An Empire Wilderness: Travels into America's Future

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9780679776871: An Empire Wilderness: Travels into America's Future

"Full of surprises and unusual revelations . . . an informed and disturbing portrait of the new American badlands."--Chicago Tribune

"[Kaplan is] tireless, curious, and smart. . . . I cannot imagine anyone will concoct a more convincing scenario for the American future." --Thurston Clarke,   The New York Times

With the same prescience and eye for telling detail that distinguished his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, Robert Kaplan now explores his native country, the United States of America. His starting point: the conviction that America is a country not in decline but in transition, slowly but inexorably shedding its identity as a monolithic nation-state and assuming a radically new one.
        Everywhere Kaplan travels--from St. Louis, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, from the forty-ninth parallel to the banks of the Rio Grande--he finds an America ever more fragmented along lines of race, class, education, and geography. An America whose wealthy communities become wealthier and more fortress-like as they become more closely linked to the world's business capitals than to the desolate ghettoes next door. An America where the political boundaries between the states--and between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico--are becoming increasingly blurred, betokening a vast open zone for trade, commerce, and cultural interaction, the nexus of tomorrow's transnational world. Never nostalgic or falsely optimistic, bracingly unafraid of change and its consequences, Kaplan paints a startling portrait of post-Cold War America--a great nation entering the final, most uncertain phase of its history. Here is travel writing with the force of prophecy.

"Lively . . . Kaplan has a sharp eye for social truth, and his encounters with a chorus of eloquent citizens of the West keeps the narrative humming." --Outside

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Review:

Robert Kaplan has reported from locales as diverse and chaotic as shantytowns in the Ivory Coast, death camps in Cambodia, and the frontlines of the war-ravaged Balkans, but his most challenging assignment may have been covering his own country. In this ambitious and evocative study, Kaplan vividly chronicles his "travels into America's future," a journey that begins in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas--"the starting point for what would one day be called Manifest Destiny"--and continues across the West, where the population is growing faster than anywhere else in the country and multiple American identities reveal a nation in flux. He explores cities such as St. Louis and Omaha, Nebraska, that typify the increased urban fragmentation of the heartland; onward to Tucson, Arizona, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, where great wealth and poverty exist cheek by jowl; through the sprawl of multiethnic Southern California, where the landscape is perched somewhere between urban and suburban; and up through the Pacific Northwest into Canada. He also visits towns along the U.S.-Mexico border, dipping as far south as Mexico City, to investigate the conditions driving so many Mexicans north, despite feverish efforts by the U.S. to keep them out, and the new cultural hybrid being formed by this migration.

Kaplan uncovers a nation polarized along ethnic, economic, and political lines, where the uneven distribution of rapid technological advances allows some groups to surge forward, cultivating a radically different world-view than their poorer, less educated neighbors. Much of his report is bleak, but despite his insistence on documenting the worst, plenty of examples of prosperity and hope appear in these pages. What comes across most clearly is that there is still plenty of room for speculation on exactly how and where the new boundaries will be drawn. In this respect, America's future still carries the promise of the Wild West: equal parts opportunity, possibility, and uncertainty. --Shawn Carkonen

From the Back Cover:

What People Are Saying About Robert D. Kaplan:

"An Empire Wilderness contains a very large number of new insights, startling observations, and provocative suggestions. The term 'fresh look' has become somewhat of a cliché, but even those who disagree with some of the conclusions in this book will find that it fully deserves this characterization. No rehashing here of yesterday's editorials. A true original."--Amitai Etzioni

"President Clinton cannot stop talking about Robert D. Kaplan's cover story in The Atlantic Monthly, White House aides say. . . . Clinton was so impressed he ordered an interagency study of the issues. Clinton also devoured Kaplan's recent book Balkan Ghosts."--U.S. News & World Report

"The finest foreign correspondent of his generation turns his eye and ear to his own country. Kaplan's tour of the American West is a tour de force of journalism and a provocation to anyone wondering where America's future is coming from and where it is going."--H.W. Brands

"When you look at the long-run trends that are going on around the world--you read articles like Robert Kaplan's article in the Atlantic a couple of months ago--you could visualize a world in which a few million of us live in such opulence we could be starring on nighttime soaps. And the rest of us look like we're in one of those Mel Gibson Road Warrior movies. I was so gripped by many things that were in that article . . . and I keep trying to imagine what it's going to be like to bring children into this world in this country."--President Clinton

