Eastward to Tartary, Robert Kaplan’s first book to focus on a single region since his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, introduces readers to an. Touted as the sequel to Kaplan’s Balkan Ghosts, which reportedly influenced President Clinton’s early policy thinking on the Balkans, Eastward to Tartary. Eastward to Tartary was written in the blood-letting ethnic civil war context in the former Yugoslavia. The book is described as the author’s “perspective.

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There seem to be lessons here to be learned by all of us.

Eastward to Tartary – By Robert D. Kaplan

Over and over again democracy is seen as just a fig leaf to cover oligarchy at best, and often outright kleptocracy. He’s also extraordinarily prolific, having written 13 books and countless articles, while spending considerable time on the lecture circuit and even serving a stint starting in on the Defense Policy Board, a federal advisory committee to the United States Department of Defense.

On one hand, the right of Kosovo to autonomy granted in was suppressed by the Serbs in If history is any guide, the Balkans natur All the time I have lived in and contemplated Romania and the Balkans, I have assumed that they were a periphery to Western Europe.

The success and control of the Syrian army is important and well understood by the author. He tends to focus more attention on the numerous exstward issues that face many countries in the region. I will definitely remember this book with appreciation for expanding my horizons, eashward like I remember his South China Sea book for the same reason. On fragility of the autocratic societies circa Nov 29, David P rated it really liked it Shelves: He has long been one of my favourites, although his later books are becoming more Time for a quiz.


The pessimistic observations on the political situation of the region are the same as far as the socio-economic issues are concerned. Ankara’s initiatives involve Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Unfortunately, though, such a regime might well have a future. These are always heavy-handed and sometimes embarrassingly ill-informed, especially in contrast to his more savvy political analysis.

Eastwaard reference to Donald L.

Eastward to Tartary – Robert D. Kaplan – Google Books

If his predictions play out, when Syria does explode–which promises to be very soon–it will be an ethnic and humanitarian nightmare similar to Iraq. One reason is the extreme militarism observed in some countries.

His “Ends of the Earth” starts in Sierra Leone and ends in Cambodia, his “Balkan Ghosts” surveys the fragments of Yugoslavia and their neighbors, and “East to Tartary” wends its way through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey to Syria, Jordan and Israel, then continues to the fragmented nations of the Caucasus and ends in the deserts of Turkmenistan east of the Caspian Sea, part of what Victorian Britain knew as “Tartary. Budapest is almost unrecognizable from his version; Romania and Bulgaria have changed but incompletely.

Central Asia and the Middle-East. Kaplan has been prolific in recent years, and the recurrent theme he develops is the re-emergence tartaey cultural and historical tensions.

Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus by Robert D. Kaplan

He uses anecdotes to instruct on history, geography and societies. Dat neemt niet weg dat de ontwikkelingen daar zorgelijk zijn. I was really confused as to why Kaplan wrote place names in Turkey in Turkish but romanized Azerbaijani place names?


Kaplan is chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, a private global intelligence firm, and the author of fourteen books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including The Revenge of Geography: There is one thing you have to know before reading this book though – it is classed as travel literature, and Kaplan does go on an journey and meets people – but all of that doesn’t make a travel writer.

Robert Kaplan travels to areas which tourists rarely see.

Selected pages Page 5. Without the root of belief that the Catholic churches bring these Eastern Christian States have largely stagnated and declined. However, Syria is fascinating different, thanks for the multitude ethnic rivalries that exist in the country.

It has to grow. For example, in describing the different neighborhoods of Jerusalem he writes:. The future seems dark. He points out again and again that just because a few blocks of a capital city rock with Western goodies and flashy cars doesn’t mean economic success.

Yet those countries also have a rich political and cultural history, skillfully traced by Kaplan, who prepared himself by tarhary reading and by enlisting a supporting network of local friends, all these acknowledged at the end.

Published October 23rd by Vintage first published November