From the bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts and The Ends of the Earth comes a fascinating new book on the imminent global chaos that is as brilliant as it is necessary, as original as it is controversial. The end of the Cold War has not ushered in the global peace and prosperity that many had anticipated. Environmental degradation is causing the rampant spread of famine and disease, and a rising number of nations are being torn by violent wars of fierce tribalism and trenchant regionalism. Our newest democracies, such as Russia and Venezuela, are bloody maelstroms of violence and crime, while America is beset with an alarmingly high number of apathetic citizens content to concern themselves with matters of entertainment and convenience. Bold, erudite, and profoundly important, The Coming Anarchy is a compelling must-read by one of today's most penetrating writers and provocative minds. "Analytically daring.... Informed by a rock-solid, unwavering realism and an utter absence of sentimentality.... Kaplan is a knowledgeable and forceful polemicist who mixes the attributes of journalist and visionary."
Lest anyone still maintain the illusion that the end of the Cold War ushered in an era of "good times," these nine provocative, thoughtful, and very speculative essays (most of which previously appeared in periodicals) should set the record straight. Here Kaplan (The End of the Earth; Balkan Ghosts), a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, describes his Clockwork Orange-like vision of the world's future--in which societies are permeated with violence, crime remains unabated, and official corruption and anarchy run rampant. Using West Africa and Turkey as his primary examples, he argues that "environmental scarcity," ethnic strife, overcrowded living areas, and the changing nature of war will irreparably tear the social fabrics of societies all over the world--in places as far apart as India, Canada, South America, Yugoslavia, Africa, the Far East, the Middle East, and even the United States. Kaplan further suggests that democracy will not protect us from this apocalypse; indeed, he notes, it could even help cause it. His experiences as a journalist in the world's hot spots corroborate his pessimistic conclusions, and the clarity of his vision serves as a wake-up call. For most public and academic libraries.--Jack Forman, Mesa Coll. Lib., San Diego Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 12, 2001
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Coming Anarchy by Robert D. Kaplan
THE COMING ANARCHY
THE MINISTER'S EYES were like egg yolks, an after-effect of some of the many illnesses, malaria especially, endemic in his country. There was also an irrefutable sadness in his eyes. He spoke in a slow and creaking voice, the voice of hope about to expire. Flame trees, coconut palms, and a ballpoint-blue Atlantic composed the background. None of it seemed beautiful, though. "In forty-five years I have never seen things so bad. We did not manage ourselves well after the British departed. But what we have now is something worse--the revenge of the poor, of the social failures, of the people least able to bring up children in a modem society." Then he referred to the recent coup in the West African country Sierra Leone. "The boys who took power in Sierra Leone come from houses like this." The Minister jabbed his finger at a corrugated metal shack teeming with children. "In three months these boys confiscated all the official Mercedes, Volvos, and BMWs and willfully wrecked them on the road." The Minister mentioned one of the coup's leaders, Solomon Anthony Joseph Musa, who shot the people who had paid for his schooling, "in order to erase the humiliation and mitigate the power his middle-class sponsors held over him."