The Crown of Thorns

Author:

Publisher:Picador

ISBN:1466868309

Total Pages:368

Viewed:1203

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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:1926

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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:1846

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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:1297

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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:470

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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:340

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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 Ghosts of Medak Pocket

Author:Carol Off

Publisher:Vintage Canada

ISBN:030737078X

Total Pages:320

Viewed:1418

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In 1993, Canadian peacekeepers in Croatia were plunged into the most significant fighting Canada had seen since the Korean War. Their extraordinary heroism was covered up and forgotten. The ghosts of that battlefield have haunted them ever since. Canadian peacekeepers in Medak Pocket, Croatia, found no peace to keep in September 1993. They engaged the forces of ethnic cleansing in a deadly firefight and drove them from the area under United Nations protection. The soldiers should have returned home as heroes. Instead, they arrived under a cloud of suspicion and silence. In Medak Pocket, members of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry did exactly the job they were trained — and ordered — to do. When attacked by the Croat army they returned fire and fought back valiantly to protect Serbian civilians and to save the UN mandate in Croatia. Then they confronted the horrors of the offensive’s aftermath — the annihilation by the Croat army of Serbian villages. The Canadians searched for survivors. There were none. The soldiers came home haunted by these atrocities, but in the wake of the Somalia affair, Canada had no time for soldiers’ stories of the horrific compromises of battle — the peacekeepers were silenced. In time, the dark secrets of Medak’s horrors drove many of these soldiers to despair, to homelessness and even suicide. Award-winning journalist Carol Off brings to life this decisive battle of the Canadian Forces. The Ghosts of Medak Pocket is the complete and untold story.

Kosovo

Author:Tim Judah

Publisher:Oxford University Press

ISBN:019970404X

Total Pages:208

Viewed:1448

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Books Description:

On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared its independence, becoming the seventh state to emerge from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. A tiny country of just two million people, 90% of whom are ethnic Albanians, Kosovo is central-geographically, historically, and politically-to the future of the Western Balkans and, in turn, its potential future within the European Union. But the fate of both Kosovo, condemned by Serbian leaders as a "fake state" and the region as a whole, remains uncertain. In Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Tim Judah provides a straight-forward guide to the complicated place that is Kosovo. Judah, who has spent years covering the region, offers succinct, penetrating answers to a wide range of questions: Why is Kosovo important? Who are the Albanians? Who are the Serbs? Why is Kosovo so important to Serbs? What role does Kosovo play in the region and in the world? Judah reveals how things stand now and presents the history and geopolitical dynamics that have led to it. The most important of these is the question of the right to self-determination, invoked by the Kosovo Albanians, as opposed to right of territorial integrity invoked by the Serbs. For many Serbs, Kosovo's declaration of independence and subsequent recognition has been traumatic, a savage blow to national pride. Albanians, on the other hand, believe their independence rights an historical wrong: the Serbian conquest (Serbs say "liberation") of Kosovo in 1912. For anyone wishing to understand both the history and possible future of Kosovo at this pivotal moment in its history, this book offers a wealth of insight and information in a uniquely accessible format. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

The Balkans

Author:Mark Mazower

Publisher:Modern Library

ISBN:0307431967

Total Pages:240

Viewed:820

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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.

Monsoon

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0679604057

Total Pages:384

Viewed:1264

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On the world maps common in America, the Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the Indian Ocean region all but disappears. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now-departed twentieth century, but in the twenty-first century that focus will fundamentally change. In this pivotal examination of the countries known as “Monsoon Asia”—which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania—bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power. It is here that the fight for democracy, energy independence, and religious freedom will be lost or won, and it is here that American foreign policy must concentrate if the United States is to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. From the Horn of Africa to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond, Kaplan exposes the effects of population growth, climate change, and extremist politics on this unstable region, demonstrating why Americans can no longer afford to ignore this important area of the world.

