A look at the list of countries and regions chosen by British political journalist Tim Marshall to describe geographic power relations in the twenty-first century is not surprising at first: Australia enjoys a prime position as a contiguous region of the emerging Asian region; Without a doubt, the political situation in the oil state of Saudi Arabia has far-reaching global implications, and it should also be clear that space is increasingly becoming the focus of powerful states – The recently tested launch of a satellite not in use by Russia Make this very clear. At the same time, Tim Marshall gives the newspaper knowledge of a fundamental basis and presents in an interesting way how these conditions have developed historically and what could result from this in the future.
From the Persian Wars to the Crises of the Future
In his description, the author begins at the beginning: for example with the British colonization of Australia; Tribal Relations and Historical Trade Routes in Saudi Arabia or the Persian Wars in Greece. The starting point for his description is primarily a physical spatial characterization of the regions, which is read roughly as a military strategy: where are the navigable rivers for settlement, where are agriculture possible, and which mountains protect against invasions? This is certainly justified, but you have to get used to this technique first. The chapters devoted to Mesopotamia are particularly prominent and are somewhat similar to Donald Rumsfeld’s diary, “Evidence of the Conquest”, so to speak.
For each area, the historical description takes up a large part of the chapter and provides the reader with a deeper understanding. The author managed to put this on 30-40 pages, but due to the high information density, the book is not easy to read before bed.
It is a little surprising that China does not have its own chapter and is only viewed indirectly from the perspective of other countries. The sub-heading reads: “10 cards explaining today’s policies and future crises.” This is a bit misleading, as one would expect the presentation to be based on thematic maps. However, the mentioned maps are simply topographic or political maps – every school atlas is better equipped in this respect. However, this neither diminishes the knowledge gained nor detracts from the basic quality of the book, it is not entirely consistent.
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