A bracing assessment of US 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 13th 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 21st 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 US 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, US 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)
"An eclectic collection of elegant and humane essays... Above all there is his fascination with the decisive impact of geography on the calculations, ambitions and illusions of statesmen and societies.... [A] prophecy from an observer with a depressingly accurate record of predictions. When it comes to curbing our enthusiasms, Kaplan's achievement is to throw so much shade with so much verve." (Bret Stephens, The New York Times Book Review)
"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)
"An astute, powerfully stated, and bracing presentation." (Booklist)