Adriatic

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0399591060

Total Pages:352

Viewed:549

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An exploration—both personal and penetrating—of a historically volatile region that is once again at a critical global crossroads and holds profound revelations about the future, from the bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts and The Revenge of Geography In this insightful travelogue, geopolitical expert Robert D. Kaplan turns his perceptive eye to a region that for centuries has been a meeting point of cultures, trade, and ideas. He undertakes a journey around the Adriatic Sea, through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece, to reveal that far more is happening in the region than most news stories let on. Often overlooked, the Adriatic is in fact at the center of the most significant challenges of our time, including the rise of populist politics, the refugee crisis, and battles over the control of energy resources. And it is once again becoming a global trading hub that will determine Europe’s relationship with the rest of the world as China and Russia compete for dominance in its ports. Kaplan explores how the region has changed over his three decades of observing it as a journalist. He finds that to understand both the historical and contemporary Adriatic is to gain a window on the future of Europe as a whole, and he unearths a stark truth: The era of populism is an epiphenomenon—a symptom of the age of nationalism coming to an end. Instead, the continent is returning to alignments of the early modern era as distinctions between East and West meet and break down within the Adriatic countries and ultimately throughout Europe. With a brilliant cross-pollination of history, literature, art, architecture, and current events, in Adriatic, Kaplan demonstrates that this unique region that exists at the intersection of civilizations holds revelatory truths for the future of global affairs.

Mediterranean Winter

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:1588361489

Total Pages:272

Viewed:694

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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.

Soldiers of God

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0307546985

Total Pages:304

Viewed:1630

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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.

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

Author:Rebecca West

Publisher:Open Road Media

ISBN:1453207465

Total Pages:1232

Viewed:549

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Hailed as among the most important books of the twentieth century, Rebecca West’s magnum opus is a history, a travelogue, and a sociological study of Yugoslavia that examines how the past shapes the present In a breathtakingly wide-ranging journalistic work, West richly chronicles her travels throughout Yugoslavia in the 1930s, introducing vivid characters and illuminating details. More than a travelogue, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon connects the people and places West encounters to the long history of conflict that has formed national identities in the Balkans across a millennium of shifting alliances. West writes, “I had come to Yugoslavia because I knew that the past has made the present, and I wanted to see how the process works.” As profound, sad, and funny as when it was first published in 1941, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon interrogates the forces that continue to shape our modern world.

Slaughterhouse

Author:David Rieff

Publisher:Simon and Schuster

ISBN:1476737886

Total Pages:256

Viewed:1618

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In a shocking and deeply disturbing tour de force, David Rieff, reporting from the Bosnia war zone and from Western capitals and United Nations headquarters, indicts the West and the United Nations for standing by and doing nothing to stop the genocide of the Bosnian Muslims. Slaughterhouse is the definitive explanation of a war that will be remembered as the greatest failure of Western diplomacy since the 1930s. Bosnia was more than a human tragedy. It was the emblem of the international community's failure and confusion in the post-Cold War era. In Bosnia, genocide and ethnic fascism reappeared in Europe for the first time in fifty years. But there was no will to confront them, either on the part of the United States, Western Europe, or the United Nations, for which the Bosnian experience was as catastrophic and demoralizing as Vietnam was for the United States. It is the failure and its implications that Rieff anatomizes in this unforgiving account of a war that might have been prevented and could have been stopped.

Arabists

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Simon and Schuster

ISBN:1439108706

Total Pages:368

Viewed:357

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A tight-knit group closely linked by intermarriage as well as class and old school ties, the “Arabists” were men and women who spent much of their lives living and working in the Arab world as diplomats, military attaches, intelligence agents, scholar-adventurers, and teachers. As such, the Arabists exerted considerable influence both as career diplomats and as bureaucrats within the State Department from the early nineteenth century to the present. But over time, as this work shows, the group increasingly lost touch with a rapidly changing American society, growing both more insular and headstrong and showing a marked tendency to assert the Arab point of view. Drawing on interviews, memoirs, and other official and private sources, Kaplan reconstructs the 100-year history of the Arabist elite, demonstrating their profound influence on American attitudes toward the Middle East, and tracing their decline as an influx of ethnic and regional specialists has transformed the State Department and challenged the power of the old elite.

Warrior Politics

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:1588360806

Total Pages:224

Viewed:1249

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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.

