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Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Robert D. Kaplan

The master of the hardheaded travelogue, Robert D. Kaplan returns with a book on what he calls "the New Near East," an area stretching from the Balkans to Central Asia that "might become the seismograph of world politics" in the new century. That doesn't … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Robert D. Kaplan
Publisher: Vintage
1 review about Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans,...

A very important book

  • Nov 19, 2001
Most Americans are woefully ignorant of the countries east of Europe, and especially of those in the Near East. This book, by the author of "Balkan Ghosts", does its best to inform us about a lot of places that aren't really very familiar to us, although they have become much more important in the past two months since September 11. This is a travelogue-political-historical guide to a vast region stretching from Hungary to Turkmenistan, covering most of the countries in between. There are incisive conversations with important folks, and just regular ones. A bit of history of each place is given, and the author does his best to fit each one into the context of the times. He makes a good case that we are so uninformed about this region that there is almost no chance of the US intervening there if further acts of ethnic violence happen, or if there are governments toppled. A lot of this book is concerned with the results of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it is sobering to see that not all of those results were positive, especially for those people living in the area under communist domination. To be informed, fully informed, about this very important area of the world, even if you don't agree with all of the arguments of the author, I urge you to read this book.

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