The diplomatic map
Le Monde diplomatique is my favorite political journal. It's available in English translation online, and it monthly details world economics and politics in a piercing, deep-analysis style the Economist only aspires too.
Moreover, Le Monde diplomatique has maps. Really good maps. Maps of oil pipelines, poverty, the world as seen from Tokyo, financial misdealings, migration around the world, the imprint of Chernobyl, and the spread of AIDS.
In the eighteenth century, having good maps meant the difference between winning and losing the war. Even then, regions had technological specialties, and map-making was the most important. The French inevitably had the best cartographers around, and the British were left playing a catch-up game which alternated between training British cartographers according to French methods, using spies to steal French maps, and paying off French deserters to come work in Britain.
How interesting then that two hundred years later America may lead the world with military signals intelligence, satellite technology, and Google Earth, but the French people remain still well before us in terms of map-reading skills.
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