Our Book of the Month choice for September

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

Subject Consultant Andy Kernot stood by some book shelves in the SSL selecting a geography book


September’s book of the month was selected by Andy Kernot, Subject Consultant for Geography, Social Policy & Intervention, Public Policy, and Internet Studies.

The cover of the book Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. It has a blue background (to represent the sea) and part of a map of the world on top, which is filled with geographical terms.




Prisoner of Geography: Ten maps that tell you everything you need to know about global politics

Tim Marshall

Elliott and Thompson Limited, 2016

Available as an eBook or a hard copy can be found in the SSL at JC319.MAR 2016

Why was it chosen?

All leaders are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Yes, to follow world events you need to understand people, ideas and movements – but if you don’t know geography, you’ll never have the full picture.

If you’ve ever wondered why Putin is so obsessed with Crimea, why the USA was destined to become a global superpower, or why China’s power base continues to expand ever outwards, the answers are all here. It’s time to put the ‘geo’ back into geopolitics.

Book Overview

In ten chapters (covering Russia; China; the USA; Latin America; the Middle East; Africa; India and Pakistan; Europe; Japan and Korea; and the Arctic), using maps, essays and occasionally the personal experiences of the widely travelled author, Prisoners of Geography looks at the past, present and future to offer an essential insight into one of the major factors that determines world history.


“Quite simply, one of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine: reading it is like having a light shone on your understanding… Marshall is clear-headed, lucid and possessed of an almost uncanny ability to make the broad picture accessible and coherent … the book is, in a way which astonished me, given the complexities of the subject, unputdownable… I can’t think of another book that explains the world situation so well.”

Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard

“Compels a fresh way of looking at maps – not just as objects for orientation or works of art, but as guideposts to the often thorny relations between nations”

The New York Times

“a timely reminder that despite technological advances, geography is always there, often forcing the hand of world leaders.” 

Mark Cooper-Jones, Geographical

How can I access it?

This title is available in hard copy at the SSL at shelfmark JC319.MAR 2016 to consult in the library. It is also available on SOLO for Oxford University staff and students to access remotely using your SSO.

Image of an open book with the pages curled to form a love heartWhat would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

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