The Revenge of Geography

What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • 3.8 • 71 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this “ambitious and challenging” (The New York Review of Books) work, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts offers a revelatory prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world.

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 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 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.

GENRE
Politics & Current Events
RELEASED
2012
September 11
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
432
Pages
PUBLISHER
Random House Publishing Group
SELLER
Penguin Random House LLC
SIZE
9.7
MB

Customer Reviews

jjb79792 ,

Great gets better when you get to second half

Love the book now that I am well into the second half where Kaplan discusses various significant countries and breaks down their history and current status

One Suitcase ,

Poorly organized and repetitive

A disappointing read, almost painful at times, and a missed opportunity. There is useful content here but it is poorly organized. The book reads like a series of rambling lectures. The text is verbose and repetitive; brace yourself for frequent appearances of the phrases, ‘as noted’, ‘as we have seen’, and ‘as I have explained’. Was there no editor for ‘Revenge’? And forget about using this book as a reference text for there is no index.

Much space is given over to describing national and geographic features since fewer than 10 maps are included, one of which is a map of the Persian empire in 500 BCE. And the book is mis-titled: it should have been called ‘The Revenge of Geography and History: What History and the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate’ since lengthy portions are given over to historical precedents dating back millennia. I was looking for a useful text on contemporary geopolitical trends but I am still looking. Kaplan's is not the one.

Blidders ,

The revenge of geography

Spot-on!

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