By Tim Marshall


This is the first of Marshall’s books that I’ve read, and I immediately bought two more. An exploration of geopolitics that is lighter than The New Map, Divided gives an insight into some of the key divisions (both physical and intangible) that we face as a global society.

With chapters on divisions in China, the USA, Israel and Palestine, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Europe, and the UK, this book gives you a grounding in the historical, political, and geographical context that underpins divides such as Trump’s wall and the Brexit vote.

As I said in my review of The New Map, I have an increasing appreciation for how crucial an in-depth understanding of geopolitics is to being able to build our path out of the climate crisis.

To generate real change, we need to go beyond loud one-liner demands (although these are useful for a whole host of reasons) and delve into the detail of how we can achieve these aims, not in a fairyland but in the real world that we live in today.

I don’t intend that in the same way that sceptics tell campaigners to ‘get real’. We can, and I believe we will, overcome the challenges posed by climate change. But this is a climate emergency; making demands or pursuing routes that politically and geographically don’t make sense is a waste of precious time.

Accessible enough for those new to geopolitics but detailed enough to interest those who know more, Divided is a great read for anyone interested in why the world behaves the way it does.

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