The Crown of Thorns

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Picador

ISBN:1466868309

Total Pages:368

Viewed:1940

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From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date" (The Boston Globe), Kaplan's prescient, enthralling, and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic. This new edition of Balkan Ghosts includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between 1996 and 2000 beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war, with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power.

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Eastward to Tartary

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0804153477

Total Pages:384

Viewed:438

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Eastward to Tartary, Robert Kaplan's first book to focus on a single region since his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, introduces readers to an explosive and little-known part of the world destined to become a tinderbox of the future. Kaplan takes us on a spellbinding journey into the heart of a volatile region, stretching from Hungary and Romania to the far shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea. Through dramatic stories of unforgettable characters, Kaplan illuminates the tragic history of this unstable area that he describes as the new fault line between East and West. He ventures from Turkey, Syria, and Israel to the turbulent countries of the Caucasus, from the newly rich city of Baku to the deserts of Turkmenistan and the killing fields of Armenia. The result is must reading for anyone concerned about the state of our world in the decades to come.

In Europe's Shadow

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0812996828

Total Pages:336

Viewed:1065

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From the New York Times bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan, named one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, comes a riveting journey through one of Europe’s frontier countries—and a potent examination of the forces that will determine Europe’s fate in the postmodern age. Robert Kaplan first visited Romania in the 1970s, when he was a young journalist and the country was a bleak Communist backwater. It was one of the darkest corners of Europe, but few Westerners were paying attention. What ensued was a lifelong obsession with a critical, often overlooked country—a country that, today, is key to understanding the current threat that Russia poses to Europe. In Europe’s Shadow is a vivid blend of memoir, travelogue, journalism, and history, a masterly work thirty years in the making—the story of a journalist coming of age, and a country struggling to do the same. Through the lens of one country, Kaplan examines larger questions of geography, imperialism, the role of fate in international relations, the Cold War, the Holocaust, and more. Here Kaplan illuminates the fusion of the Latin West and the Greek East that created Romania, the country that gave rise to Ion Antonescu, Hitler’s chief foreign accomplice during World War II, and the country that was home to the most brutal strain of Communism under Nicolae Ceaușescu. Romania past and present are rendered in cinematic prose: the ashen faces of citizens waiting in bread lines in Cold War–era Bucharest; the Bărăgan Steppe, laid bare by centuries of foreign invasion; the grim labor camps of the Black Sea Canal; the majestic Gothic church spires of Transylvania and Maramureş. Kaplan finds himself in dialogue with the great thinkers of the past, and with the Romanians of today, the philosophers, priests, and politicians—those who struggle to keep the flame of humanism alive in the era of a resurgent Russia. Upon his return to Romania in 2013 and 2014, Kaplan found the country transformed yet again—now a traveler’s destination shaped by Western tastes, yet still emerging from the long shadows of Hitler and Stalin. In Europe’s Shadow is the story of an ideological and geographic frontier—and the book you must read in order to truly understand the crisis Europe faces, from Russia and from within. Praise for In Europe’s Shadow “[A] haunting yet ultimately optimistic examination of the human condition as found in Romania . . . Kaplan’s account of the centuries leading up to the most turbulent of all—the twentieth—is both sweeping and replete with alluring detail.”—Alison Smale, The New York Times Book Review “This book reveals the confident, poetical Kaplan . . . but also a reflective, political Kaplan, seeking at times to submerge his gift for romantic generalization in respectful attention to the ideas of others.”—Timothy Snyder, The Washington Post “A serious yet impassioned survey of Romania . . . Kaplan is a regional geographer par excellence.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Kaplan is one of America’s foremost writers on the region. . . . In a series of deep dives into the region’s past—Byzantine, Ottoman, Habsburg and Soviet—he finds parallels and echoes that help us understand the present.”—The Wall Street Journal “Kaplan moves seamlessly from sights, sounds, and conversations to the resonance of history.”—Foreign Affairs

The Revenge of Geography

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0679604839

Total Pages:448

Viewed:1480

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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. Bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the recent 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. He 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, a visionary glimpse into a future that can be understood only in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties. 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