The Fracture Zone

Author:Simon Winchester

Publisher:Harper Collins

ISBN:9780061978197

Total Pages:272

Viewed:1481

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A True Portrait of One of the World's Most Chaotic and Beautiful Regions That Explains Why Violence Has Always Occurred There--And Why It May Continue For Years To Come The vast and mountainous area that makes up the Balkans is rife with discord, both cultural and topographical. And, as Simon Winchester superbly demonstrates in this intimate portrait of the region, much of the political strife of the past century can be traced to its inherent contrasts. With the aid of a guide and linguist, Winchester traveled deep into the region's most troublesome areas--including Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Turkey--just as the war was tearing these countries apart. The result is a book not just about war but also about how war affects the living. Both timeless and current, The Fracture Zone goes behind the headlines to offer a true picture of a region that has always been on the brink. Winchester's remarkable journey puts all the elements together--the faults, the fractures, and the chaos--to make sense out of a seemingly senseless place.

Security as Practice

Author:Lene Hansen

Publisher:Routledge

ISBN:1134339607

Total Pages:288

Viewed:1613

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Books Description:

This important text offers a full and detailed account of how to use discourse analysis to study foreign policy. It provides a poststructuralist theory of the relationship between identity and foreign policy and an in-depth discussion of the methodology of discourse analysis. Part I offers a detailed discussion of the concept of identity, the intertextual relationship between official foreign policy discourse and oppositional and media discourses and of the importance of genres for authors' ability to establish themselves as having authority and knowledge. Lene Hansen devotes particular attention to methodology and provides explicit directions for how to build discourse analytical research designs Part II applies discourse analytical theory and methodology in a detailed analysis of the Western debate on the Bosnian war. This analysis includes a historical genealogy of the Western construction of the Balkans as well as readings of the official British and American policies, the debate in the House of Commons and the US Senate, Western media representations, academic debates and travel writing and autobiography. Providing an introduction to discourse analysis and critical perspectives on international relations, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of international relations, discourse analysis and research methodology.

Spies of the Balkans

Author:Alan Furst

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0679603700

Total Pages:288

Viewed:498

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Greece, 1940. In the port city of Salonika, with its wharves and brothels, dark alleys and Turkish mansions, a tense political drama is being played out. As Adolf Hitler plans to invade the Balkans, spies begin to circle—and Costa Zannis, a senior police official, must deal with them all. He is soon in the game, working to secure an escape route for fugitives from Nazi Berlin that is protected by German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters—and hunted by the Gestapo. Meanwhile, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city grows passionate. For Zannis, that means a British expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a woman from the dark side of Salonika society, and the wife of a shipping magnate. With extraordinary historical detail and a superb cast of characters, Spies of the Balkans is a stunning novel about a man who risks everything to fight back against the world’s evil.

The Myth of Global Chaos

Author:Yahya M. Sadowski

Publisher:Brookings Institution Press

ISBN:9780815798088

Total Pages:267

Viewed:1660

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Books Description:

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

Asia's Cauldron

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0812994337

Total Pages:256

Viewed:1823

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FINANCIAL TIMES From Robert D. Kaplan, named one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, comes a penetrating look at the volatile region that will dominate the future of geopolitical conflict. Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries’ worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future. In Asia’s Cauldron, Robert D. Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and their implications for global peace and stability. One of the world’s most perceptive foreign policy experts, Kaplan interprets America’s interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China. He explains how the region’s unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression. And he draws a striking parallel between China’s quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States’ imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago. To understand the future of conflict in East Asia, Kaplan argues, one must understand the goals and motivations of its leaders and its people. Part travelogue, part geopolitical primer, Asia’s Cauldron takes us on a journey through the region’s boom cities and ramshackle slums: from Vietnam, where the superfueled capitalism of the erstwhile colonial capital, Saigon, inspires the geostrategic pretensions of the official seat of government in Hanoi, to Malaysia, where a unique mix of authoritarian Islam and Western-style consumerism creates quite possibly the ultimate postmodern society; and from Singapore, whose “benevolent autocracy” helped foster an economic miracle, to the Philippines, where a different brand of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos led not to economic growth but to decades of corruption and crime. At a time when every day’s news seems to contain some new story—large or small—that directly relates to conflicts over the South China Sea, Asia’s Cauldron is an indispensable guide to a corner of the globe that will affect all of our lives for years to come. Praise for Asia’s Cauldron “Asia’s Cauldron is a short book with a powerful thesis, and it stands out for its clarity and good sense. . . . If you are doing business in China, traveling in Southeast Asia or just obsessing about geopolitics, you will want to read it.”—The New York Times Book Review “Kaplan has established himself as one of our most consequential geopolitical thinkers. . . . [Asia’s Cauldron] is part treatise on geopolitics, part travel narrative. Indeed, he writes in the tradition of the great travel writers.”—The Weekly Standard “Kaplan’s fascinating book is a welcome challenge to the pessimists who see only trouble in China’s rise and the hawks who view it as malign.”—The Economist “Muscular, deeply knowledgeable . . . Kaplan is an ultra-realist [who] takes a non-moralistic stance on questions of power and diplomacy.”—Financial Times