"A brilliant and insightful writer whose ability to see the world as it is, not as he'd like it to be, has made him one of the most prescient chroniclers of our time."--Wade Davis

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Vintage Departu.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Full of surprises and unusual revelations . . . an informed and disturbing portrait of the new American badlands. --Chicago Tribune [Kaplan is] tireless, curious, and smart. . . . I cannot imagine anyone will concoct a more convincing scenario for the American future. --Thurston Clarke, The New York Times With the same prescience and eye for telling detail that distinguished his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, Robert Kaplan now explores his native country, the United States of America. His starting point: the conviction that America is a country not in decline but in transition, slowly but inexorably shedding its identity as a monolithic nation-state and assuming a radically new one. Everywhere Kaplan travels--from St. Louis, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, from the forty-ninth parallel to the banks of the Rio Grande--he finds an America ever more fragmented along lines of race, class, education, and geography. An America whose wealthy communities become wealthier and more fortress-like as they become more closely linked to the world s business capitals than to the desolate ghettoes next door. An America where the political boundaries between the states--and between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico--are becoming increasingly blurred, betokening a vast open zone for trade, commerce, and cultural interaction, the nexus of tomorrow s transnational world. Never nostalgic or falsely optimistic, bracingly unafraid of change and its consequences, Kaplan paints a startling portrait of post-Cold War America--a great nation entering the final, most uncertain phase of its history. Here is travel writing with the force of prophecy. Lively . . . Kaplan has a sharp eye for social truth, and his encounters with a chorus of eloquent citizens of the West keeps the narrative humming. --Outside. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780679776871

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Vintage Departu.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Full of surprises and unusual revelations . . . an informed and disturbing portrait of the new American badlands. --Chicago Tribune [Kaplan is] tireless, curious, and smart. . . . I cannot imagine anyone will concoct a more convincing scenario for the American future. --Thurston Clarke, The New York Times With the same prescience and eye for telling detail that distinguished his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, Robert Kaplan now explores his native country, the United States of America. His starting point: the conviction that America is a country not in decline but in transition, slowly but inexorably shedding its identity as a monolithic nation-state and assuming a radically new one. Everywhere Kaplan travels--from St. Louis, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, from the forty-ninth parallel to the banks of the Rio Grande--he finds an America ever more fragmented along lines of race, class, education, and geography. An America whose wealthy communities become wealthier and more fortress-like as they become more closely linked to the world s business capitals than to the desolate ghettoes next door. An America where the political boundaries between the states--and between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico--are becoming increasingly blurred, betokening a vast open zone for trade, commerce, and cultural interaction, the nexus of tomorrow s transnational world. Never nostalgic or falsely optimistic, bracingly unafraid of change and its consequences, Kaplan paints a startling portrait of post-Cold War America--a great nation entering the final, most uncertain phase of its history. Here is travel writing with the force of prophecy. Lively . . . Kaplan has a sharp eye for social truth, and his encounters with a chorus of eloquent citizens of the West keeps the narrative humming. --Outside. Nº de ref. de la librería BZV9780679776871

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Vintage Departu.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Full of surprises and unusual revelations . . . an informed and disturbing portrait of the new American badlands. --Chicago Tribune [Kaplan is] tireless, curious, and smart. . . . I cannot imagine anyone will concoct a more convincing scenario for the American future. --Thurston Clarke, The New York Times With the same prescience and eye for telling detail that distinguished his bestselling Balkan Ghosts, Robert Kaplan now explores his native country, the United States of America. His starting point: the conviction that America is a country not in decline but in transition, slowly but inexorably shedding its identity as a monolithic nation-state and assuming a radically new one. Everywhere Kaplan travels--from St. Louis, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, from the forty-ninth parallel to the banks of the Rio Grande--he finds an America ever more fragmented along lines of race, class, education, and geography. An America whose wealthy communities become wealthier and more fortress-like as they become more closely linked to the world s business capitals than to the desolate ghettoes next door. An America where the political boundaries between the states--and between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico--are becoming increasingly blurred, betokening a vast open zone for trade, commerce, and cultural interaction, the nexus of tomorrow s transnational world. Never nostalgic or falsely optimistic, bracingly unafraid of change and its consequences, Kaplan paints a startling portrait of post-Cold War America--a great nation entering the final, most uncertain phase of its history. Here is travel writing with the force of prophecy. Lively . . . Kaplan has a sharp eye for social truth, and his encounters with a chorus of eloquent citizens of the West keeps the narrative humming. --Outside. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780679776871

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