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Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History Description:

From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia Bosnia and Croatia the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by i The New York Times i and greeted with critical acclaim as the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date i The Boston Globe i Kaplan s prescient enthralling and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic br br This new edition includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between l and beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power

Rating: 3.40 out of 5

The Revenge Of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

The Revenge Of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate Description:

b In this provocative startling book Robert D Kaplan the bestselling author of i Monsoon i and i Balkan Ghosts i offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world b br br In i The Revenge of Geography i Kaplan builds on the insights discoveries and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene Kaplan traces the history of the world s hot spots by examining their climates topographies and proximities to other embattled lands The Russian steppe s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction for example while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland br br Kaplan then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe Russia China the Indian subcontinent Turkey Iran and the Arab Middle East The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia Remarkably the future can be understood in the context of temperature land allotment and other physical certainties China able to feed only percent of its people from land that is only percent arable has sought energy minerals and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma Iran and Zimbabwe putting it in moral conflict with the United States Afghanistan s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India and a vital rear base for Pakistan India s main enemy Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea Finally Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico which is on the verge of becoming a semifailed state due to drug cartel carnage br br A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century s looming cataclysms br br b Praise for i The Revenge of Geography i b br b b br An ambitious and challenging new book i The Revenge of Geography i i i displays a formidable grasp of contemporary world politics and serves as a powerful reminder that it has been the planet s geophysical configurations as much as the flow of competing religions and ideologies that have shaped human conflicts past and present Malise Ruthven i The New York Review of Books i br i i br 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 i The National Interest i br i i br Kaplan plunges into a planetary review that is often thrilling in its sheer scale encyclopedic i The New Yorker i br br i The Revenge of Geography i serves the facts straight up Kaplan s realism and willingness to face hard facts make i The Revenge of Geography i a valuable antidote to the feel good manifestoes that often masquerade as strategic thought The Daily Beast

Rating: 3.66 out of 5

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power Description:

br On the world maps common in America the Indian Ocean all but disappears The Western Hemisphere lies front and center while the Indian Ocean region is relegated to the edges split up along the maps outer reaches This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now departed twentieth century for it was in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters that the great wars of that era were lost and won Thus many Americans are barely aware of the Indian Ocean at all br br But in the twenty first century this will fundamentally change In Monsoon a pivotal examination of the Indian Ocean region and the countries known as Monsoon Asia bestselling author Robert D Kaplan deftly shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power in the twenty first century Like the monsoon itself a cyclical weather system that is both destructive and essential for growth and prosperity the rise of these countries including India Pakistan China Indonesia Burma Oman Sri Lanka Bangladesh and Tanzania represents a shift in the global balance that cannot be ignored The Indian Ocean area will be the true nexus of world power and conflict in the coming years It is here that the fight for democracy energy independence and religious freedom will be lost or won and it is here that American foreign policy must concentrate if America is to remain dominant in an ever changing world br br From the Horn of Africa to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond Monsoon explores the multilayered world behind the headlines Kaplan offers riveting insights into the economic and naval strategies of China and India and how they will affect U S interests He provides an on the ground perspective on the more volatile countries in the region plagued by weak infrastructures and young populations tempted by extremism This in one of the most nuclearized areas of the world is a dangerous mix br br The map of this fascinating region contains multitudes Here lies the entire arc of Islam from the Sahara Desert to the Indonesian archipelago and it is here that the political future of Islam will most likely be determined Here is where the five hundred year reign of Western power is slowly being replaced by the influence of indigenous nations especially India and China and where a tense dialogue is taking place between Islam and the United States br br With Kaplan s incisive mix of policy analysis travel reportage sharp historical perspective and fluid writing Monsoon offers a thought provoking exploration of the Indian Ocean as a strategic and demographic hub and an in depth look at the issues that are most pressing for American interests both at home and abroad Exposing the effects of explosive population growth climate change and extremist politics on this unstable region and how they will affect our own interests Monsoon is a brilliant important work about an area of the world Americans can no longer afford to ignore

