Books on Eurasia

recommended by

Continents are a tricky concept. The idea of Europe and Asia as separate is still the typically subscribed to view in the West, however geographically it is arbitrary. This is increasingly the case geopolitically as well. The books in this list encompass the future and pasts of Europe, the Far East and everywhere in between. I have chosen these books as they either encompass the whole region, or they at least show how different poles of Eurasia interact with the rest of the landmass.

  • 1

    Read

    The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order
    by Bruno Macaes

    Bruno Macqaes' book actually inspired this list. He interweaves geopolitical insights with interesting anecdotes and examples from his travels across the regions he writes about. He argues that the separation of Europe from Asia cannot hold, as the forces that created this distinction are quickly dissipating. He explores the consequences of this mainly from the perspectives of China, Russia, and Europe. China is the rising giant which sees the potential of Eurasia and is acting upon it with the Belt and Road project. Russia is perhaps in the most favourable position geographically, however it feels threatened by the more prosperous poles of the continent (Europe and China). Europe is often the blindest to the threats and opportunities of Eurasia, despite its wealth and higher quality of life. Overall this book brings together the geopolitics of the whole region in a highly readable way.

  • 2

    Read

    Slippery Slope: Brexit and Europe's Troubled Future
    by Giles Merritt

    Europe is currently in a spot of trouble. Brexit, nationalism, populism, slow economic growth, declining population; all these issues and more plague Europe. Giles Merritt presents the many problems of Europe in a stark light while also exploring the future of Europe and the EU. Towards the end of the book, he presents ways that Europe should reform and adapt to strengthen the EU. He also addresses how Europe should interact with the wider world with chapters on both Asia and Africa. Read this for a comprehensive guide of the present and future of Europe. I fear that the reforms needed to strengthen Europe are at best unlikely and if they fail then Europe's troubles may only be beginning.

  • 3

    Read

    When China Rules The World: The Rise Of The Middle Kingdom And The End Of The Western World
    by Martin Jacques

    This book was an important break with some western expectations of China. Becoming the most powerful nation in the world (as is generally predicted) will impact China domestically as well as impact the rest of the world to an extensive degree. Some concepts that are introduced in this book bring a new perspective to looking at China, such as the concept of a 'civilisation-state' and the unique roots of legitimacy in the Chinese political system. This is an enlightening read that may change how you think about China and in turn the whole world.

  • 4

    Read

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

    While looking at the poles of Eurasia is important, we must also consider how for huge portions of history the centre of power in the world was the space in between Europe and Asia. This ambitious history of the world brings new clarity to Eurasia by showing its connectedness in both the distant and recent past. The great silk roads connected China to Scandinavia and the empires that grew along it gained great wealth, knowledge, and influence. Following great dynasties such as the Persians, Byzantines, and Islamic empires show how our view of history is often skewed westwards when for most of history people looked east. While the discovery of the Americas and the subsequent rise of European then American empire changed this, there was always a focus on Asia (especially the Middle East) during this time. This book shows how the balance of power shifting east is not necessarily new and gives context to the momentous changes going on in the present.

  • 5

    Read

    The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World
    by Peter Frankopan (author)

    If the previous recommendation gives context to current changes, this sequel explores them in depth. The silk roads are back, and all roads now lead to Beijing. This book explores issues such as China's Belt and Road project, which uses the romantic mystery of the Silk Roads to dress up controversial and massive infrastructure projects across Eurasia and Africa. It also has a focus on the power and influence gained by Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries due to their huge reserves of important resources. This book will give you a better understanding of parts of the world that have been underexplored within political and historical literature and are almost unknown to general populations in the west.

  • © Five Books 2019