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Read The Revenge Of Geography: What The Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts And The Battle Against Fate (2012)

The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate (2012)

Online Book

3.55 of 5 Votes: 3
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1400069831 (ISBN13: 9781400069835)
Random House

The Revenge Of Geography: What The Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts And The Battle Against Fate (2012) - Plot & Excerpts

The first part of this book is a nice review of major geo/political theories that I half-remembered from my intro level international politics classes. The second part is an examination of the geography of specific countries and regions (especially headline countries like Russia, China, and Iraq; the southern hemisphere is largely ignored)and its impact on their historical and current development. Kaplan flirts with geographic determinism--the idea that geography predetermines the course of events--but always cautiously backs away from it. He isn't particularly committed to one theory or probable outcome over any other, which is good for balanced analysis but makes for boring reading, as the book has no central argument. For example, he states several times that X region/country is THE most crucial to Y theory/the direction of global politics, but he says this so often that it loses meaning. Which region does Kaplan himself actually think is most crucial? Which theory does he think most accurately describes the world? He's frustratingly noncommittal. The only time he offers any of his own thinking is in the conclusion, which makes a vague case for paying more attention to Mexico (??? this is the first mention of Mexico, or any of the Americans other than the US, in the entire book) that's only tangentially connected to the rest of his discussion. There are some valuable theoretical summaries and case-studies in the book, but I was disappointed with it overall. It would benefit from some tighter editing and s more pointed thesis from Kaplan himself. Part political theory, part travelogue, and mostly definitely a richly informed geography class, Kaplan's has written a hugely well researched, and oddly compelling book. It's obvious he's logged the miles, and given the global scope of this book, that's a bunch of miles. Compelling? Yes. The last chapter has timely advice about Mexico, even while the balance of the book doesn't spend time there. In one swift narrative, Kaplan puts surprising perspective on all the geography he's covered by focusing on what is right in front of us. In doing so, he illustrates how we need NOT try to try to untangle distant cultural conflicts, often millennia old, when we can project those lessons much more locally to our national and regional benefit. That was surprising and refreshing.

What do You think about The Revenge Of Geography: What The Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts And The Battle Against Fate (2012)?

Kinda interesting, but not enough to make me want to finish.

good, but not great. worth a read but is bit of a slog

Read the first 20 pages and threw it away.

Reads too much like a research paper.

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Read books by author Robert D. Kaplan

Read books in category History & Biography