By Robert D. Kaplan
As a boy, Robert D. Kaplan listened to his truck-driver father inform evocative tales approximately touring throughout the US in his adolescence, travels during which he discovered to appreciate the rustic actually from the floor up. there has been a particular word from Kaplan’s adolescence that captured this attitude: A westward traveller needs to “earn the Rockies” by way of driving—not flying—across the flat Midwest and nice Plains.
In Earning the Rockies, Kaplan undertakes his personal cross-country trip to recapture an appreciation of yank geography usually misplaced within the jet age. touring west, within the comparable path because the pioneers, Kaplan traverses a wealthy and sundry panorama that is still the first resource of yank strength. alongside the best way, he witnesses either prosperity and decline—increasingly cosmopolitan towns that thrive on globalization, impoverished cities denuded through the lack of manufacturing—and paints a bracingly transparent photograph of the US today.
The historical past of westward enlargement is tested the following in a brand new light—as a narrative not only of genocide and individualism, but additionally of communalism and a admire for the bounds of a water-starved terrain, a frontier adventure that bent our nationwide personality towards pragmatism. Kaplan exhibits how the nice midcentury works of geography and geopolitics via Bernard DeVoto, Walter Prescott Webb, and Wallace Stegner are extra proper this present day than ever earlier than. Concluding his trip at Naval Base San Diego, Kaplan appears to be like out around the Pacific Ocean to the following frontier: China, India, and the rising international locations of Asia. And within the ultimate bankruptcy, he offers a gripping description of an anarchic global and explains why America’s overseas coverage reaction needs to be rooted in its personal geographical situation.
during this brief, excessive meditation at the American panorama, Robert D. Kaplan reminds us of an missed resource of yank energy: the truth that we're a state, empire, and continent without notice. Earning the Rockies is an pressing reminder of the way a nation’s geography nonetheless foreshadows its destiny, and the way we needs to reexamine our personal panorama which will confront the demanding situations that lie ahead of us.
Praise for Earning the Rockies
“There is extra perception the following into the Age of Trump than in bushels of political-horse-race journalism. . . . Earning the Rockies is a tonic, since it brings basics again into view.”—The manhattan instances booklet overview (Editors’ Choice)
“A sui generis author . . . America’s East Coast institution has just one Robert Kaplan, a person as fluently acquainted with the Balkans, Iraq, significant Asia and West Africa as he's approximately Ohio and Wyoming.”—Financial Times
“Kaplan has pursued tales in locations as distant as Yemen and Outer Mongolia. In Earning the Rockies, he visits a spot nearly as distant to many americans: those usa. . . . The author’s aspect is an efficient one: the United States is shaped, partly, via a geographic environment that's either sanctuary and watchtower.”—The Wall road Journal
“A brilliant reminder of the effect of America’s geography on its method. . . . Kaplan’s newest contribution may be required reading.”—Henry A. Kissinger
“Unflinchingly sincere, this fresh strategy exhibits how rules from outdoors Washington, D.C., will stability America’s idealism and pragmatism in facing a replaced world.”—Secretary of security James Mattis
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Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World by Robert D. Kaplan