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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The importance of this book cannot be overstated
This may indeed be Kaplan's most important piece of work yet, and that is not in any way to detract from his previous writings. Kaplan has a unique writing style, combining history with personal travel experience to create the impression that one is living the historical journey, however, with this work, Kaplan has created a work that could enter the shelves of essential...
Published on 15 Oct. 2012 by Adrian J. Smith

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Geopolitics is an old concept but some are relevant
The book by Robert Kaplan is a good read but it emphasize too much on outdated Cold War thinking. He essentially is of old school concept. The author explains in detail the role of US in international standing but I would like to stress that human interaction whatever their race, political or religious beliefs system may be, is essential in this interactive and...
Published 17 months ago by Mr. Thirdworlder


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The importance of this book cannot be overstated, 15 Oct. 2012
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This may indeed be Kaplan's most important piece of work yet, and that is not in any way to detract from his previous writings. Kaplan has a unique writing style, combining history with personal travel experience to create the impression that one is living the historical journey, however, with this work, Kaplan has created a work that could enter the shelves of essential reading within political science.
It is a bold work, and perhaps the toughest read yet from Kaplan, but it delivers in what it sets out to do, which is to elevate the reality of geography to the importance of other factors within the interactions between nations, such as military and economic power, civilization background and ideology.
The first part of the book is essentially a review of a body of work by 19th century theorists whose work is largely neglected in the present day. This can become tiring at time, but eventually, after laying down a clear theoretical framework, Kaplan takes us on a tour of present areas of strategic significance, and explains how geography will essentially be the determining factor in the world that is to come.
Anyone familiar with Kaplan's previous writings in Foreign Affairs will be aware of how he lays out the ultimate reaches of Chinese power, through both population expansion, economic investment, trade, and a map that is ultimately suited for Chinese domination. This mode of analysis is applied to various other locations, including Turkey, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent.
Kaplan is in some ways a great disturber, as he brings to the fore the notion of borders which make no geographic sense, such as that between India and Pakistan, and the Afghan-Pakistan border. One really does get the sense that geography is the great decider.
Perhaps the most worrying chapter of all is the final chapter on the US-Mexican border. Mexico, as many will be aware, is on the verge of becoming a failed state. This, coupled with migration and population growth within the United States, creates what is in the long term, an existential dilemma for the US. This may sound familiar to anyone familiar with the writings of the late Samuel Huntington, but Kaplan is not quite as pessimistic as the late Harvard professor, suggesting that integration and trade will overcome ethnicity and language.
A trickier read than Kaplan's previous works, but a work that needs reading, and re-reading, and should (at least in the opinion of this reader) become an essential read on the syllabuses of all political science faculties.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geography - a forgotten driver of life and history, 8 Dec. 2012
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After reading this very stimulating and though provoking book I felt that I had rediscovered so much of history - how geography conditions human actions and it has got me thinking about how geography will lead to revived and new tensions and conflicts. Very timely.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaplan makes the case why geography still shapes politics, 15 Dec. 2012
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Kaplan book is perhaps an attempt to get people all caught up in the wonders of the globalized world to take into consideration the importance in geography in shaping political behavior. In this he return to the tradition of Montesquieu and Aristotle who also would argue that geography is perhaps a very key factor is shaping the political behavior of the people or a nation. This is a good ballance to more economic and behavioralist theories of international political behavior that IR students get in their standard IR theory course.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 14 Dec. 2012
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Tim Truett "Tim Truett" (Abbots Bromley, England) - See all my reviews
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If you've read Robt. Kaplan previously you will recognise the readable prose, the inquiring traveller's search for deeper meaning and intent. Here he describes the study, theories and epistemology of geography In ways that astounded me ~ geography becomes a distantly subtitle yet determinative instrument shaping human conduct and our cultural and social histories; in a manner it is the id of history. Far more theoretical than "Balken Ghosts" yet you may be fascinated how well "Geography" reads alongside and illuminates much of Mr. Kaplan's extensive work. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dish better eaten cold ..., 26 July 2013
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Good to see Geography as the central focus of a contemporary overview about real world issues, but I don't think the perspective is as startling as the title indicates. Loved the broad brush overview of international analysis and landscape description. Good for the discipline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 May 2015
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This was a Christmas present and sent direct to Australia
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Geopolitics is an old concept but some are relevant, 20 Dec. 2013
The book by Robert Kaplan is a good read but it emphasize too much on outdated Cold War thinking. He essentially is of old school concept. The author explains in detail the role of US in international standing but I would like to stress that human interaction whatever their race, political or religious beliefs system may be, is essential in this interactive and interconnected world . The progress of technology and growth of urban societies all over the world at which more than half of all humanity live cannot be underestimated. He mentions about this in only a few lines.
The book anyway is quite informative for a layman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Mar. 2015
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brilliant
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too long, 22 July 2013
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the arguments in this book are not new + the topic is too narrow to fil an entire book. too long read, repetitive and could be captured in a long article
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Revenge of Geography, 6 Oct. 2013
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This book was not as interesting as I thought it might be.. It had a one size fits all ideology that wasn't well supported.
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