Robert Kaplan is coming to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in January to talk about his new book, the Revenge of Geography. Earlier this month Fletcher gave students free copies of the book. Even though I’ve already read it, and own it as a kindle file, I now have an actual paperback copy.
Robert Kaplan is one of my heroes, so when I found out he was coming to my school it was a bit like Christmas. Also, it turns out that one of my Professors knows him personally, so my mind was a little bit blown. I first read him when I was an undergrad at Appalachian State University, and it completely changed the way that I look at the world, and introduced me to ideas about how the map is changing, how ungoverned places affect security, and inspired me because unlike most writers he was actually visiting the places he wrote about. My favorite work by him is also the first one I read, The Ends of the Earth: From Togo to Turkmenistan, from Iran to Cambodia, a Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy. I recommend it highly.
The Revenge of Geography is also quite good. There is a sense that in the modern globalized world geography matters less and less, but this book makes a strong argument that this is not so. Also, the recent issues with China’s new air defense identification zone, and now South Korea expanding theirs, shows we haven’t moved beyond geopolitics. I look forward to reading it again and trying to think of a good question to ask him.