In this provocative, startling book, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world.
In *The Revenge of Geography, *Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. The Russian steppe’s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland.
Kaplan then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia. Remarkably, the future can be understood in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties: China, able to feed only 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 percent arable, has sought energy, minerals, and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma, Iran, and Zimbabwe, putting it in moral conflict with the United States. Afghanistan’s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India’s main enemy. Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy-producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Finally, Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far-flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico, which is on the verge of becoming a semifailed state due to drug cartel carnage.
A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century’s looming cataclysms.
Praise for The Revenge of Geography
“[An] ambitious and challenging new book … [The Revenge of Geography]* displays a formidable grasp of contemporary world politics and serves as a powerful reminder that it has been the planet’s geophysical configurations, as much as the flow of competing religions and ideologies, that have shaped human conflicts, past and present.”—Malise Ruthven, *The New York Review of Books
“Robert D. Kaplan, the world-traveling reporter and intellectual whose fourteen books constitute a bedrock of penetrating exposition and analysis on the post-Cold War world … strips away much of the cant that suffuses public discourse these days on global developments and gets to a fundamental reality: that geography remains today, as it has been throughout history, one of the most powerful drivers of world events.”—The National Interest
“Kaplan plunges into a planetary review that is often thrilling in its sheer scale … encyclopedic.”—The New Yorker
“[The Revenge of Geography] serves the facts straight up… . Kaplan’s realism and willingness to face hard facts make The Revenge of Geography a valuable antidote to the feel-good manifestoes that often masquerade as strategic thought.”—The Daily Beast
This book reveals the fascinating relationship between man and map.
The plate tectonics revolution in the earth sciences has provided a valuable new framework for understanding long-term landform development.
This innovative text provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject of global geomorphology, with the emphasis placed on large-scale processes and phenomena. Integrating global tectonics into the study of landforms and incorporating planetary geomorphology as a major component the author discusses the impact of climatic change and the role of catastrophic events on landform genesis and includes a comprehensive study of surface geomorphic processes.
Geomorphology is the study of the earth’s landforms and the processes that made the landscape look the way it does today. What we see when we look at a scenic view is the result of the interplay of the forces that shape the earth’s surface. These operate on many different timescales and involve geological as well as climatic forces. This book introduces the varying geomorphological forces and differing timescales from the global, which shapes continents and mountain ranges; through the regional, producing hills and river basins; to the local, forming beaches, glaciers, and slopes; and to those micro scale forces which weather rock faces and produce sediment. Finally, it considers the effect that humans have had on the world’s topography. Introducing Geomorphology provides a structured and easily accessible introduction for those with a curiosity about the landscape and for those contemplating a course of formal study in physical geography, geology, or environmental studies. Technical terms are kept to a minimum and a glossary is provided.
This extensively revised, restructured, and updated edition continues to present an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the subject, exploring the world’s landforms from a broad systems perspective. It covers the basics of Earth surface forms and processes, while reflecting on the latest developments in the field. Fundamentals of Geomorphology begins with a consideration of the nature of geomorphology, process and form, history, and geomorphic systems, and moves on to discuss:
This third edition has been fully updated to include a clearer initial explanation of the nature of geomorphology, of land surface process and form, and of land-surface change over different timescales. The text has been restructured to incorporate information on geomorphic materials and processes at more suitable points in the book. Finally, historical geomorphology has been integrated throughout the text to reflect the importance of history in all aspects of geomorphology.
Fundamentals of Geomorphology provides a stimulating and innovative perspective on the key topics and debates within the field of geomorphology. Written in an accessible and lively manner, it includes guides to further reading, chapter summaries, and an extensive glossary of key terms. The book is also illustrated throughout with over 200 informative diagrams and attractive photographs, all in colour.
Landscapes are all around us, but most of us know very little about how they have developed, what goes on in them, and how they react to changing climates, tectonics, and human activities. Examining what landscape is, and how we use a range of ideas and techniques to study it, Andrew Goudie and Heather Viles demonstrate how scientists have built on classic methods—pioneered by the great researchers of the nineteenth century—to shed new light on our planet. Using examples from around the world, including New Zealand, the Tibetan Plateau, and the deserts of the Middle East, they examine some of the key controls on landscape today such as tectonics and climate, as well as humans and the living world. They also discuss some major “landscape detectives” from the past, including Charles Darwin, who did some important, but often overlooked, research on landscape. Concluding with the cultural importance of landscape, and exploring how this has led to the conservation of much “earth heritage,” they delve into the future and look at how we can predict the response of landscapes to the projected climate change.
A third of the world’s people are in the midst of the largest population move in human history, as the last of the word’s rural populations abandons agriculture and moves to the urban areas of the developing world and of the wealthy West. Both a groundbreaking work of reportage and an exciting, vivid travelogue, “Arrival City” sees award-winning journalist Doug Saunders offering a detailed tour of the key points in the Great Migration, and considers the actions that have turned this enormous population shift into either a success or a violent failure.
According to the united nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this brilliant and ambitious book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the garbage hills of Manila, urbanization has been disconnected from industrialization, and even from economic growth. Davis portrays a vast humanity warehoused in shantytowns and exiled from the formal world economy. He argues that the rise of this informal urban proletariat is a wholly unforeseen development, and asks whether the great slums, as a terrified Victorian middle class once imagined, are volcanoes waiting to erupt.
Cities are the new battleground of our increasingly urban world. From the slums of the global South to the wealthy financial centers of the West, Cities Under Siege traces the spread of political violence through the sites, spaces, infrastructure and symbols of the world’s rapidly expanding metropolitan areas.
Drawing on a wealth of original research, Stephen Graham shows how Western militaries and security forces now perceive all urban terrain as a conflict zone inhabited by lurking shadow enemies. Urban inhabitants have become targets that need to be continually tracked, scanned and controlled. Graham examines the transformation of Western armies into high-tech urban counter-insurgency forces. He looks at the militarization and surveillance of international borders, the use of ‘security’ concerns to suppress democratic dissent, and the enacting of legislation to suspend civilian law. In doing so, he reveals how the New Military Urbanism permeates the entire fabric of urban life, from subway and transport networks hardwired with high-tech ‘command and control’ systems to the insidious militarization of a popular culture corrupted by the all-pervasive discourse of ‘terrorism.’