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The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate Hardcover – September 11, 2012
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“Robert D. Kaplan, the world-traveling reporter and intellectual whose fourteen books constitute a bedrock of penetrating exposition and analysis on the post-Cold War world . . . strips away much of the cant that suffuses public discourse these days on global developments and gets to a fundamental reality: that geography remains today, as it has been throughout history, one of the most powerful drivers of world events.”—The National Interest
“Kaplan plunges into a planetary review that is often thrilling in its sheer scale . . . encyclopedic.”—The New Yorker
“[The Revenge of Geography] serves the facts straight up. . . . Kaplan’s realism and willingness to face hard facts make The Revenge of Geography a valuable antidote to the feel-good manifestoes that often masquerade as strategic thought.”—The Daily Beast
“[A] remarkable new book . . . With such books as Balkan Ghosts and Monsoon, Kaplan, an observer of world events who sees what others often do not, has already established himself as one of the most discerning geopolitical writers of our time. The Revenge of Geography cements his status.”—National Review
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Top Customer Reviews
Although this book is supposedly focused in on the influence of geography in making and breaking nations, it is actually what we used to call "Social Studies" --- a combined analysis of all the factors of geography, demographics, history, economics, and politics that go into constituting a nation state.
PART III. AMERICA'S DESTINY is the 25% of the book that most interested me. The other 75% is just OK, because it is an agglomeration of themes that students of world history and current events will probably already be familiar with. I didn't care for the lack of focus among so many topics. The chapter on Mexico starts with a rambling history of the Roman Empire followed up by a digression into our wars in Iran and Afghanistan, the history of China, India, Venice and the 18th Century mutiny of Indian troops against British Colonialists. However, those who aren't already familiar with these topics of World History 101 and are looking for the widest possible introduction to the geography, demographics, history, economics, politics, and current events in all parts of the world may enjoy Kaplan's "stream of consciousness" approach.Read more ›
Divided into three parts, the first draws upon a range of mainly western thinkers (including Mackinder, Braudel, Spengler and Mahan) to explain various IR streams of thought with particular reference to the impact and constraints of (broadly defined) geography, while the second focuses on the history, geography and constraints of six key regions or powers (Europe, Russia, China, India, Iran and Turkey) and surrounding nations.Read more ›
It's not clear what his intention was in moving to this slogging, plodding, at times incomprehensible writing style. It's also not clear what this book is supposed to be: is it history, geography, philosophy, political commentary, or simply (actually acutely, painfully, mind-numbing) his attempt to be all of the above in some fanciful mishmash of subject and style. Whatever his intention, the result is the worst I've experienced; and I've had my share of literary slogging. Where was his editor??
Through sheer force of will I sat down each day to plow through another chapter, finding each paragraph filled with unnecessary literary devices that added nothing to the subject, parsing sentences to try to discern his meaning (sometimes failing in frustration), shaking my in head in disbelief that I was spending more time unscrambling his writing than studying the subject. The book is more like a long research paper: collections of other historians' writings that are cut and pasted into narrative paragraphs. There is no new information, just a rephrasing of previous writings. Look at some maps, look in your college history book, and listen to the news: you'll know what's in this book. Throughout he references the writings of Mackinder, Morgenthau, Mahan, Spykman and numerous other historians, and even quotes other writers who have previously referred to those same historians. Historians quoting each other: quite the academic enterprise.
A personal nit I have with Kaplan's style is that he falls for one of the cheap, pedantic devices of turning a proper noun into an adjective; for example, he could refer to his own work as Kaplanesque.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not "Poli Sci Guy", but have throughly enjoyed Dr. Kaplan's other books. This book starts with some references about past geopolitical theory's, which was a bit... Read morePublished 23 hours ago by Edward O'Donnell
Great book that will broaden your perspective in an allegedly "flat" world.Published 4 days ago by Howard Halvorsen
Outstanding book informed by intelligence, broad background knowledge, and real first-hand experience.Published 7 days ago by Mitch Cohen
I've enjoyed several other Kaplan books but this one was a real chore to get through. Unfortunately the only thing positive I can say is I bought the paperback and not the hard... Read morePublished 1 month ago by bookworm
I'm reading a sample of the Kindle version and have yet to see any maps. How's that possible in a work on political geography?Published 1 month ago by ElDon Timo
I often say that all it takes to screw up the world are powerful "men" who think they know what they are doing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jon Moody
For the greater part of my life I have been interested in the geography of the world and how it influences national decision making and subsequent actions. I think Mr. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Walter W. Olson, Ph.D, P.E.
This has turned out to be one of the most enlightening books I have read in recent years. Kaplan’s take on the geographic forces in world history certainly serves as something... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert Ross