His statement on page 30 says a great deal: "Indeed, geography is the preface to the very track of human events. I read all kinds of books and seldom really dislike one. Frankly, I read a lot of geopolitics and there aren't any new revelations here. He argues that geography can be minimized, and indeed it repeatedly has, but ultimately it cannot be defeated. Kaplan assumes that humankind is in essence divided rather than connected, even though an objective view of the landscape would allow for either. As a geography student, I come to this book with significant knowledge on the subject matter already. For as Kaplan points out, the world might be shifting from the border-driven reality of a post-Westphalian world back to the pre-modern reality of frontiers, where divisions overlap, are more murky, and are rife with tension. This article first appeared in the HS Dent Forecast. In Europe, Russia, China, India, Iran, and the former Ottoman Empire, new governments are grappling with geography and its effects on people in ways that will underpin state competition for the 21st century and beyond. Fantastic! Finishing this book was bitter-sweet for me. I myself only held on because of the prospect of something better. Reading this book was more like reading a poetic take on how geography affects geopolitics than a coherent and robust theory on why geopolitics are as they are. Amongst the plentiful quotations, name dropping, and historical references to pre-modernity, the reader cannot follow your point of view. Instead, they are facing the same issues their ancestors faced, but are grappling with them using new techniques, new technologies, and new ideas. He sees the world as a relief map, one defined by the sharp peaks and narrow valleys that trap populations and the open plains and broad waterways that impel and allow them to move. After a brief period in the middle which seems promising but lacking in the presentation of evidence, the book becomes a fairly superficial exercise - so much so that anyone with knowledge in the field would likely find it a pointless restatement of fairly common information. That's why I'm reading the book. [...] There are actual physical geographies on the ground making it difficult for us to control certain areas of the globe. Its too overwhelming. It is part of my job to look at events and ask why here (not there) and will it be here again? The "U.S.". On Europe, he sees — accurately, in my view — that the Mediterranean will once again “become a connector,” linking southern Europe and northern Africa as it did in the ancient world, rather than continuing to be the dividing line between former imperial powers and their former colonies. In this provocative, startling book, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world. But at the same time that he says geography is not determinative, he kind of still argues that, and that's where the poetry comes in. What do you mean, the Chinese had 'no interest in exploring until the XIII Century. The first part looks at geopolitics in general and specifically looks at the theories of well respected intellectuals of the past. There is useful content here but it is poorly organized. The deterministic qualities of physical geography are often debated. Moving away from the heartland, it is in the Western Hemisphere that Kaplan’s framework yields the most surprising results — an unusual amalgam of Samuel Huntington and Fernand Braudel: “America, I believe, will actually emerge in the course of the 21st century as a Polynesian-cum-mestizo civilization, oriented from north to south, from Canada to Mexico, rather than as an east to west, racially lighter-skinned island in the temperate zone stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.” He is right to concentrate on the intersection of demographics and hemispheric geography, but the pressure for greater hemispheric integration is as likely to come from economic competition with Asia and Europe as from demography. Nonetheless, once one finishes this book, he or she will realize that Kaplan thinks, Robert Kaplan contends in this book that geography matters a great deal in the unfolding of the human endeavor. Kaplan here displays his usual depth and erudition, giving us a new view of geopolitics with the focus on geography, which he regards as far more important than we usually consider it. Some argue that geography is irrelevant in the face of ideas and the inherent qualities of man. The result will be a new discipline of sociography. Try putting the thesis first and then substantiate with pounds of evidence. I think this is more detailed and does a better job of explaining the geog. And that is not enough.” That same geography “commands a perennially tense relationship between Russia and China,” even as a shared commitment to authoritarian government and sovereign prerogatives pushes their regimes together. Ranked #9 in Geography, Ranked #26 in International Relations â see more rankings. Welcome back. So while I found this a compelling read that made me think about the world in a different way, I have to admit that I didn't really buy into many of its arguments. Wow, this book was such a disappointment. The title is enticing and makes it sound like this book is going to be as interesting as it could be had it been better written and less political (I read it for current events and because I find the geographical importance interesting, but this book was very political). I enjoyed The Revenge of Geography by Robert D. Kaplan, even as I am mindful of some of the more critical of its reviews. This is a particular problem in the first few quagmiresque chapters in which he outlines some of the field's major thinkers and their place in history. No. Kaplan constantly assumes the reader is a well of knowledge with regards to the subject.
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