The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate Audiobook | Robert D. Kaplan | Audible.com
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The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate | [Robert D. Kaplan]

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

In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. 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.

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 twenty-three percent of its people from land that is only seven 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.

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.

©2012 Robert D. Kaplan (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A solid work of acuity and breadth." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-27-13
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2006

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"

    In "The Importance of Being Earnest," Oscar Wilde's very upright English aristocrat Lady Bracknell says something like " I hate arguments; they are so often convincing."

    Well, this book is a convincing and not-altogether-welcome argument, but an important and sobering one nevertheless. Using rock-solid evidence from lots of sources (modern and historical), Robert Kaplan tells us why we shouldn't dismiss geography as a determiner of politics simply because technology has made the world so "small". Our assumption that the whole world would be democratic if it just had the chance and the right example has tripped the US (and others) up most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. The overturn of oppressive governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and potentially Syria may not be turning out the way we thought/hoped they would either.

    So, woe to those who don't know or heed the lessons of history and the enormous influence that geography has always had on the peoples of the world! I suppose this should be self-evident, but it wasn't made clear in the history classes I took.

    Many of the theories of geopolitical history and warfare are quite detailed and scholarly and will be more than some readers wish to explore. The lessons, though, seem to me to be essential in understanding not only the past but in preparing for the future.

    These truths may be unpalatable and frightening for those of us who believe that, at heart, all human beings basically think alike and want the same things. I suspect Kaplan's more realistic and more cautionary view of the world is correct, and we should all hear about it.

    I was often uncomfortable listening to this, but I recommend it highly for those who want a clear-eyed view of what may be coming in the future!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony san antonio, TX, United States 04-12-13
    Tony san antonio, TX, United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Textbook Style Lecture on Geo-Politics"

    In an age of globalism, free-trade, and instantaneous mass media and social media, Mr Kaplan presents a well researched overview of how geography still impacts world events. All of the major hot spots are addressed: Europe, Iran, the Middle East including Syria, Russia and the former Soviet Union Republics, North and South Korea, and China and Southeast Asia.

    The author presents the case that geography, man-made artificial boundaries, and ethnic strife will still determine political outcomes now and into the foreseeable future. Interesting listen, although a little dense at times. The rat-a-tat style employed by the narrator can be a little disconcerting at times. Overall, very informative.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 02-05-13
    Matthew Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 02-05-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Slow to pick up"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I can only think of a very select few who'd be interested in this material.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Revenge of Geography?

    Learning modern military national strategy


    What aspect of Michael Prichard’s performance would you have changed?

    It could have been more lively


    Any additional comments?

    I think another review I read on this book nailed it. The book was slow to pick up, the first half was pretty boring and read like a dry text book, but after that it got more interesting.

    Learning about why Russia, Turkey, China and some other nations did X, or what some of China's actions say about it, or the importance of Mexico was really interesting. Long detailed summaries of academics was... dry..

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 12-11-12
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 12-11-12 Member Since 2010

    Love to Bungee!!

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    "Like Sitting in a Verrrrrrrrrrry Long Lecture"

    I was initially very excited to listen to the book because of my interest in the subject. However, the first part of the book is like listening to someone reading a textbook aloud. 80 Percent of the first part of the download is a historical framing of the subject. This was, frankly, tedious (in large part due to the narration). I was twice tempted to just delete the book from my IPOD, but decided to continue. Finally, the book started to deliver on its premise and presented several insightful vistas of the future.

    I generally do not like to post negative reviews, however, unless you are a die-hard devotee of the subject you may want to pass this one over.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Ebensburg, PA, United States 02-02-13
    Alan Ebensburg, PA, United States 02-02-13 Member Since 2008
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    "A very good look at potential hot spots in the fut"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend it to a friend. The author is a very educated man who has traveled far and wide. His life experiences are a huge bonus in understanding geographic hotspots and the reasons behind the conflicts.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author shares many stories of his world wide journies to help the listener understand the different areas. It is very helpful for a fuller understanding of the situation.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I especially enjoyed the overview of China and the Middle East. It is helpful to know some geography before listening to this book.


    Any additional comments?

    A very thorough overview of potential conflicts in both the near term and long term.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Macon, GA, United States 12-07-12
    Jack Macon, GA, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Geography in an entirely new light."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is a fascinating history of the importance of geography in shaping world events.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Prichard’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookworm New York, NY 12-27-13
    Bookworm New York, NY 12-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Painful to listen to"

    I really wanted to like this book because I love history and current events. Maybe my opinion of the book would have been different if I had read it instead of listening to it as an audiobook. The narration was so painful. He would stop in the dead center of a sentence so it sounded like this: "The mountains kept forces at bay." (stop) .......... (extremely long pause) "and this affected the type of army that the county would build." He especially did this after the word "which" and as you can easily imagine, that inappropriate pause broke up the entire train of thought.

    The theory behind the book is that geography affects countries which affects war which affects current events. But the book is very disorganized - shooting from one country to another, with ancient history followed by current events. There has to be a better way to organize the topics.

    This is the first time I have not finished a book but I couldn't take it anymore. I intend on making another effort but the fact that I consider reading this to be a chore says plenty.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud United States 07-17-13
    Saud United States 07-17-13 Member Since 2007

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eye Opener"

    This audiobook does a good job of looking at regional issues and logically attempts to explain what to look out for and how it could impact the region and the rest of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy in COS COS, CO 03-16-13
    Joy in COS COS, CO 03-16-13 Member Since 2011
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    "William Shatner Lectures You"
    What would have made The Revenge of Geography better?

    I was so interested in this story, but I couldn't get past the first fifteen minutes. The narration is awful.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert D. Kaplan again?

    Absolutely not. There is a huge difference between a comma and a full stop. It was like listening to William Shatner read poetry.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Prichard’s performance?

    There is a huge difference between a comma and a full stop. It was like listening to William Shatner read poetry.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I'll have to let you know after I check it out and read it myself.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan United States 12-01-12
    Ryan United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Life is a journey, enjoy it......because one day it will all end.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't bother"
    Would you try another book from Robert D. Kaplan and/or Michael Prichard?

    No.


    What could Robert D. Kaplan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Wrote it better.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Michael Prichard?

    I would give it a try.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Only bored.


    Any additional comments?

    This sounds like it could be a good book....it's not. I gave it two hours then downloaded another book. Thank you audible for your return policy!

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
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