Rating: 3.29 out of 5

Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond

Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond Description:

A fascinating unprecedented first hand look at the soldiers on the front lines on the Global War on Terror Plunging deep into midst of some of the hottest conflicts on the globe Robert D Kaplan takes us through mud and jungle desert and dirt to the men and women on the ground who are leading the charge against threats to American security These soldiers fighting in thick Colombian jungles or on dusty Afghani plains are the forefront of the new American foreign policy a policy being implemented one soldier at a time As Kaplan brings us inside their thoughts feelings and operations these modern grunts provide insight and understanding into the War on Terror bringing the war which sometimes seems so distant vividly to life

Rating: 3.38 out of 5

The Ends of the Earth: A Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy

The Ends of the Earth: A Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy Description:

Author of b Balkan Ghosts b Robert D Kaplan now travels from West Africa to Southeast Asia to report on a world of disintegrating nation states warring nationalities metastasizing populations and dwindling resources He emerges with a gritty tour de force of travel writing and political journalism Whether he is walking through a shantytown in the Ivory Coast or a death camp in Cambodia talking with refugees border guards or Iranian revolutionaries Kaplan travels under the most arduous conditions and purveys the most startling truths Intimate and intrepid erudite and visceral b The Ends of the Earth b is an unflinching look at the places and peoples that will make tomorrow s headlines and the history of the next millennium br br Kaplan is an American master of travel writing from hell Pertinent and compelling New York Times Book Review br br An impressive work Most travel books seem trivial beside it Washington Post Book World

Rating: 3.59 out of 5

Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus

Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus Description:

b Eastward to Tartary b i i Robert Kaplan s first book to focus on a single region since his bestselling b Balkan Ghosts b introduces readers to an explosive and little known part of the world destined to become a tinderbox of the future br br Kaplan takes us on a spellbinding journey into the heart of a volatile region stretching from Hungary and Romania to the far shores of the oil rich Caspian Sea Through dramatic stories of unforgettable characters Kaplan illuminates the tragic history of this unstable area that he describes as the new fault line between East and West He ventures from Turkey Syria and Israel to the turbulent countries of the Caucasus from the newly rich city of Baku to the deserts of Turkmenistan and the killing fields of Armenia The result is must reading for anyone concerned about the state of our world in the decades to come

Rating: 3.39 out of 5

Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific

Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific Description:

b b NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY i FINANCIAL TIMES br i b br From Robert D Kaplan named one of the world s Top Global Thinkers by i Foreign Policy i magazine comes a penetrating look at the volatile region that will dominate the future of geopolitical conflict b br br Over the last decade the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia With oil reserves of several billion barrels an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas and several centuries worth of competing territorial claims the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future br br In i Asia s Cauldron i Robert D Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty first century and their implications for global peace and stability One of the world s most perceptive foreign policy experts Kaplan interprets America s interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China He explains how the region s unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression And he draws a striking parallel between China s quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago br br To understand the future of conflict in East Asia Kaplan argues one must understand the goals and motivations of its leaders and its people Part travelogue part geopolitical primer i Asia s Cauldron i takes us on a journey through the region s boom cities and ramshackle slums from Vietnam where the superfueled capitalism of the erstwhile colonial capital Saigon inspires the geostrategic pretensions of the official seat of government in Hanoi to Malaysia where a unique mix of authoritarian Islam and Western style consumerism creates quite possibly the ultimate postmodern society and from Singapore whose benevolent autocracy helped foster an economic miracle to the Philippines where a different brand of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos led not to economic growth but to decades of corruption and crime br br At a time when every day s news seems to contain some new story large or small that directly relates to conflicts over the South China Sea i Asia s Cauldron i is an indispensable guide to a corner of the globe that will affect all of our lives for years to come br br b Praise for i Asia s Cauldron i b br b b br i Asia s Cauldron i is a short book with a powerful thesis and it stands out for its clarity and good sense If you are doing business in China traveling in Southeast Asia or just obsessing about geopolitics you will want to read it b i The New York Times Book Review i b br br Kaplan has established himself as one of our most consequential geopolitical thinkers i Asia s Cauldron i is part treatise on geopolitics part travel narrative Indeed he writes in the tradition of the great travel writers b i The Weekly Standard i b br br Kaplan s fascinating book is a welcome challenge to the pessimists who see only trouble in China s rise and the hawks who view it as malign b i The Economist i b br br Muscular deeply knowledgeable Kaplan is an ultra realist who takes a non moralistic stance on questions of power and diplomacy b i Financial Times i b

