The Best Books About Geopolitics

“What are the best books about Geopolitics?” We looked at 140 of the top Geopolitical books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 11 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Geopolitics” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 125+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 11 Books About Geopolitics



11 .) Adults in the Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment written by Yanis Varoufakis

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • The Guardian

View / Buy On Amazon


10 .) World Order written by Henry Kissinger

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Wikipedia

Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism. There has never been a true “world order,” Kissinger observes. For most of history, civilizations defined their own concepts of order. Each considered itself the center of the world and envisioned its distinct principles as universally relevant. China conceived of a global cultural hierarchy with the Emperor at its pinnacle. In Europe, Rome imagined itself surrounded by barbarians; when Rome fragmented, European peoples refined a concept of an equilibrium of sovereign states and sought to export it across the world. Islam, in its early centuries, considered itself the world’s sole legitimate political unit, destined to expand indefinitely until the world was brought into harmony by religious principles. The United States was born of a conviction about the universal applicability of democracy—a conviction that has guided its policies ever since. Now international affairs take place on a global basis, and these historical concepts of world order are meeting. Every region participates in questions of high policy in every other, often instantaneously. Yet there is no consensus among the major actors about the rules and limits guiding this process, or its ultimate destination. The result is mounting tension. Grounded in Kissinger’s deep study of history and his experience as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, World Order guides readers through crucial episodes in recent world history. Kissinger offers a unique glimpse into the inner deliberations of the Nixon administration’s negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reagan’s tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavík. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.–China relations and the evolution of the European Union, and examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West’s response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger’s historical analysis in the decisive events of our time.

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9 .) Who Rules the World? written by Noam Chomsky

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Book Riot

In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky examines the way that the United States, despite the rise of Europe and Asia, still largely sets the terms of global discourse. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the sordid history of U.S. involvement with Cuba to the sanctions on Iran, he details how America’s rhetoric of freedom and human rights so often diverges from its actions. He delves deep into the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel-Palestine, providing unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet. And, in a new afterword, he addresses the election of Donald Trump and what it shows about American society.

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8 .) The Tragedy of Great Power Politics written by John J. Mearsheimer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Wikipedia

The update of this classic treatise on the behavior of great powers takes a penetrating look at the question likely to dominate international relations in the twenty-first century: Can China rise peacefully? To John J. Mearsheimer, great power politics are tragic because the anarchy of the international system requires states to seek dominance at one another s expense, dooming even peaceful nations to a relentless power struggle. The best survival strategy in this dangerous world is to become a regional hegemon like the United States in the Western Hemisphere and to make sure that no other hegemon emerges elsewhere. In a new concluding chapter, Mearsheimer examines the course of Sino-American relations should China continue its ascent to greater economic and military power. He predicts that China will attempt to dominate Asia while the United States, determined to remain the world s sole regional hegemon, will go to great lengths to contain China. The tragedy of great power politics is inescapable.”

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7 .) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism written by Naomi Klein

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads

In her ground-breaking reporting from Iraq, Naomi Klein exposed how the trauma of invasion was being exploited to remake the country in the interest of foreign corporations. She called it “disaster capitalism.” Covering Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, and New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic “shock treatment” losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers. The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman’s free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement’s peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and Iraq. At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. By capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, Klein argues that the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.

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6 .) The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 written by Paul Kennedy

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Wikipedia

Kennedy’s masterwork begins in the year 1500, at a time of various great centres of power including Minh China, the Ottomans, the rising Mughal state, the nations of Europe. But it was the latter which, through competition, economic growth and better military organisation, came to dominate the globe – until challenged later by Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Now China, boosted by its own economic prowess, rises to the fore. Throughout this brilliant work, Kennedy persuasively demonstrates the interdependence of economic and military power, showing how an imbalance between the two has historically led to spectacular political disaster.

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5 .) The Revenge Of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate written by Robert D. Kaplan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads

In The Revenge of Geography, Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. The Russian steppe’s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland.

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4 .) The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives written by Zbigniew Brzeziński

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads

As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the world’s only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered: What should be the nation’s global strategy for maintaining its exceptional position in the world? Zbigniew Brzezinski tackles this question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book.The Grand Chessboard presents Brzezinski’s bold and provocative geostrategic vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. Central to his analysis is the exercise of power on the Eurasian landmass, which is home to the greatest part of the globe’s population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the ”grand chessboard” on which America’s supremacy will be ratified and challenged in the years to come. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to manage the conflicts and relationships in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East so that no rival superpower arises to threaten our interests or our well-being.The heart of The Grand Chessboard is Brzezinski’s analysis of the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in each arena—Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The crucial fault lines may seem familiar, but the implosion of the Soviet Union has created new rivalries and new relationships, and Brzezinski maps out the strategic ramifications of the new geopolitical realities. He explains, for example: Why France and Germany will play pivotal geostrategic roles, whereas Britain and Japan will not. Why NATO expansion offers Russia the chance to undo the mistakes of the past, and why Russia cannot afford to toss this opportunity aside. Why the fate of Ukraine and Azerbaijan are so important to America. Why viewing China as a menace is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why America is not only the first truly global superpower but also the last—and what the implications are for America’s legacy. Brzezinski’s surprising and original conclusions often turn conventional wisdom on its head as he lays the groundwork for a new and compelling vision of America’s vital interests. Once, again, Zbigniew Brzezinski provides our nation with a philosophical and practical guide for maintaining and managing our hard-won global power.

