ability to build much-needed infrastructure could assist in the development of some of the world’s poorest countries. Yet Chinas rise also threatens to reduce its neighbours to the status of exploited vassals. In Vietnam and Myanmar, resentment of Chinese encroachment has already incited anti-Chinese protests, and many countries in the region are seeking to counterbalance its influence by turning to the US and Japan. Combining a concise overview of the situation with on-the-ground reportage from over seven countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia and of the world?
Political Ideologies: An Introduction
Andrew Heywood - 1992
This substantially revised 3rd edition of this text on political ideologies takes full account of the impact of the post Cold War world order, the challenge of postmodernism, the advance of globalization and the advent of global terrorism, and includes additional coverage of the prospects for ideologies in the 21st century.
Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities
Frank Jacobs - 2009
The result is a distinctive illustrated guide to the world. Categories of cartographic curiosities include: Literary Creations, featuring a map of Thomas More's Utopia and the world of George Orwell's 1984;Cartographic Misconceptions, such as a lavish seventeenthcentury map depicting California as an island Political Parody, containing the Jesusland map and other humorous takes on voter profiles; Whatchamacallit, including a map of the area codes for regions where the rapper Ludacris sings about having hoesbr; Obscure Proposals, capturing Thomas Jefferson's vision for dividing the Northwest Territory into ten states with names such as Polypotamia and Assenisipia; Fantastic Maps, with a depiction of what the globe might look like if the sea and land were inverted. The Strange Maps blog has been named by GeekDad Blog on Wired.com one of the more unusual and unique sites seen on the Web that doesn't sell anything or promote an agenda and it's currently ranked #423 on Technorati's Top 500 Blogs. Brimming with trivia, deadpan humor, and idiosyncratic lore, Strange Maps is a fascinating tour of all things weird and wonderful in the world of cartography.
Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives
Albert Marrin - 2012
Yet without it, life as we live it today would be impossible. Oil fuels our engines, heats our homes, and powers the machines that make the everyday things we take for granted, from shopping bags to computers to medical equipment. Nations throughout the last century have gone to war over it. Indeed, oil influences every aspect of modern life. It helps shape the history, society, politics, and economy of every nation on earth.This riveting new book explores what oil is and the role this precious resource has played in America and the world.
Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
Taras Grescoe - 2011
The perception of public transportation in America is often unflattering—a squalid last resort for those with one too many drunk-driving charges, too poor to afford insurance, or too decrepit to get behind the wheel of a car. Indeed, a century of auto-centric culture and city planning has left most of the country with public transportation that is underfunded, ill maintained, and ill conceived. But as the demand for petroleum is fast outpacing the world's supply, a revolution in transportation is under way. Grescoe explores the ascendance of the straphangers—the growing number of people who rely on public transportation to go about the business of their daily lives. On a journey that takes him around the world—from New York to Moscow, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bogotá, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver, and Philadelphia—Grescoe profiles public transportation here and abroad, highlighting the people and ideas that may help undo the damage that car-centric planning has done to our cities and create convenient, affordable, and sustainable urban transportation—and better city living—for all.