Hunger and Fury

Author:Jasmin Mujanovic

Publisher:Oxford University Press

ISBN:0190911220

Total Pages:229

Viewed:1617

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Less than two decades after the Yugoslav Wars ended, the edifice of parliamentary government in the Western Balkans is crumbling. This collapse sets into sharp relief the unreformed authoritarian tendencies of the region's entrenched elites, many of whom have held power since the early 1990s, and the hollowness of the West's "democratization" agenda. There is a widely held assumption that institutional collapse will precipitate a new bout of ethnic conflict, but Mujanovic argues instead that the Balkans are on the cusp of a historic socio-political transformation. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, with a unique focus on local activist accounts, he argues that a period of genuine democratic transition is finally dawning, led by grassroots social movements, from Zagreb to Skopje. Rather than pursuing ethnic strife, these new Balkan revolutionaries are confronting the "ethnic entrepreneurs" cemented in power by the West in its efforts to stabilise the region since the mid-1990s. This compellingly argued book harnesses the explanatory power of the striking graffiti scrawled on the walls of the ransacked Bosnian presidency during violent anti-government protests in 2014: 'if you sow hunger, you will reap fury'.

My Cat Yugoslavia

Author:Pajtim Statovci

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:1101871830

Total Pages:272

Viewed:1446

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A love story set in two countries in two radically different moments in time, bringing together a young man, his mother, a boa constrictor, and one capricious cat. In 1980s Yugoslavia, a young Muslim girl is married off to a man she hardly knows, but what was meant to be a happy match goes quickly wrong. Soon thereafter her country is torn apart by war and she and her family flee. Years later, her son, Bekim, grows up a social outcast in present-day Finland, not just an immigrant in a country suspicious of foreigners, but a gay man in an unaccepting society. Aside from casual hookups, his only friend is a boa constrictor whom, improbably—he is terrified of snakes—he lets roam his apartment. Then, during a visit to a gay bar, Bekim meets a talking cat who moves in with him and his snake. It is this witty, charming, manipulative creature who starts Bekim on a journey back to Kosovo to confront his demons and make sense of the magical, cruel, incredible history of his family. And it is this that, in turn, enables him finally, to open himself to true love—which he will find in the most unexpected place

The Return of Marco Polo's World

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:0812996801

Total Pages:304

Viewed:1675

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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

Surrender Or Starve

Author:Robert D Kaplan

Publisher:Routledge

ISBN:1000313646

Total Pages:188

Viewed:328

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Famine in the Horn is both a tool and an aspect of ethnic conflict, with the Ethiopian Amharas of the central highlands pitted against the Eritreans and Tigreans of the north. The overwhelming majority of U.S. journalists have reported on Ethiopia from one side only-that of the Amharas in Addis Ababa. The author wants to show the story from the other side, in order to redress a grievous imbalance in news coverage. To get people excited, you sometimes have to light a fire, and that was the author’s intention. This book covers the period from late 1984 to the early part of 1987. In late 1987, the famine returned, mainly for the very reasons cited inside.

Balkan Babel

Author:Sabrina Petra Ramet

Publisher:Routledge

ISBN:0429963955

Total Pages:448

Viewed:506

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The fourth edition of this critically acclaimed work includes a new chapter, a new epilogue, and revisions throughout the book. Sabrina Ramet, a veteran observer of the Yugoslav scene, traces the steady deterioration of Yugoslavia's political and social fabric in the years since 1980, arguing that, while the federal system and multiethnic fabric laid down fault lines, the final crisis was sown in the failure to resolve the legitimacy question, triggered by economic deterioration, and pushed forward toward war by Serbian politicians bent on power - either within a centralized Yugoslavia or within an 'ethnically cleansed' Greater Serbia. With her detailed knowledge of the area and extensive fieldwork, Ramet paints a strikingly original picture of Yugoslavia's demise and the emergence of the Yugoslav successor states.

