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Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific Hardcover – Mar 25 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (March 25 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812994329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812994322
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.3 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“This is the latest in a series of insightful books . . . in which Robert D. Kaplan . . . tries to explain how geography determines destiny—and what we should be doing about it. Asia’s Cauldron is a short book with a powerful thesis, and it stands out for its clarity and good sense from the great mass of Western writing on what Chinese politicians have taken to calling their ‘peaceful development.’ If you are doing business in China, traveling in Southeast Asia or just obsessing about geopolitics, you will want to read it. . . . Throughout the book, Kaplan tempers hard-nose geopolitics with an engaging mix of history and travelogue.”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
 
“A riveting, multitextured look at an underexamined region of the world and, perhaps, at the ‘anxious, complicated world’ of the future.”—Booklist

“Part travelogue, part history, and part geostrategic analysis, Asia’s Cauldron sets some lofty goals for itself and largely succeeds in presenting a holistic look at the competing diplomatic and economic interests of the nations along the South China Sea. . . . This volume is an excellent primer to the conflicting ambitions, fears, and futures of the nations bordering this vital sea-lane, which will remain one of the most dangerous flashpoints of the coming decade.”New York Journal of Books
 
“In reminding Americans that their age of ‘simple dominance’ must pass, [Kaplan] avoids joining those groping in the dark and almost takes the detached stance of a historian of coming decades, describing how that future Asia came to be. This acceptance of Asia’s complexity and the limits of influence that any outside power has may well be the most valuable lesson.”National Review

Asia’s Cauldron is a perfect summation of the present turbulent moment in history, when the World War II security structure is beginning a rapid transformation. Kaplan engages the striking possibilities of where the current confrontation between China and Japan could lead, and underscores the point that this is a lot more significant than a simple border dispute.”—Paul Bracken, Yale University, author of The Second Nuclear Age
 
“Master global strategist Robert D. Kaplan turns his gaze to the bubbling heat of the South China Sea in his latest tour de force. Asia’s Cauldron deconstructs the extreme volatility of this enormous, dangerous, and vital maritime space. By thoughtfully pulling apart the complex tangle of argument and accusation among the nations of the region, he helps provide a well-charted course for the United States in this most turbulent geopolitical zone of the twenty-first-century.”Admiral James Stavridis, United States Navy (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2009–2013
 
“Robert D. Kaplan has done it again: he has written an engaging—but disturbing—book about an area of the world that to most Americans is a distant rimland. Yet in an era of emerging Sino-American competition, the larger Southeast Asian region could well become the explosive cynosure of new great-power rivalries. Asia’s Cauldron is a wonderful and captivating guide that illumines the myriad colliding forces that will shape the future of the Indo-Pacific.”—Ashley J. Tellis, senior associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

About the Author

Robert D. Kaplan is the bestselling author of sixteen books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including Asia’s Cauldron, The Revenge of Geography, Monsoon, The Coming Anarchy, and Balkan Ghosts. He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a contributing editor at The Atlantic, where his work has appeared for three decades. He was chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor, a visiting professor at the United States Naval Academy, and a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. Foreign Policy magazine has twice named him one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kaplan's thesis that China has to dominate the South China Sea before it can truly become a world power - and it trying very hard now to get to that position is a credible thesis and he presents it well. He focuses on the American navy, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore as being the only credible counterweights to the growing Chinese power. He has not spent enough time addressing the role of South Korea and Japan in all this. Where is Thailand in all this? India has not been fully considered in Kaplan's thesis. However, overall it is a well presented idea.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice book which summaries a very current and hot political issue. However, I felt the author lacked novelty of ideas in the first few chapters and kept repeating the same thing. In the later chapters their is good brief overview if different countries in the region and how strong they are as compared to China. Overall a decent read if you are interested in international affairs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very informative book for those of us who know so little about South East Asia. Given the world's current events and the changing balance of powers the information and analysis in this book is an essential for understanding the shifting geopolitical powers of the 21st century.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read about what is happening in the geopolitical area of the South Sea.
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