A small amount of positive news presented in an impressive way.
By Robert D. Kaplan ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 22, 2023
Renowned geopolitics author Robert Kaplan has returned to the Middle East to present his latest work. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of the region, which he has gained through interviewing officials, intellectuals, historians, and fellow journalists, as well as reading a vast array of historical and scholarly works, Kaplan believes that the major story in the Middle East is not the failure of democracy, but the departure of empire.
Since the Ottoman Empire’s dissolution in 1918, Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union have all had their moments of influence in the region.
However, the Soviet collapse and the U.S.’s unsuccessful invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in the Middle East being in a post-imperial phase for the first time in modern history. Westerners may not be fond of empires, but nations with a long imperial history, such as Turkey, Iran, and China, recognize the potential benefits of their cultures. In fact, many people, including Americans, would rather have a dictatorship than chaos.
This is evidenced by the fact that Recep Erdoğan has been in power in Turkey for two decades, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in the Egyptian election was followed by the nation’s military regaining control.
The U.S. often criticizes the lack of democracy in the Middle East, from Libya to Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, and Iraq, without realizing that this would mean government by Islamists, whose rule in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan is not seen as successful.
American officials also urge these countries to adopt progressive policies that the U.S. only recently adopted. Kaplan’s work provides a great deal of thought-provoking insight into a variety of geopolitical issues.
Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023