The Ends of the Earth

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0804153485

Total Pages:498

Viewed:398

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Author of Balkan Ghosts, Robert D. Kaplan now travels from West Africa to Southeast Asia to report on a world of disintegrating nation-states, warring nationalities, metastasizing populations, and dwindling resources. He emerges with a gritty tour de force of travel writing and political journalism. Whether he is walking through a shantytown in the Ivory Coast or a death camp in Cambodia, talking with refugees, border guards, or Iranian revolutionaries, Kaplan travels under the most arduous conditions and purveys the most startling truths. Intimate and intrepid, erudite and visceral, The Ends of the Earth is an unflinching look at the places and peoples that will make tomorrow's headlines--and the history of the next millennium. "Kaplan is an American master of...travel writing from hell...Pertinent and compelling."--New York Times Book Review "An impressive work. Most travel books seem trivial beside it."--Washington Post Book World

Earning the Rockies

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:039958823X

Total Pages:224

Viewed:818

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An incisive portrait of the American landscape that shows how geography continues to determine America’s role in the world Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “There is more insight here into the Age of Trump than in bushels of political-horse-race journalism.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) At a time when there is little consensus about who we are and what we should be doing with our power overseas, a return to the elemental truths of the American landscape is urgently needed. In Earning the Rockies, New York Times bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan undertakes a cross-country journey, traversing a rich and varied landscape that still remains the primary source of American power. Traveling west, in the same direction as the pioneers, Kaplan witnesses both prosperity and decline, and reexamines the history of westward expansion in a new light: as a story not just of genocide and individualism but also of communalism and a respect for the limits of a water-starved terrain. Concluding at the edge of the Pacific Ocean with a gripping description of an anarchic world, Earning the Rockies shows how America’s foreign policy response ought to be rooted in its own geographical situation. Praise for Earning the Rockies “Unflinchingly honest . . . a lens-changing vision of America’s role in the world . . . a jewel of a book that lights the path ahead.”—Secretary of Defense James Mattis “A sui generis writer . . . America’s East Coast establishment has only one Robert Kaplan, someone as fluently knowledgeable about the Balkans, Iraq, Central Asia and West Africa as he is about Ohio and Wyoming.”—Financial Times “Kaplan has pursued stories in places as remote as Yemen and Outer Mongolia. In Earning the Rockies, he visits a place almost as remote to many Americans: these United States. . . . The author’s point is a good one: America is formed, in part, by a geographic setting that is both sanctuary and watchtower.”—The Wall Street Journal “A brilliant reminder of the impact of America’s geography on its strategy. . . . Kaplan’s latest contribution should be required reading.”—Henry A. Kissinger “A text both evocative and provocative for readers who like to think … In his final sections, Kaplan discusses in scholarly but accessible detail the significant role that America has played and must play in this shuddering world.”—Kirkus Reviews

The Balkans

Author:Mark Mazower

Publisher:Modern Library

ISBN:0307431967

Total Pages:240

Viewed:1737

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Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, a zone of endless military, cultural and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Subject to violent shifts of borders, rulers and belief systems at the hands of the world's great empires--from the Byzantine to the Habsburg and Ottoman--the Balkans are often called Europe's tinderbox and a seething cauldron of ethnic and religious resentments. Much has been made of the Balkans' deeply rooted enmities. The recent destruction of the former Yugoslavia was widely ascribed to millennial hatreds frozen by the Cold War and unleashed with the fall of communism. In this brilliant account, acclaimed historian Mark Mazower argues that such a view is a dangerously unbalanced fantasy. A landmark reassessment, The Balkans rescues the region's history from the various ideological camps that have held it hostage for their own ends, not least the need to justify nonintervention. The heart of the book deals with events from the emergence of the nation-state onward. With searing eloquence, Mazower demonstrates that of all the gifts bequeathed to the region by modernity, the most dubious has been the ideological weapon of romantic nationalism that has been used again and again by the power hungry as an acid to dissolve the bonds of centuries of peaceful coexistence. The Balkans is a magnificent depiction of a vitally important region, its history and its prospects.

The Roots of Balkanization

Author:Ion Grumeza

Publisher:University Press of America

ISBN:0761851356

Total Pages:260

Viewed:498

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This book describes the historical changes that took place in the Balkan Peninsula after the collapse of the Roman Empire and their impact in Eastern lands. It develops conclusions reached in the author's previous book, Dacia: Land of Transylvania, Cornerstone of Ancient Eastern Europe, covering 500 B.C.-A.D. 500.