Making and Remaking the Balkans

Author:Robert Clegg Austin

Publisher:University of Toronto Press

ISBN:1487530722

Total Pages:232

Viewed:1353

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With more than 25 years since the collapse of communism, the end of the wars and billions of dollars in aid, the Balkans are still characterized by corruption, state capture, and decidedly unmodern states that are often either weak or authoritarian. Taking the contemporary Balkans as a starting point, Making and Remaking the Balkans studies the region’s history combined with observations based on more than twenty years of field experience. Primarily concerned with current issues in the Balkans since 1989, this book explains why the region has endured such a prolonged and fraught transition to democracy and eventual membership in the European Union. The young and educated have largely left. Governmental crisis and economic stagnation is the norm and much-needed regional cooperation has been suppressed by renewed nationalism. Wars on corruption have proved to be largely rhetorical. Making and Remaking the Balkans offers a systematic study of the issues the entire region faces as it struggles to complete the European integration process at a time when the European Union faces bigger problems elsewhere.

The Historian

Author:Elizabeth Kostova

Publisher:Little, Brown

ISBN:9780759513839

Total Pages:656

Viewed:801

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An "innovative" (The New Yorker) retelling of the story of Dracula. Told with the flourish and poise of a talented storyteller, Kostova turns the age-old tale into a compelling "late night page-turner" (San Francisco Chronicle) When a young woman discovers a cache of ancient letters, she is thrown into the turbulent history of her parents' dark pasts. Uncovering a labyrinthine trail of clues, she begins to reconstruct a staggering history of deceit and violence. Debut novelist Elizabeth Kostova creates an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful and utterly unforgettable.

The Leader's Bookshelf

Author:Adm. James Stavridis USN (Ret.)

Publisher:Naval Institute Press

ISBN:1682471802

Total Pages:N.A

Viewed:376

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“The Leader’s Bookshelf” identifies the "Top 50" books that can help anyone become a better leader. The works selected were based on hundreds of interviews with the most senior active and retired four-star U.S. military leaders who identified books from which they gained the special insights which helped propel them to success in the most demanding leadership challenges. Each of those fifty works -- novels, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, leadership works – are concisely summarized and the key leadership lessons extracted and presented. Admiral Jim Stavridis and his co-author, R. Manning Ancell, have been surveying very senior military leaders for the past several years regarding their reading habits and favorite books. They have spoken to over 200 four-star officers, including those both currently on active duty and retired. Each of those admirals and generals was asked for a list of books that strongly influenced their leadership skills. Stavridis and Mancell then collated the data and analyzed which books were mentioned most frequently and which ones were most compelling in the leadership lessons offered the reader. The survey, while not scientific, was quite comprehensive. From it, Stavridis and Ancell built a powerful set of recommended readings. Whether individuals work their way through the entire top 50 list and read each book cover to cover, or read the summaries provided in “The Leader’s Bookshelf” to determine which appeal to them most – this book will provide a roadmap to better leadership. “The Leader’s Bookshelf” highlights the value of reading for leaders in a philosophical and practical sense, provides advice on how to build an extensive library, lists other books worth reading to improve leadership skills, and analyzes how leaders use what they read to achieve their goals. “The Leader’s Bookshelf” is a book for anyone who wants to improve their ability to lead -- whether in their family life, their professional endeavors, or within our society and civic organizations.

The Balkans Beyond Nationalism and Identity

Author:Pavlos Hatzopoulos

Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN:0857710702

Total Pages:296

Viewed:1303

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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.

Ghost

Author:Jason Reynolds

Publisher:Simon and Schuster

ISBN:1481450174

Total Pages:192

Viewed:1600

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A National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of the acclaimed Track series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds. Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

The Coming Anarchy

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:1400033039

Total Pages:224

Viewed:393

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Robert Kaplan, bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts, offers up scrupulous, far-ranging insights on the world to come in a spirited, rousing, and provocative book that has earned a place at the top of the reading lists of the world's policy makers. The end of the Cold War has not ushered in the global peace and prosperity that many had anticipated. Volatile new democracies in Eastern Europe, fierce tribalism in Africa, civil war and ethnic violence in the Near East, and widespread famine and disease—not to mention the brutal rift developing as wealthy nations reap the benefits of seemingly boundless technology while other parts of the world slide into chaos—are among the issues Kaplan identifies as the most important for charting the future of geopolitics. Historical antecedents in Gibbon's Decline and Fall and in the legacies of statesmen such as Henry Kissinger contribute to this bracingly prophetic framework for addressing the new global reality. Bold, erudite, and profoundly important, The Coming Anarchy is a compelling must-read by one of today's most penetrating writers and provocative minds.

