An inveterate traveler and author, Kaplan recently toured the rim of the Indian Ocean to inspect its geopolitics. Perspectives on the balance of power vary from country to country and speaker to speaker, but most agree that India and China are the ascending powers in the region. As Kaplan’s passages about Indian Ocean history reflect, the two countries can refer to tradition (to the fifteenth-century fleets of Zheng He, in China’s case) for their contemporary activities in the Indian Ocean, but the plain fact is they are busy for one reason: access to resources. As Kaplan journeys from Oman to Pakistan to Burma and Indonesia, the specific raw material comes into focus, as does the geopolitical angle of safely shipping it to the interested country. Touching on what could threaten maritime traffic, such as piracy, ethnic conflicts, or hostile control of choke points like the Strait of Malacca, Kaplan is guardedly optimistic that interested powers, including the U.S., can benignly manage their Indian Ocean affairs. A better-informed world-affairs reader will be the result of Kaplan’s latest title. --Gilbert Taylor
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A sweeping narrative [that] deftly weaves history, reportage, and grand strategy . . . into a coherent portrait of an undercovered region whose importance will only grow in the decades to come.”—Foreign Policy
“Few books can be considered indispensable, but Monsoon is one of them. . . . An essential primer for this new century’s evolving politics.”—The Dallas Morning News
“A special blend of first-person travel writing, brief historical sketches and wide-ranging strategic analysis.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Compelling . . . Kaplan’s breadth of travel and learning leads to intriguing insights.”—The Washington Post
“[Kaplan] has a gift for geopolitical imagination.”—The Wall Street Journal