Geography Is Destiny: Britain and the World, a 10,000 Year History

by Ian Morris

Hardcover, 2022



Call number



Profile Books (2022), Edition: Main, 576 pages


History. Politics. Nonfiction. In the wake of Brexit, Ian Morris chronicles the history of Britain's relationship to Europe as it has changed in the context of a globalizing world. When Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016, the 48 percent who wanted to stay and the 52 percent who wanted to go each accused the other of stupidity, fraud, and treason. In reality, the Brexit debate merely reran a script written ten thousand years earlier, when the rising seas physically separated the British Isles from the European continent. For the first seventy-five hundred years, the British were never more than bit players at the western edge of a European stage, struggling to find a role among bigger, richer continental rivals. By 1500 CE, however, new kinds of ships and governments had turned the European stage into an Atlantic one; with the English Channel now functioning as a barrier, England transformed the British Isles into a United Kingdom that created a worldwide empire. Since 1900, however, thanks to rapid globalization, Britain has been overshadowed by American, European, and-increasingly-Chinese actors. But in trying to find its place in a global economy, Britain has been looking in all the wrong places. Geography Is Destiny shows that the great question for the coming century is not what to do about Brussels; it's what to do about Beijing.… (more)

Media reviews

Morris provides a very comprehensive history of Britain while keeping readers engaged. It is a skill to cover such a vast timeline and still keep a reader wanting more. A satisfying read for both readers new to British history those looking for a new take.
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Morris deftly teases out long arcs—ancient Britons were as ambivalent about the Roman Empire, he argues, as modern ones are about the European Union—and probes archaeological and genealogical evidence, data on economic development, and the literature of manners and morals to illuminate slow,
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profound changes in the lives of ordinary people.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member capewood
2023 Book #17. 2022. The history of Britain as told in relation to its geographical place in the world. An interesting perspective told in an engaging way. If you're a history buff, I highly recommend it. At nearly 500 pages, it never drags.


Original language



178125835X / 9781781258354
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