The Good American

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0525512322

Total Pages:544

Viewed:448

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography comes a sweeping yet intimate story of the most influential humanitarian you’ve never heard of—Bob Gersony, who spent four decades in crisis zones around the world. “This graceful study of a courageous and humble man reminds us that history can be made, and lives can be saved, by diplomats who know how to reconcile the good with the possible.”—Timothy Snyder, author of The Road to Unfreedom and On Tyranny In his long career as an acclaimed journalist covering the “hot” moments of the Cold War and its aftermath, bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan often found himself crossing paths with Bob Gersony, a consultant for the U.S. State Department whose quiet dedication and consequential work made a deep impression on Kaplan. Gersony, a high school dropout later awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, conducted on-the-ground research for the U.S. government in virtually every war and natural-disaster zone in the world. In Thailand, Central and South America, Sudan, Chad, Mozambique, Rwanda, Gaza, Bosnia, North Korea, Iraq, and beyond, Gersony never flinched from entering dangerous areas that diplomats could not reach, sometimes risking his own life. Gersony’s behind-the scenes fact-finding, which included interviews with hundreds of refugees and displaced persons from each war zone and natural-disaster area, often challenged the assumptions and received wisdom of the powers that be, on both the left and the right. In nearly every case, his advice and recommendations made American policy at once smarter and more humane—often dramatically so. In Gersony, Kaplan saw a powerful example of how American diplomacy should be conducted. In a work that exhibits Kaplan’s signature talent for combining travel and geography with sharp political analysis, The Good American tells Gersony’s powerful life story. Set during the State Department’s golden age, this is a story about the loneliness, sweat, and tears and the genuine courage that characterized Gersony’s work in far-flung places. It is also a celebration of ground-level reporting: a page-turning demonstration, by one of our finest geopolitical thinkers, of how getting an up-close, worm’s-eye view of crises and applying sound reason can elicit world-changing results.

Mediterranean Winter

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:1588361489

Total Pages:272

Viewed:390

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In Mediterranean Winter, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts and Eastward to Tartary, relives an austere, haunting journey he took as a youth through the off-season Mediterranean. The awnings are rolled up and the other tourists are gone, so the damp, cold weather takes him back to the 1950s and earlier—a golden, intensely personal age of tourism. Decades ago, Kaplan voyaged from North Africa to Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece, luxuriating in the radical freedom of youth, unaccountable to time because there was always time to make up for a mistake. He recalls that journey in this Persian miniature of a book, less to look inward into his own past than to look outward in order to dissect the process of learning through travel, in which a succession of new landscapes can lead to books and artwork never before encountered. Kaplan first imagines Tunis as the glow of gypsum lamps shimmering against lime-washed mosques; the city he actually discovers is even more intoxicating. He takes the reader to the ramparts of a Turkish kasbah where Carthaginian, Roman, and Byzantine forts once stood: “I could see deep into Algeria over a rib-work of hills so gaunt it seemed the wind had torn the flesh off them.” In these austere and aromatic surroundings he discovers Saint Augustine; the courtyards of Tunis lead him to the historical writings of Ibn Khaldun. Kaplan takes us to the fifth-century Greek temple at Segesta, where he reflects on the ill-fated Athenian invasion of Sicily. At Hadrian’s villa, “Shattered domes revealed clouds moving overhead in countless visions of eternity. It was a place made for silence and for contemplation, where you wanted a book handy. Every corner was a cloister. No view was panoramic: each seemed deliberately composed.” Kaplan’s bus and train travels, his nighttime boat voyages, and his long walks in one archaeological site after another lead him to subjects as varied as the Berber threat to Carthage; the Roman army’s hunt for the warlord Jugurtha; the legacy of Byzantine art; the medieval Greek philosopher Georgios Gemistos Plethon, who helped kindle the Italian Renaissance; twentieth-century British literary writing about Greece; and the links between Rodin and the Croa- tian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Within these pages are smells, tastes, and the profundity of chance encounters. Mediterranean Winter begins in Rodin’s sculpture garden in Paris, passes through the gritty streets of Marseilles, and ends with a moving epiphany about Greece as the world prepares for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Mediterranean Winter is the story of an education. It is filled with memories and history, not the author’s alone, but humanity’s as well.

