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10 Best Geopolitical Books (2021)

Best Books About GeopoliticsBy definition, Geopolitics includes the study and analysis of the effects of Earth’s Geography in relation to politics. These two topics are tied closely together and can experience a variety of different changes on a global scale. Geopolitics simply studies how Geographical locations and occurrences affect worldwide politics.

This is both a fun and important topic to learn about, as it includes a lot of what has happened over the years. There are many Geopolitical books out there, and we aim to show you 10 of the best that have ever been written. These are the top 10 Geopolitical books that you must read if you’re interested in the topic.


Best Geopolitical Books

Photo Title Rating Length Buy
Prisoners of Geography 9.38/10 304 Pages Check Price On Amazon
World Order 9.32/10 432 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Why Nations Fail 9.28/10 544 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Accidental Superpower 9.82/10 384 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Destined for War 9.42/10 400 Pages Check Price On Amazon

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

 

The Meaning of Geopolitics

Tim Marshall is an experienced journalist who does whatever it takes to understand the topics he researches and to dive deep into the details. He has several books, some of which became huge bestsellers. Prisoners of Geography is a must-read if you enjoy this author’s writing.

Inside this book, Tim talks about the true meaning of this term, the reason why it’s crucial to understand and follow, and historical examples of its importance. He takes us through the land and history of China, Japan, Europe, Russia, the USA, the Arctic, Greenland, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. We learn about these important lands, the weather they have, the rivers that flow through them, the mountains, seas, rivers, borders, and much more.

Key Points and Strategies

Even though we now understand what Geopolitics is, what’s the point of knowing all this? This is a question Tim Marshall strives to explain and reveal within his words. The reason Prisoners of Geography is among the best Geopolitical books out there is that the author nicely explains facts like the need for Russia’s navy when their ports are frozen for 6 months each year, the impact of Geography and Geopolitics on China, secrets about invasions on America, and much more.


World Order by Henry Kissinger

 

How the World Works

World Order is a fascinating book on Geopolitics that also involves a lot of crucial history and historical events from around the world. Henry Kissinger is definitely up to the task to give advice on this topic. He has a strong background regarding Geopolitics, he has traveled the world, advised presidents, observing crucial central foreign policy events, and more.

In his book, titled World Order, Kissinger reveals a lot regarding these areas. As much as there is Geopolitics inside, he also focuses a lot on sharing the history of the world. Some examples include his observation and conclusion that there has never truly been a real-world order in our world. He breaks it down to simply what each civilization has made order to appear to them and no one else.

Crucial History Lessons

How do Kissinger’s history lessons connect to learning Geopolitics? This will become clear faster than you think. Kissinger says that each nation on the planet has considered itself as being at the center of everything. By observing everything he has to say, it won’t take long for you to learn what he is trying to teach his readers.

Henry Kissinger has a lot of experience as a National Security Advisor. It won’t take long for you to understand this and take his words seriously. It’s safe to say that this is one of the best books on Geopolitics that you will be able to find.


Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoğlu

 

Analyzing the Field

This is a book by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. These two authors work side by side and wrote a book about the world, economics, politics, and similar topics that is based on over 15 years of research. Daron personally spent all those years gathering information and learning about the mentioned topics.

There are plenty of questions that this book answers, plenty of examples that make everything easier to understand, and plenty of pages to keep you entertained as well. Daron and James dive into countries like North and South Korea and they compare the differences between these, and many other lands as well. They compare differences in politics, economy, and more.

Answering the Right Questions

As mentioned, this book answers a lot of crucial questions that most who are interested in this topic care to find out. A few examples include why some nations are simply richer than others, why are many lands divided by wealth, health, famine, and similar? That’s far from being it. Daron and James also focus on explaining many crucial topics regarding China’s huge economic growth, whether America’s best days are in the past or are they yet to arrive, and the best ways to transform poverty into wealth.

If you care for good Geopolitical books, then Why Nations Fail is a must-read for those interested in finding out how this topic affects the world. There’s much to learn and these two authors make the entire process fun and entertaining.


The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder by Peter Zeihan

 

The Faulty System

Peter Zeihan is the author of this book that focuses on American Geopolitics that influence the rest of the world. You may be asking why Peter is fit to be writing about this. Well, he is not merely an author, as Zeihan is also known as an international strategist who knows a thing or two more about topics like these.

So, what can you expect from The Accidental Superpower? The book opens and has a lot to say about American Geopolitics at the beginning. In fact, it’s all history at the start. Peter slowly reveals his lessons by initially teaching us a few important things regarding the illusion of ocean safety. He focuses on how an American decision rewired the international system and led to something far more dangerous than before.

Hard Rules of Geography

This book is intended for anyone who wishes to educate themselves on the matter. Technically, the people who can benefit most from the information inside include business people, parents, teachers, policymakers, and even young adults.

What will you learn? A few amazing examples include issues with the American commitment to free trade, American energy independence, a potential global disorder, and lots more crucial information about American Geography in relation to the rest of the world.


Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? by Graham Allison

 

Thucydides’ Trap

In 2017, Graham Allison published a book called Destined for War. Inside, he talks about an imminent threat that could bring the unthinkable. The two main nations discussed inside are the USA and China. Graham mentions that these two countries are headed towards a war that may prove disastrous for countless lives. Something highly worthy mentioning in regards to this is something known as Thucydides’ Trap.

Simply put, Thucydides’ Trap is a lethal pattern of structural stress that has been seen many times in the history of the Earth. To be exact, this pattern has been noticed to happen once every 500 years. The total number of occurrences until now is 16. Graham fears that it is about to come once more.