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3 .) How the World Works

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads

According to The New York Times, Noam Chomsky is “arguably the most important intellectual alive.” But he isn’t easy to read . . . or at least he wasn’t until these books came along. Made up of intensively edited speeches and interviews, they offer something not found anywhere else: pure Chomsky, with every dazzling idea and penetrating insight intact, delivered in clear, accessible, reader-friendly prose. Published as four short books in the famous Real Story series—What Uncle Sam Really Wants; The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many; Secrets, Lies and Democracy; and The Common Good—they’ve collectively sold almost 600,000 copies. And they continue to sell year after year after year because Chomsky’s ideas become, if anything, more relevant as time goes by. For example, twenty years ago he pointed out that “in 1970, about 90% of international capital was used for trade and long-term investment—more or less productive things—and 10% for speculation. By 1990, those figures had reversed.” As we know, speculation continued to increase exponentially. We’re paying the price now for not heeding him them.

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2 .) Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance—and Why They Fall written by Amy Chua

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads

Historians have debated the rise and fall of empires for centuries. To date, however, no one has studied the far rarer phenomenon of hyperpowers—those few societies that amassed such extraordinary military and economic might that they essentially dominated the world. Now, in this sweeping history of globally dominant empires, bestselling author Amy Chua explains how hyperpowers rise and why they fall. In a series of brilliantly focused chapters, Chua examines history’s hyperpowers—Persia, Rome, Tang China, the Mongols, the Dutch, the British, and the United States—and reveals the reasons behind their success, as well as the roots of their ultimate demise.

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

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • WHSmith
  • Wikipedia

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. 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.

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The 125+ Additional Best Books About geopolitics