Warrior Politics

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:1588360806

Total Pages:224

Viewed:338

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“The side that knows when to fight and when not will take the victory. There are roadways not to be traveled, armies not to be attacked, walled cities not to be assaulted.” —Sun-Tzu We live in dangerous times, when a new kind of leadership is required. Visionary and ruthlessly strategic, Warrior Politics extracts the best of the wisdom of the ages for modern leaders who are faced with the complex life-and-death challenges of today’s world—and determined to win. Sun-Tzu urges leaders to “plan and calculate like a hungry man.” Machiavelli defines a policy not by its excellence but by its outcome. Churchill derives his greatness from his imagination of history. Livy shows that the vigor to face down adversaries must ultimately come from pride in our own past achievements. “Never mind if they call your caution timidity, your wisdom sloth, your generosity weakness,” he writes. “It is better that a wise enemy should fear you than that foolish friends should praise.” “Men often oppose a thing merely because they have no agency in planning it,” Alexander Hamilton says, “or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.” Replete with maxims, warnings, examples from history, and shrewd recommendations, Warrior Politics wrests from the past the lessons we need to arm ourselves for the present. It offers an invaluable template for any decision-maker—in foreign policy or in business—faced with high stakes and inadequate knowledge of a mine-filled terrain. As we gear ourselves up for a new kind of war, no book is more prescient, more shrewd, or more essential.

An Empire Wilderness

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0804153493

Total Pages:416

Viewed:1789

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Having reported on some of the world's most violent, least understood regions in his bestsellers Balkan Ghosts and The Ends of the Earth, Robert Kaplan now returns to his native land, the United States of America. Traveling, like Tocqueville and John Gunther before him, through a political and cultural landscape in transition, Kaplan reveals a nation shedding a familiar identity as it assumes a radically new one. An Empire Wilderness opens in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where the first white settlers moved into Indian country and where Manifest Destiny was born. In a world whose future conflicts can barely be imagined, it is also the place where the army trains its men to fight the next war. "A nostalgic view of the United States is deliberately cultivated here," Kaplan writes, "as if to bind the uncertain future to a reliable past." From Fort Leavenworth, Kaplan travels west to the great cities of the heartland--to St. Louis, once a glorious shipping center expected to outshine imperial Rome and now touted, with its desolate inner city and miles of suburban gated communities, as "the most average American city." Kaplan continues west to Omaha; down through California; north from Mexico, across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas; up to Montana and Canada, and back through Oregon. He visits Mexican border settlements and dust-blown county sheriffs' offices, Indian reservations and nuclear bomb plants, cattle ranches in the Oklahoma Panhandle, glacier-mantled forests in the Pacific Northwest, swanky postsuburban sprawls and grim bus terminals, and comes, at last, to the great battlefield at Vicksburg, Mississippi, where an earlier generation of Americans gave their lives for their vision of an American future. But what, if anything, he asks, will today's Americans fight and die for? At Vicksburg Kaplan contemplates the new America through which he has just traveled--an America of sharply polarized communities that draws its population from pools of talent far beyond its borders; an America where the distance between winners and losers grows exponentially as corporations assume gov-ernment functions and the wealthy find themselves more closely linked to their business associates in India and China than to their poorer neighbors a few miles away; an America where old loyalties and allegiances are vanishing and new ones are only beginning to emerge. The new America he found is in the pages of this book. Kaplan gives a precise and chilling vision of how the most successful nation the world has ever known is entering the final, and highly uncertain, phase of its history.