Frightening Policies

What makes Graham Allison fit for creating one of the best-selling Geopolitical books ever written? Allison is a Harvard scholar and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. His motivations for writing and publishing this very insightful book include his fear of a particular policy between the US and China he had seen back then.

Because of his background and skills, Graham had privileged access to Washington policymakers for a long time. In fact, his mentor was the one and only Henry Kissinger, one of the best in this particular field.


The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

 

Parallel History Lesson

Here we have even more Geopolitically focused history lessons that can teach us a lot by analyzing certain historical events from around the world. To be more precise, you’re going to learn about a few key events regarding Russia, Europe, and America. However, this won’t be a simple parallel history of these three countries. Instead, what you will get from Timothy Snyder is a detailed and exciting story about Modern Russian and how the one and only Putin had a lot of influence over the US and Europe.

The author focuses on explaining a few of the most crucial dysfunctions in most societies. This includes the politics of inevitability and the politics of eternity. He goes in-depth to explain how both of these terms work and function and point out the major issues.

Politics of Inevitability and Eternity

For the sake of giving a few insights about the full story, here is what Snyder has to say. The politics of inevitability is a bit easier to understand. This includes the fact that this term is fueled by wrongful optimism. In short, this means that according to many beliefs, history is already supposed to take a certain direction, eliminating the need to worry about anything.

The politics of eternity, on the other hand, is a bit more complex. The author mentions that this type of politics is driven by despair. Whether you agree with him or not, it’s worth hearing what he has to say, as his arguments are pretty compelling and worthwhile learning about.


Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, 1921-1933 by Anne Applebaum

 

An Investigation of 4 Million Deaths

Red Famine is a thrilling book that involves an investigation of one of the most painful and harsh historical events of the 20th century. Anne, the author, talks about an event that occurred in 1932 and was responsible for the death of almost 4 million Ukrainians. The cause of this was deliberate starvation and is something Anne aims to unravel and make clear for her readers.

In her investigation, Anne Applebaum aims to find out who was truly responsible for this unspeakable tragedy, she discovers the reality of consequences and everything related to the location, history, and reason for this horrifying event. You asked for some of the top Geopolitical books out there, well here it is.

Digging Deep

What does it take to unravel such a huge mystery and find out what exactly went on? Well for the most part it takes determination. However, Anne spent a lot of time studying piles and piles of archival material and testimonies that only became available since the end of the Soviet Union. The most crucial information comes from actual survivors or relatives of those who lived through this cruel famine.

This information will allow everyone to see what human beings can do when all of their actions are driven by hunger. Even though the famine is unspeakable, the suffering didn’t end there, as it was followed by attacks on Ukraine’s cultural and political leaders. Much more awaits inside this fascinating book.


On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

 

Lessons on Freedom

Timothy Snyder makes his second appearance on our list of the 10 most popular Geopolitical books out there. This time, his book focuses on historical events from the 20th century, coming from all sides of the world. Timothy Snyder is among the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust and this book is going to share 20 lessons on how we can preserve freedom in the coming years.

After showing us everything we need to know in order to take his lessons seriously, Snyder focuses on explaining how to improve the world that we live in step by step. He talks about habits that we must develop and practice for our entire lives. These habits are crucial if we wish to protect ourselves, our families, friends, and our country. It’s a short book with short and simple lessons, yet highly effective ones.

The Importance of Learning from Mistakes

On Tyranny is among the relatively new books on Geopolitics, as it was published in 2017. Among the best reasons to read this book is that Snyder shows us ways to learn from certain mistakes that have happened in the past. Before that, he shows us those mistakes and where things went wrong. Then comes the part when Snyder talks about how to fix them and introduces the habits we talked about.


The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria

 

The Rise of Everyone Else

Fareed Zakaria isn’t a stranger to writing best-selling books. The Post-American World follows another one of his best-selling works, titled The Future of Freedom. In one of his best-rated Geopolitics books, he shares some wise words not on the fall of America, but the rise of other crucial players that leave significant marks on the world.

Among the most important messages that this book tries to deliver is describing a world in which America is no longer the leader of the global economy, a world in which America doesn’t call most of the shots in orchestrating Geopolitics, overwhelm cultures, and similar topics and events. The countries Zakaria wants us to focus on include China, Brazil, Russia, India, and a few others.

Eye-Opening Facts

Among the most significant features making this one of the best Geopolitics books is the fact that so much of the world is being made and produced outside of the United States. This features a long list including some of the most popular and astonishing buildings, the most famous and popular movies, the most advanced technology, and much more. This is just a small taste of the number of statistics and facts that Zakaria uses to reveal crucial insights on global Geopolitics.


The Shadow War: Inside Russia’s and China’s Secret Operations to Defeat America by Jim Sciutto

 

Waging a Brazen Global War

Jim Sciutto is CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent and the author of this thrilling book. Inside, Jim discusses many topics, all of which focus on major Geopolitical issues and events that have to do something with important leading countries of the world. Among his messages, Jim tries to send a warning of a global war that is being waged upon the United States and the West. The attackers he warns about are none other than China and Russia.

Some may side with him and some may not, in any case, it wouldn’t hurt to hear what Sciutto has to say on the matter. He speaks of bold acts of aggression upon the US. The list of these acts includes election interference, armed invasions, hackers and viruses, poisoned dissidents, weapons deployed into space, and much more.

An International Conflict Guide

As CNN’s anchor and Chief National Security Correspondent, Jim reveals the ultimate guide to this conflict, explaining it all from start to finish. His thoughts are exciting to break down if nothing else. Shadow War talks about a huge threat to America’s national security, and this book covers all that we need to, and should, know on the matter. When it comes to the top Geopolitics books out there, Shadow War is a must-read as well.


Michael Englert

Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.