Best book of 2016: Connectography by Parag Khanna
I have decided to do an annual book review, featuring the best book I have read of the year. This is also the last book I have read this year.
Hands-down, Connectography beats all books I have read until today. This includes “On China” by Henry Kissinger and Huntington’s “Clash of Civilisations”.
Connectography = Connectivity + Geography
Some say geography is destiny, while Parag Khanna mentioned that the only way to escape unfortunate geography is through infrastructure and connectivity. The book explores geopolitics extensively with detailed maps portraying various trade routes and diagrammes. It is his way of saying that we have been looking at the map the wrong way all this time. It is only insightful if you look at how each city is connected to others.
Rather than looking at politics from a macro view or generalising them according to so-called “school of thoughts”, geopolitics reveals material accounts of actual development on the ground – gas pipelines, constructing new canals, changing nature and supply chain. It is a more credible way to understand or even predict foreign policies.
The book is 391 pages but is extremely comprehensive, detailing the economic alliances and interest of various countries trying to overcome their own geographical constraints. This has enhanced the lens we use to observe world politics. This is highly recommended especially those interested in International Political Economy.
The quote “amateurs talk tactics, professionals study logistics” couldn’t be more apt to sum up this book.