All politicians are gamblers, and politics (geopolitics especially) is a big casino. People place a bet and hope for the win. If you've ever been to one or played a casino online, you know the drill. Except, the stakes at geopolitics are incomparably higher, and the path people take to that casino is way longer. Today, we will take a look at the best books about geopolitics that will help readers understand why the world today is as it is — books that study history and wars that shaped the world we live in today.
1. The Shield of Achilles
By far, people claim that this book is one of the most intellectually challenging books to read about geopolitics. In the book, the author redefines how history went down and how the forces of communism and fascism fought for domination from 1914 to 1990.
Another competing system here is parliamentarism. These competing forces eventually had an impact on one of the most horrifying events in history — the 9/11 attacks.
This book also allows people to fully understand the deep causes of political events such as Brexit. In addition, people will also understand another political phenomenon such as Trumpism and other populist-driven political activities in the world.
2. New and Old Wars
This book argues that the Old Wars were replaced in modern times with internal conflicts, such as a civil war, which the world witnessed in many states. In this book, the author claims that many of the wars today are low-intensity conflicts that seem to have become all too common.
Here are some examples:
• Conflict in the Balkans
Kaldor, the author, examines the phenomena and further says that the New Wars are misunderstood. She also says that it is this misunderstanding that caused the intervention in these wars to fail.
3. The Dragons and the Snakes
This book is a masterpiece where the author, David Kilcullen, compares nations with dragons and snakes. The snakes are non-state actors that rose to power after the Cold War. These organizations include the Mafia, armed terrorists, and other insurgents.
Here, the author explains how these groups thrived despite the tremendous hunting that they were subjected to by the most powerful nations on earth. He also advocates how natural selection has played a role in how the most effective and efficient fighters rose to the top of these organized syndicates.
In addition, the author places powerful countries in the book as dragons. Examples of these are Russia, China, and Iran. These are countries that emerged to challenge the United States. The central theme of this book is that these dragons and snakes are not separate but connected.
4. Has China Won?
We all know that China is now a global superpower, next only to the United States. The tension and competition between these two will define the future of the world.
The book, written by Kishore Mahbubani, provides a high-level analysis of the two greatest powers dominating the world today. The book also gives us an insight as to where the world is leading.
The author is not leaning towards any of these two countries. Instead, he provides an equal analysis of the two countries. He shares his views of each country’s strengths and weaknesses.
5. World Order
World Order is a book written by one of the most influential people in the world — Henry Kissinger. The book provides us with a glimpse into the mind of Henry and how he has advised presidents and helped shape the geopolitics that we know today.
In this book, Henry reveals a lot of the things he learned in all his life in global politics. His conclusion is that there never really was a world order that happened in the history of humankind.
His book does not advocate specific politics. Instead, he shows how 2,000 years of war and policies shaped the world today and his opinions about the global political climate in the next 50 years.
6. Prisoners of Geography
This book attempts to understand the true meaning of geopolitics. In it, Tim Marshall explains why it is important to know the location of a country and how it affects its dominance over the world.
He provides examples of his analyses through the history of countries like China, Japan, European countries, and Russia, including the USA.
Here, you will understand the importance of land, weather, climate, water, and many other natural things that affect the progress of a nation.
7. Why Nations Fail
Why Nations Fail is an analysis of economics and politics. Two people wrote the book, and these are Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. The book took them 15 years of research — they gathered information on both of these issues, and they attempted to answer burning questions about geopolitics.
In addition to providing answers, they also provide a hefty number of examples drawn from history. They even talk about countries like North Korea and South Korea and how the relationship between these two countries affects global politics and the economy.
Wars will never end, and humans have an undying conquest to dominate other people. If you are interested in understanding the driving forces that made the world what it is now, you must read one of these books. You will begin to realize that politics is deeper than it seems.