Rating: 3.36 out of 5

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War Description:

From the bestselling author of b Balkan Ghosts b and b The Ends of the Earth b comes a fascinating new book on the imminent global chaos that is as brilliant as it is necessary as original as it is controversial br br The end of the Cold War has not ushered in the global peace and prosperity that many had anticipated Environmental degradation is causing the rampant spread of famine and disease and a rising number of nations are being torn by violent wars of fierce tribalism and trenchant regionalism Our newest democracies such as Russia and Venezuela are bloody maelstroms of violence and crime while America is beset with an alarmingly high number of apathetic citizens content to concern themselves with matters of entertainment and convenience Bold erudite and profoundly important b The Coming Anarchy b is a compelling must read by one of today s most penetrating writers and provocative minds br br Analytically daring Informed by a rock solid unwavering realism and an utter absence of sentimentality Kaplan is a knowledgeable and forceful polemicist who mixes the attributes of journalist and visionary i The New York Times br br i Ambitiously eclectic Kaplan is one of America s most engaging writers on contemporary international affairs i The New York Times Book Review i

Rating: 3.78 out of 5

Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Requires a Pagan Ethos

Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Requires a Pagan Ethos Description:

In b Warrior Politics b the esteemed journalist and analyst Robert D Kaplan explores the wisdom of the ages for answers for today s leaders While the modern world may seem more complex and dangerous than ever before Kaplan writes from a deeper historical perspective to reveal how little things actually change Indeed as Kaplan shows us we can look to history s most influential thinkers who would have understood and known how to navigate today s dangerous political waters br br Drawing on the timeless work of Sun Tzu Thucydides Machiavelli Hobbes among others Kaplan argues that in a world of unstable states and an uncertain future it is increasingly imperative to wrest from the past what we need to arm ourselves for the road ahead Wide ranging and accessible b Warrior Politics b is a bracing book with an increasingly important message that challenges readers to see the world as it is not as they would like it to be

Rating: 3.51 out of 5

Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan Description:

First time in paperback with a new Introduction and final chapter br br World affairs expert and intrepid travel journalist Robert D Kaplan braved the dangers of war ravaged Afghanistan in the s living among the mujahidin the soldiers of god whose unwavering devotion to Islam fueled their mission to oust the formidable Soviet invaders In b Soldiers of God b we follow Kaplan s extraordinary journey and learn how the thwarted Soviet invasion gave rise to the ruthless Taliban and the defining international conflagration of the twenty first century br br Kaplan returns a decade later and brings to life a lawless frontier What he reveals is astonishing teeming refugee camps on the deeply contentious Pakistan Afghanistan border a war front that combines primitive fighters with the most technologically advanced weapons known to man rigorous Islamic indoctrination academies a land of minefields plagued by drought fierce tribalism insurmountable ethnic and religious divisions an abysmal literacy rate and legions of war orphans who seek stability in military brotherhood Traveling alongside Islamic guerrilla fighters sharing their food observing their piety in the face of deprivation and witnessing their determination Kaplan offers a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of a people and a country that are at the center of world events

Rating: 3.42 out of 5