The Return of Marco Polo's World

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0812996801

Total Pages:304

Viewed:385

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A bracing assessment of U.S. foreign policy and world disorder over the past two decades from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and The Coming Anarchy “[Kaplan] has emerged not only as an eloquent defender of foreign-policy realism but as a grand strategist to whom the Pentagon turns for a tour d’horizon.”—The Wall Street Journal In the late thirteenth century, Marco Polo began a decades-long trek from Venice to China along the trade route between Europe and Asia known as the Silk Road—a foundation of Kublai Khan’s sprawling empire. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the Chinese regime has proposed a land-and-maritime Silk Road that duplicates exactly the route Marco Polo traveled. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic, Robert D. Kaplan outlines the timeless principles that should shape America’s role in a turbulent world that encompasses the Chinese challenge. From Kaplan’s immediate thoughts on President Trump to a frank examination of what will happen in the event of war with North Korea, these essays are a vigorous reckoning with the difficult choices the United States will face in the years ahead. Praise for The Return of Marco Polo’s World “Elegant and humane . . . [a] prophecy from an observer with a depressingly accurate record of predictions.”—Bret Stephens, The New York Times Book Review “These essays constitute a truly pathbreaking, brilliant synthesis and analysis of geographic, political, technological, and economic trends with far-reaching consequences. The Return of Marco Polo’s World is another work by Robert D. Kaplan that will be regarded as a classic.”—General David Petraeus (U.S. Army, Ret.) “Thoughtful, unsettling, but not apocalyptic analyses of world affairs flow steadily off the presses, and this is a superior example. . . . Presented with enough verve and insight to tempt readers to set it aside to reread in a few years.”—Kirkus Review (starred review) “An astute, powerfully stated, and bracing presentation.”—Booklist “This volume compiles sixteen major essays on America’s foreign policy from national security commentator Kaplan. . . . An overview of thoughtful, multilayered positions and perspectives evolving through changing circumstances.”—Publishers Weekly

Soldiers of God

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0307546985

Total Pages:304

Viewed:1646

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First time in paperback, with a new Introduction and final chapter World affairs expert and intrepid travel journalist Robert D. Kaplan braved the dangers of war-ravaged Afghanistan in the 1980s, living among the mujahidin—the “soldiers of god”—whose unwavering devotion to Islam fueled their mission to oust the formidable Soviet invaders. In Soldiers of God we follow Kaplan’s extraordinary journey and learn how the thwarted Soviet invasion gave rise to the ruthless Taliban and the defining international conflagration of the twenty-first century. Kaplan returns a decade later and brings to life a lawless frontier. What he reveals is astonishing: teeming refugee camps on the deeply contentious Pakistan-Afghanistan border; a war front that combines primitive fighters with the most technologically advanced weapons known to man; rigorous Islamic indoctrination academies; a land of minefields plagued by drought, fierce tribalism, insurmountable ethnic and religious divisions, an abysmal literacy rate, and legions of war orphans who seek stability in military brotherhood. Traveling alongside Islamic guerrilla fighters, sharing their food, observing their piety in the face of deprivation, and witnessing their determination, Kaplan offers a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of a people and a country that are at the center of world events.

The Butcher's Trail

Author:Julian Borger

Publisher:Other Press, LLC

ISBN:1590516060

Total Pages:235

Viewed:1236

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The gripping, untold story of The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and how the perpetrators of Balkan war crimes were captured by the most successful manhunt in history Written with a thrilling narrative pull, The Butcher’s Trail chronicles the pursuit and capture of the Balkan war criminals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. Borger recounts how Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić—both now on trial in The Hague—were finally tracked down, and describes the intrigue behind the arrest of Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav president who became the first head of state to stand before an international tribunal for crimes perpetrated in a time of war. Based on interviews with former special forces soldiers, intelligence officials, and investigators from a dozen countries—most speaking about their involvement for the first time—this book reconstructs a fourteen-year manhunt carried out almost entirely in secret. Indicting the worst war criminals that Europe had known since the Nazi era, the ICTY ultimately accounted for all 161 suspects on its wanted list, a feat never before achieved in political and military history.

To the Lake

Author:Kapka Kassabova

Publisher:Graywolf Press

ISBN:1644451247

Total Pages:416

Viewed:1505

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The celebrated author of Border explores a mysterious, ancient, and little-understood corner of Europe Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. Two ancient lakes joined by underground rivers. Two lakes that seem to hold both the turbulent memories of the region’s past and the secret of its enduring allure. Two lakes that have played a central role in Kapka Kassabova’s maternal family. As she journeys to her grandmother’s place of origin, Kassabova encounters a historic crossroads. The lakes are set within the mountainous borderlands of North Macedonia, Albania, and Greece, and crowned by the old Via Egnatia, which once connected Rome to Constantinople. A former trading and spiritual nexus of the southern Balkans, this lake region remains one of Eurasia’s most diverse corners. Meanwhile, with their remote rock churches, changeable currents, and large population of migratory birds, the lakes live in their own time. By exploring on water and land the stories of poets, fishermen, and caretakers, misfits, rulers, and inheritors of war and exile, Kassabova uncovers the human destinies shaped by the lakes. Setting out to resolve her own ancestral legacy, Kassabova locates a deeper inquiry into how geography and politics imprint themselves upon families and nations, one that confronts her with universal questions about human suffering and the capacity for change.

