3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Informative and entertaining but incomplete,
This review is from: Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power (Hardcover)
I really did enjoy this book and after reading the book I do recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject matter. Because I have been living and traveling in this region for the past few years I purchased the book due to my interest in the economy and culture of this section of the world.
I have been to about half of the places Kaplan talks about in "Monsoon" and am familiar and agree with many of his observations. It was also very interesting and informative for me to read about the places in the region I have not been to. His descriptions and histories of each local area impressed me and in my opinion justify buying the book.
However I felt that the book was incomplete or that there should be a Volume II. It's almost as if Kaplan decided to write about the regions he actually traveled to and ignore or minimize everywhere else. I have been to Oman and Zanzibar and thoroughly enjoy both. But to write an entire chapter for each while relegating Singapore and the Gulf Oil States to a few occasional paragraphs was very strange in my view. Singapore has a mixed population of people's from all over the Indian Ocean, has a huge maritime and aviation trade with the region and lies at the foot of the Strait of Malacca. As for the Gulf Oil States they play a huge part in the economy of the region with their petrodollars. Kaplan gives both mention but does not spend nearly the time on them as he does with Oman and Zanzibar who are both minor players .
But again, even with that observation, there is much to offer and I did enjoy the book.
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Initial post: Jun 19, 2015 7:53:07 PM PDT
elliot stamler says:
I agree with your comment about Singapore but disagree with your comment about the Gulf Oil States. The latter are not really Indian Ocean states but middle eastern states thereby not qualifying for the focus of Mr. Kaplan's book. I do fully agree with your comment that is an enjoyable book with much information on an area of the world most of us are not especially familiar with, to put it mildly. I should add regarding other commenters remarks about "lightness", first it is not light and second, it is intended for the intelligent, aware person in the general public-it is not an academic treatise-that isn't its purpose.
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