# Books Authors Lists
12 21 Lessons for the 21st Century Love Reading
13 A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall Of The Ottoman Empire And The Creation Of The Modern Middle East David Fromkin Goodreads
14 After the Empire Wikipedia
15 Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China Evan Osnos Goodreads
16 All Out War Tim Shipman The Guardian
17 All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror Stephen Kinzer Goodreads
18 America’s War for the Greater Middle East Andrew J. Bacevich Goodreads
19 An Ideology of the Drone
Books And Ideas
20
An Introduction to Political Geography (2nd New edition)
WHSmith
21 Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific Robert D. Kaplan Goodreads
22
Aspirational Power Brazil on the Long Road to Global Influence
Brookings
23
Berlitz River Cruising in Europe & the USA
Love Reading
24 Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates The Guardian
25
Beyond the Border: Tensions across the Forty-Ninth Parallel in…
WHSmith
26 Black Garden Wikipedia
27 Borders as Thickening Zones
Books And Ideas
28
Boundaries and Place: European Borderlands in Geographical…
WHSmith
29 Bride and Groom World View
30 Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty The Guardian
31 China and the Geopolitics of Rare Earths WHSmith
32 China’s Superbank: Debt, Oil and Influence – How China Development Bank is Rewriting the Rules of Finance Henry Sanderson & Michael Forsythe Five Books
33
Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy
Brookings
34 Civilization: The West and the Rest Niall Ferguson Goodreads
35 Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire Niall Ferguson Goodreads
36 Confessions of an Economic Hit Man John Perkins Goodreads
37 Connected Content World View
38
Contesting the Arctic: Politics and Imaginaries in the…
WHSmith
39 Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics Richard Seymour The Guardian
40 Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? Graham Allison Goodreads
41
Dilemmas of a Trading Nation: Japan and the Trans-Pacific Economic Order
Brookings
42 Diplomacy Henry Kissinger Goodreads
43 Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield Jeremy Scahill Goodreads
44 Economic Statecraft David Allen Baldwin Five Books
45 Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World Niall Ferguson Goodreads
46 Energy: A Human History World View
47 Fire and Fury Book Depository
48 First Confession Book Depository
49
Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order
Brookings
50 Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe George Friedman Goodreads
51 From Beirut to Jerusalem Thomas L. Friedman Goodreads
52
From the Gulf to Ararat: Imperial Boundary Making in…
WHSmith
53
Frontiers: Territory and State Formation in the Modern World
WHSmith
54 Gaza in Crisis Book Depository
55 Geopolitics, Geography and Strategy Colin S. Gray Goodreads
56
Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short…
WHSmith
57 Geopolitics: An Introductory Reader WHSmith
58 Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 Steve Coll Goodreads
59 Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared Diamond Goodreads
60 Has the West Lost It? Book Depository
61 Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance Noam Chomsky Goodreads
62 Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis JD Vance The Guardian
63 House of Trump, House of Putin Book Depository
64 How Democracies Die Book Depository
65
How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater…
WHSmith
66 How Will Capitalism End? Wolfgang Streek The Guardian
67
Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age
World View
68
India at the Global High Table The Quest for Regional Primacy and Strategic Autonomy
Brookings
69
Information Fall-Out: Buckminster Fuller’s World Game
WHSmith
70
Insight Guides: Great Breaks Edinburgh – Edinburgh Travel Guide
Love Reading
71 Karachi: A History of Violence
Books And Ideas
72
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
World View
73 Last War of the World-Island: The Geopolitics of Contemporary Russia Alexander Dugin Goodreads
74 Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East Scott Anderson Goodreads
75 Le Crépuscule de la France d’en Haut Christophe Guilly The Guardian
76 Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA Tim Weiner Goodreads
77
Mapping and Politics in the Digital Age (Routledge Global…
WHSmith
78
Material Politics: Disputes Along the Pipeline (RGS-IBG…
WHSmith
79 Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power Robert D. Kaplan Goodreads
80
Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (New and Expanded)
Brookings
81
Network Power: The Social Dynamics of Globalization
Five Books
82 Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea Barbara Demick Goodreads
83 Occupy Book Depository
84 On China Henry Kissinger Goodreads
85 On Grand Strategy World View
86 On Palestine Book Depository
87
Once Within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and…
WHSmith
88 Open Veins of Latin America Book Depository
89 Optimism Over Despair Book Depository
90 Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World Margaret MacMillan Goodreads
91 Peaceful Territorial Change (New ed.) WHSmith
92
Political Geography: Territory, State and Society
WHSmith
93 Political Order and Political Decay Book Depository
94
Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity
World View
95 PostCapitalism Book Depository
96
Prestige, Power & Protection: Abu Dhabi’s Strategic Military Expeditions
Encyclopedia Geopolitico
97 Revolt on the Right Robert Ford & Matthew Goodwin The Guardian
98 Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind Love Reading
99 Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans Jim Stavridis Goodreads
100 Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 Adam Hochschild Five Books
101 SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Book Riot
102 Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power Zbigniew Brzeziński Goodreads
103 Super Sad True Love Story Gary Shteyngart Five Books
104 Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia Ahmed Rashid Goodreads
105
Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between…
WHSmith
106 The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder Peter Zeihan Goodreads
107 The Caucasus: An Introduction WHSmith
108
The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics (UK ed.)
WHSmith
109 The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order Samuel P. Huntington Goodreads
110
The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters
World View
111
The Fog of Peace: A Memoir of International Peacekeeping in the 21st Century
Brookings
112 The Future of Land Warfare Brookings
113
The Geopolitical Reading List: End of an Era – How China’s Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining Its Rise
Encyclopedia Geopolitico
114
The Geopolitical Reading List: To Dare More Boldly
Encyclopedia Geopolitico
115 The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia Peter Hopkirk Goodreads
116 The Great War for Civilisation Book Depository
117 The Influence Of Sea Power Upon History, 1660 – 1783 Alfred Thayer Mahan Goodreads
118 The Lion Tamer Who Lost Love Reading
119 The Mum Who’d Had Enough Love Reading
120
The New Imperialism (Clarendon Lectures in Geography and…
WHSmith
121 The New North (Main) WHSmith
122 The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century George Friedman Goodreads
123 The Next Decade: What the World Will Look Like George Friedman Goodreads
124 The Origins of the Islamic State
Books And Ideas
125 The Origins of the Syrian Insurrection
Books And Ideas
126 The Post-American World Fareed Zakaria Goodreads
127 The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power Daniel Yergin Goodreads
128 The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World Daniel Yergin Goodreads
129 The River of Lost Footsteps Book Depository
130 The Road to Ruin Book Depository
131 The Road to Somewhere David Goodhart The Guardian
132 The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life Love Reading
133 The Russian Threat Wikipedia
134
The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography
WHSmith
135 The Silk Roads: A New History of the World Peter Frankopan Goodreads
136
The Svalbard Archipelago: American Military and Political…
WHSmith
137 The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 Margaret MacMillan Goodreads
138 The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century Thomas L. Friedman Goodreads
139 War of a Thousand Deserts World View
140 Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty Daron Acemoğlu Goodreads


12 Best Geopolitics Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
Book Depository Five Books to Help Understand Our Current Geopolitical Climate …
Book Riot You Must Understand the World: Geopolitical Reads – Book Riot
Books And Ideas Best of Books & Ideas, Part 4: Geopolitics & Conflict – Books & ideas
Brookings Geopolitics in the 21st Century book series – Brookings Institution
Encyclopedia Geopolitico The 2018 Geopolitical Reading List – Encyclopedia Geopolitica
Five Books The Best Books on Geoeconomics | Five Books
Goodreads Popular Geopolitics Books – Goodreads
Love Reading Geopolitics books and reviews. The best Geopolitics books to read on …
The Guardian 10 books about the politics of now: from the left-behinds to reborn …
WHSmith Geopolitics Books | WHSmith
Wikipedia Category:Books about geopolitics – Wikipedia
World View Nine Great Books About Geopolitics to Read This Summer
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