Recon Recommended

10 books we’ve read recently and recommend highly

Here are 10 books we’ve read recently and recommend highly

A nuanced look at China’s development work and infrastructure investment in Africa. Brautigam’s perspective, drawn from over 30 years of experience on the topic, offers a useful comparator for events unfolding in Eurasia.

— The Dragon’s Gift, by Deborah Brautigam

From climate change to terrorism, de Blij demonstrates how greater knowledge of physical and human geography can help policymakers tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

— Why Geography Matters More than Ever, by Harm de Blij

In this vivid Silk Road narrative, Frankopan weaves unexpected connections between modern civilization and the deep social and economic impacts of the silk and slave trade.

— The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, by Peter Frankopan

In this historical journey, Hansen argues that the Silk Road wasn’t a road at all, but a networked series of small nodes brought together by diverse and shifting interests.

— The Silk Road: A New History, by Valerie Hansen

This epic story charts the struggle between Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia for control over the heart of Asia.

— The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, by Peter Hopkirk

Blending history, geography, and political science, this book examines how great powers continually vie for dominance over land routes to the sea.

— Roads and Rivals: Politics of Access in the Borderlands of Asia, by Mahnaz Ispahani

A visually stimulating read, Khanna uses maps and images to depict infrastructure’s role in shaping tomorrow’s economic and geopolitical environment.

— Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, by Parag Khanna

Why do traditional maps place Europe at the center and Africa and Latin America at the bottom? Klinghoffer’s fascinating inquiry sheds light on the psychology and political motivations inherent in cartography.

— The Power of Projections: How Maps Reflect Global Politics and History, by Arthur Jay Klinghoffer

With astute analysis, Shambaugh underscores the dynamism of Chinese hard and soft power and delivers an authoritative account of China’s rise over the past thirty years.

— China Goes Global: The Partial Power, by David Shambaugh

Take a ride on some of the world’s most important railways, from Spain to Siberia, Tibet to Tokyo. While organized around a type of technology, this is really a book about people and societies.

— Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World–from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief, by Tom Zoellner