From best-selling author Robert D. Kaplan comes an examination of the Indian Ocean region - an area that will become crucial to global politics as the 21st century continues....
Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia....
Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location but about the world in general....
As a boy, Robert D. Kaplan listened to his truck-driver father's evocative stories about traveling across America as a young man....
Kaplan explores the history and culture of the only country in the West where the leading intellectuals have been right-wing rather than left-wing....
This provocative work examines the geopolitical flashpoints - particularly in Europe - in which imminent future conflicts are brewing....
From the time of the Greeks and the Persians clashing in the Mediterranean, sea power has determined world power....
The world is changing in ways most of us find incomprehensible....
The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: "spiders", which have a rigid hierarchy, and "starfish", which rely on the power of peer relationships....
A history of the combative military, diplomatic, and economic relations among China, Japan, and the United States since the 1970s - and the potential crisis that awaits them....
The Future of War is filled with insight and fascinating nuggets of military history and culture from one of the most brilliant military and strategic historians of his generation....
A bracing assessment of US foreign policy over the past two decades, anchored by a major new essay commissioned by the Pentagon....
An examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations....
Drawing on the latest discoveries that have only recently come to light, Scottish archaeologist Neil Oliver goes on the trail of the real Vikings....
For anyone interested in foreign affairs, this book will catalyze debate, and not only for Mr. Huntington's concluding scenario for World War III....
Grounded in Friedman's unmatched grasp of both historical and contemporary trends, The Next 100 Years is a compelling, realistic, and eye-opening portrait of the future....
A decade after the cold war ended, policy makers and academics foresaw a new era of peace and prosperity, an era in which democracy and open trade would herald the "end of history."....
Once the world's bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest....
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.
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!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
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.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
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.<br/><br/>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..
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Decent book but far too much "name dropping" of other political scientists and too little original thought. Author is a bit pretentious with frequent French phrases and bragging about his travels. Narrator reminded me of my old world history professor and he seemed almost bored speaking the material. Was hoping for interesting conclusions and analysis along the lines of George Friedman but was disappointed that he referred more often to the conclusions of others than developing his own.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
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.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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
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?
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
I am very fond of geographical analises of history and the new trends onwards, which truly is an under studied and under appreciated craft. However the book often loses its focus and start arguing how Geography is not stopping any of those "scary muslins" that are "coming for us" so we should pay more attention to that.
One of the main arguments of the last chapter literally is that the US should not wear itself down fighting wars in the Middle East because their muslins can't really get to "us", but the Mexicans can and they will ruin "our good culture". It really is a waste of what could have been a good book....
Signed: a latino reader