The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century

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Random House, 1996 - Africa, West - 476 pages
25 Reviews
In The Ends of the Earth, Robert D. Kaplan travels from the devastated countries of West Africa and the fundamentalist enclaves of Egypt and Iran to the culturally explosive lands of Central Asia, India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia with hardly more than a notebook and a backpack.
Kaplan's intention was to investigate firsthand the effect of population explosion and environmental degradation in these countries and to see how the various cultures he encountered responded to them. But as he traveled, talking to gun smugglers and government ministers, warlords and shantytown dwellers, he discovered that the real problem, in places as far afield as Sierra Leone and western China, was the reemergence of longstanding cultural rivalries and the dissolution of national boundaries as regions redefine themselves along ethnic and historic lines.
Kaplan's ground-level experiences allow him to avoid grandiose generalizations about the clash of civilizations and to replace them with intimate portraits of the men and women he encounters: Rafighdoost, Khomeini's fiercely loyal chauffeur; Ali Abdel Razag, keeper of the Aswan High Dam; and Ayshe Tanrikulu, a squatter on Golden Mountain, a shantytown on the outskirts of Ankara, who hopes that her sons will one day be doctors or engineers. It is in the squalor of daily existence and in people's fears, frustrations, and dreams that Kaplan looks for the key to a country's future.
The Ends of the Earth offers an intimate portrait of the devastated parts of the world, whose cultural disasters - like those in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Rwanda today - will dominate our attention and remake the world of tomorrow.

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He is a brilliant writer. - Goodreads
Great travel and geo-political writing. - Goodreads
... but a damn good writer. - Goodreads

Review: The Ends of the Earth: A Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy

User Review  - sharifa - Goodreads

He is a brilliant writer. I was not able to relate so much through his travels through Russia and Asia so this book became a little dry for me, but I did enjoy it. Read full review

Review: The Ends of the Earth: A Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy

User Review  - Anuj Bhargava - Goodreads

Almost prophetic in hind sight. Read full review

Contents

An Unsentimental Journey
3
From Graham Greene to Thomas Malthus?
32
Along the Gulf of Guinea
70
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Journalist Robert D. Kaplan is a contributing editor The Atlantic Monthly. He has traveled extensively, and his journeys through Yugoslavia and America have produced, respectively, Balkan Ghosts (which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize) and An Empire Wilderness. Kapan is also the author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power (Random House, 2010) and The Revenge of Geography (Random House, 2012) Kaplan has lectured at the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon's Joint Staff, major universities, the CIA, and business forums.

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