Things Fall Apart, Review of Robert Kaplan's The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st CenturyIssue: Fall 1996
Review of Robert Kaplan's The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century (New York: Random House, 1996).
Intrepid traveler as he is, Robert D. Kaplan wrote his latest book, The Ends of the Earth, to report on an "unsentimental journey" through parts of West Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. His plan was to "see the present in terms of the future", thus folding "international studies into a travelogue." Ominous forebodings of nasty things to come haunted him throughout his trip, but he also came to recognize "that all my 'answers' might eventually be proven wrong." Perhaps so, but along the way he has interesting things to say about what it is like to travel by public conveyances and rub shoulders with ordinary, common people in some of the earth's poorest and most stressful human environments.