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3. Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall

Or Geopolitics for Dummies. A good basic explanation of how geography limits the options of various world regions. This is the 2016 edition and is very much up to date for now, but if it isn't updated regularly it will date quickly.

Having said that, there's a lot of information that will continue to be useful, where Marshall explains how and why various countries have developed in the way that they have.

Parts of this book were a bit basic for me, but I did learn a lot. The best chapter was the first, on Russia. I studied Russian history at university and this book gives a context we weren't given to a lot of events that otherwise don't make a lot of sense.

This book (or something like it) should be required reading for everyone. It explains a lot about how and why the world is the way it is.

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