The Myth of Global Chaos

Author:Yahya M. Sadowski

Publisher:Brookings Institution Press

ISBN:9780815798088

Total Pages:267

Viewed:1479

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When the Cold War ended in 1989, American hopes for a new world order were quickly disappointed. A new wave of violence soon erupted, engulfing places from Rwanda and Somalia to Chechnya and Bosnia. These new "clashes of civilizations," fundamentalist jihads, and ethnic massacres appeared to be more savage and less rational than the long twilight struggle with the USSR, during which Washington's adversary was clearly identified and relatively predictable. In an effort to understand these post-Cold War conflicts and to advise the government on how to deal with them, a new school of foreign policy thought has developed. Dubbed "chaos theory," it argues that the much heralded processes of globalization are actually breeding a reaction of irrational violence. Thus, the spread of Western cultural icons through new electronic media often shocks and offends moral sensibilities in traditional societies. The explosive growth of international commerce has triggered a wave of migration and urbanization that throws together people from different cultures and fertilizes xenophobia. Chaos theory has already won converts in the U.S. military, the intelligence community, and the foreign service. Its influence has been manifest in an array of policies, particularly during the U.S. engagement in Bosnia. But chaos theory is mostly wrong. In this book, the author outlines the growth of chaos theory and its growing influence, and then provides a thorough empirical critique. Using detailed studies of Bosnia and global comparisons, he shows that globalization has not played a decisive role in fueling recent conflicts. Indeed, journalists' impressions notwithstanding, there is no evidence that since 1989 warfare has become more savage or even more frequent. The advocates of chaos theory are thus urging the U.S. to invest in preparing for a threat that is largely mythical--a strategy that is at least wasteful and potentially dangerous. The author argues that the most useful tools for preventing or prosecuting post-Cold War conflicts remain the same ones that worked in the recent past: crafty diplomacy, conventional military preparedness, and expanded support for economic development. Previously titled Is Chaos a Strategic Threat? Bosnia and Myths about Ethnic Conflict

The Balkans Beyond Nationalism and Identity

Author:Pavlos Hatzopoulos

Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN:0857710702

Total Pages:296

Viewed:398

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For decades, we have come to accept that nationalism formed the basis of the modern history of the Balkans. In this bold and controversial study, Pavlos Hatzopoulos turns this assumption on its head. Through a ground-breaking examination of the non-nationalist ideologies in the Balkans during the interwar period, Hatzopoulos calls into question the supposedly inherent connection between the Balkans and nationalism and argues that nationalism does not form the sole ordering principle of the modern history of the Balkan region. Focusing on the ideologies of communism, liberal internationalism and agrarianism, Hatzopoulos examines how these interact with nationalist ideology. He demonstrates how non-nationalist theories challenge the nationalist view of the Balkans as the sum of several national spaces. He even questions the nationalist understanding of the very term 'the Balkans'. "The Balkans Beyond Nationalism and Identity" revisits contemporary debates on a region that is still a European crisis point and challenges the nation-centric understanding that permeates it. In proposing a description of 'the Balkans' as a contested political concept, the book argues for a completely fresh interpretation of the region's composition.

Nationalism After Communism

Author:Alina Mungiu,Ivan Krastev

Publisher:Central European University Press

ISBN:9789639241763

Total Pages:287

Viewed:917

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Drawing on lessons from post-communist Europe, this book provides a summary of the practical wisdom learned in the management of ethnic conflicts from the Balkans to Chechnya. Grounded in empirical - mostly comparative - research, the essays go beyond theoretical postulates and normative ideals and acknowledge the considerable experience that exists within the post-communist world on ethnic conflict, nation and state building. What does the post-communist experience have in common with other nationalisms and nation-related conflicts, and what, if anything, is unique about it? This book, written by academics with experience as policy advisors, is strongly policy-oriented. The primordial type hypotheses of ethnic social capital and ancient hatreds are tested on the basis of public opinion surveys on nationalism and ethnic cohabitation in various countries in east-central Europe. Power-sharing arrangements in the Balkans, the small separatist Republics of the post-Soviet world as well as ethno-federalism from the former Yugoslavia to the former Soviet Empire are discussed in the respective chapters.