Over the Wall/After the Fall

Author:Sibelan Forrester,Magdalena J. Zaborowska,Elena Gapova

Publisher:Indiana University Press

ISBN:9780253110350

Total Pages:336

Viewed:933

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"... a hot subject in today's scholarship... and a groundbreaking project of vital significance to the field of cultural studies at both 'western' and 'eastern' geographical locations." -- Elwira Grossman Over the Wall/After the Fall maps a new discourse on the evolution of cultural life in Eastern Europe following the end of communism. Departing from traditional binary views of East/West, the contributors to this volume consider the countries and the peoples of the region on their own terms. Drawing on insights from cultural studies, gender theory, and postcolonial studies, this lively collection addresses gender issues and sexual politics, consumerism, high and popular culture, architecture, media, art, and theater. Among the themes of the essays are the Western pop success of Bulgarian folk choirs, the Czechs' reception of Frank Gehry's unconventional building in the center of Prague, bohemians in Lviv, and cryptographic art installations from Bratislava.

Nationalism After Communism

Author:Alina Mungiu,Ivan Krastev

Publisher:Central European University Press

ISBN:9789639241763

Total Pages:287

Viewed:585

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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.

Why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong

Author:Catherine Besteman,Hugh Gusterson

Publisher:Univ of California Press

ISBN:0520938488

Total Pages:282

Viewed:696

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In this fresh, literate, and biting critique of current thinking on some of today's most important and controversial topics, leading anthropologists take on some of America's top pundits. This absorbing collection of essays subjects such popular commentators as Thomas Friedman, Samuel Huntington, Robert Kaplan, and Dinesh D'Souza to cold, hard scrutiny and finds that their writing is often misleadingly simplistic, culturally ill-informed, and politically dangerous. Mixing critical reflection with insights from their own fieldwork, twelve distinguished anthropologists respond by offering fresh perspectives on globalization, ethnic violence, social justice, and the biological roots of behavior. They take on such topics as the collapse of Yugoslavia, the consumer practices of the American poor, American foreign policy in the Balkans, and contemporary debates over race, welfare, and violence against women. In the clear, vigorous prose of the pundits themselves, these contributors reveal the hollowness of what often passes as prevailing wisdom and passionately demonstrate the need for a humanistically complex and democratic understanding of the contemporary world. Available: November 2004 Pub Date: January 2005

Humanitarian Violence

Author:Neda Atanasoski

Publisher:U of Minnesota Press

ISBN:145294007X

Total Pages:280

Viewed:609

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When is a war not a war? When it is undertaken in the name of democracy, against the forces of racism, sexism, and religious and political persecution? This is the new world of warfare that Neda Atanasoski observes in Humanitarian Violence, different in name from the old imperialism but not so different in kind. In particular, she considers U.S. militarism—humanitarian militarism—during the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the 1990s wars of secession in the former Yugoslavia. What this book brings to light—through novels, travel narratives, photojournalism, films, news media, and political rhetoric—is in fact a system of postsocialist imperialism based on humanitarian ethics. In the fiction of the United States as a multicultural haven, which morally underwrites the nation’s equally brutal waging of war and making of peace, parts of the world are subject to the violence of U.S. power because they are portrayed to be homogeneous and racially, religiously, and sexually intolerant—and thus permanently in need of reform. The entangled notions of humanity and atrocity that follow from such mediations of war and crisis have refigured conceptions of racial and religious freedom in the post–Cold War era. The resulting cultural narratives, Atanasoski suggests, tend to racialize ideological differences—whereas previous forms of imperialism racialized bodies. In place of the European racial imperialism, U.S. settler colonialism, and pre–civil rights racial constructions that associated racial difference with a devaluing of nonwhite bodies, Humanitarian Violence identifies an emerging discourse of race that focuses on ideological and cultural differences and makes postsocialist and Islamic nations the potential targets of U.S. disciplining violence.

Imperial Grunts

Author:Robert D. Kaplan

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0307278506

Total Pages:448

Viewed:1762

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A fascinating, unprecedented first-hand look at the soldiers on the front lines on the Global War on Terror. Plunging deep into midst of some of the hottest conflicts on the globe, Robert D. Kaplan takes us through mud and jungle, desert and dirt to the men and women on the ground who are leading the charge against threats to American security. These soldiers, fighting in thick Colombian jungles or on dusty Afghani plains, are the forefront of the new American foreign policy, a policy being implemented one soldier at a time. As Kaplan brings us inside their thoughts, feelings, and operations, these modern grunts provide insight and understanding into the War on Terror, bringing the war, which sometimes seems so distant, vividly to life.

Magic Hours

Author:Tom Bissell

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0525433953

Total Pages:288

Viewed:1925

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Award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. He takes us from the set of The Big Bang Theory to the first novel of Ernest Hemingway to the final work of David Foster Wallace; from the films of Werner Herzog to the film of Tommy Wiseau to the editorial meeting in which Paula Fox's work was relaunched into the world. Originally published in magazines such as The Believer, The New Yorker, and Harper's, these essays represent ten years of Bissell's best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter. What are sitcoms for exactly? Can art be both bad and genius? Why do some books survive and others vanish? Bissell's exploration of these questions make for gripping, unforgettable reading.

The Accidental Admiral

Author:James Stavridis

Publisher:Naval Institute Press

ISBN:161251782X

Total Pages:288

Viewed:747

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Despite demonstrated prowess in the handling of ships and sailors, five years after receiving his commission, Jim Stavridis was planning on getting out of the Navy and going to law school. His assignments officer, a young lieutenant commander by the name of Mike Mullen (who would go on to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) noticed something special in Stavridis, however, and convinced him to stay on active duty by dangling the prospect of Uncle Sam sending him to graduate school. Going ashore for a few years, Stavridis earned his MALD and PhD in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. The experience that taught him to look beyond the horizon and to think and act globally. Throughout his career Stavridis was anything but uniform in the way he approached his duties. An avid reader and prolific author he wrote more than 55 articles, commentaries, and book reviews in the Navy’s professional journal “Proceedings” beginning when he was still a midshipman and continuing to this day. He has also written for some of the leading papers and journals in the United States, including the, New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic Magazine, Naval War College Review, and many others His career was marked by unusually challenging assignments including command of a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer in the early ‘90s; two stints as a top aide to two different Secretaries of the Navy (one a Republican and the other a Democrat); and command of an aircraft carrier battle group. Stavridis narrowly missed being killed on September 11, 2001 when an American Airlines aircraft plunged into the Pentagon not far from his office. He was subsequently put in charge of a Navy think tank, “Deep Blue,” which was tasked with reimagining the service’s role in a post-9/11 environment. Already selected for his first star as 9/11 unfolded, his rise through the ranks was swift – even going directly from one-star to three-star admiral without ever wearing two stars – when he was selected to be the senior military assistant to the very demanding Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Surviving that crucible, he was nominated for his fourth star at the age of 50, one of the youngest persons to serve at that rank in modern history. He then became the first naval officer to lead the U.S. Southern Command – responsible for all U.S. military operations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. At the end of that assignment he was picked to be the first naval officer to serve as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO – a job first held by Dwight D. Eisenhower and then by a string of prominent generals. When he was given that assignment, the New York Times referred to Stavridis as a “renaissance Admiral,” something Stavridis turned into “the accidental Admiral” given he was the first sailor to head to that command. That is where this book, “The Accidental Admiral” picks up – as Stavridis enlightens readers about securing such a position and serving as NATO’s top man in uniform for four years. They were challenging years indeed. Stavridis was responsible for NATO operations in Afghanistan, its conduct of a military intervention in Libya and preparation for possible war in Syria – as well as worrying about the Balkans, cyber threats, piracy, all while cutting NATO by 30% due to budget reductions by the 28 nations of the Alliance. More than just describing the history of what happened, Stavridis shares with reader the “why” and gives insights into the personalities of those with whom he dealt, ranging from President Barack Obama; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Hagel; Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Generals David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, John Allen and many more. The Accidental Admiral is more than just a memoir. The book is also a very personal reflection of the burdens and benefits of leadership, and Stavridis also shares his insights on strategic communications, planning, and the convergence of threats that will confront the U.S. and its allies in the near future.