The Coming Anarchy the Coming Anarchy the Coming Anarchy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Coming Anarchy the Coming Anarchy the Coming Anarchy

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  540 ratings  ·  33 reviews
From the bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts and The Ends of the Earth comes a fascinating new book on the imminent global chaos that is as brilliant as it is necessary, asoriginal as it is controversial.
The end of the Cold War has not ushered in the global peace and prosperity that many had anticipated. Environmental degradation is causing the rampant spread of famineand...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published August 13th 2002 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 980)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kaplan is a fearless author and thinker. He explores and explodes the modern emphasis on peace and transnational government as a rational view to the reality of the current state of international affairs. Though published in 2000 this book is still relevant and insightful. Kaplan is a journalist with a strengthen in foreign and security issues. He is a realist of the first degree, starting the book with a quote from Hobbes, and writing a fantastic essay - "Kissinger, Metternich, and Realism". He...more
Oct 14, 2008 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults and late adolescents interested in grand strategy and history
Excellent and disturbing - it makes me want to sit down with the author and debate some of his points over dinner or something.
The book was published in 2000, so its age is showing to a degree. A lot of what Kaplan predicted has come true, although he missed some calls, and some is still to be determined.
Whether a particular reader agrees or argues with Kaplan will depend greatly on how much common ground there is in their assumptions - for example, Kaplan argues strongly at some points that for...more
Samrat Sen
Stunning book! Chilling actually, the way patterns have been discerned and applied in context. It's thought provoking, direct, andf gives the big picture which today's society almost always neglects.

Some of the observations/predictions made out in the book:

"The more appliances that middle class existence requires, the more influence their producers have over the texture of our lives. The computer in some way enhances power of individual, but it also depletes our individuality. A degree of space...more
in the two thousandth year of the prophet yesus, the followers of mohammed sent a teamth to the far land of amerigo and commanded them, 'seize the chariots of amerigo and strike them againsth their temples and towers that we may hear their lamentations and rejoice in their suffering.' the mujahideen heareth these orders and did as they were instructith. and the people of amerigo were filled with wrath, for they had not receiveth the declaration of war. the king of the people of amerigo, george p...more
Mar 20, 2008 Ziggidyone rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anarchists, back to the landers, anyone who is tired of being dulled by television sports events
Recommended to Ziggidyone by: Wilson
This book is quite incredible. Kaplan takes the studies of past social evolution through the eyes of philosophers and social theorists to distill a view of a post-democratic western world.

His treatment of the unraveling of Africa through famine, drought, disease and America's foisting of Election politics upon tribal cultures-tempered with the continual isolation of Eastern Europe and Asia from the west-sets a chilling stage for a future in which America is increasingly at odds with not only th...more
Jan 08, 2008 L.J. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: International affairs, political science
This is based on his now famous article from the 90s featured in a news magazine (I think it was Time), but the expanded text and extras are all good reading for anyone interested in development theory and basic political theory strategists. Hungington's theory is heavily invoked here with the culture conflict argument and Kaplan is always good at making the reader realize that his experience with developing world politics is enigmatic at best. Who has all the answers for political turmoil? Not...more
Nate Cooley
This book starts off great by expounding upon previously published ideas of Mr. Kaplan found in his articles within The Atlantic Monthly. He talks about a coming anarchy due to the decreasing relevance of international borders (which may be read the disintegration of the state). Refugee flows, environmental degradation, and ehnic cleavages are all factors that contribute to the disintegration of the current system. Kaplan expounds upon these notions and offers other examples and scenarios worth...more
Martin Streetman
This is another book that has an OLD bookmark in it, 2nd January 2006; it was though a quick read. Scary but fast. As most of you know I like quotes, this book however has way too many. It mentions several books that I know of just have never read like Gibbon's Decline and Fall and Conrad's Nostromo that I would like to look into further. This book is close to 10 years old but seems very relevant to us today. I'm going to head over to the library now and see if they have any of his other books.

This book was absolutely riveting. I couldn't put it down. It is beautifully rational and shows little concern for political correctness or catering to the needs of either the left, with their naive and arrogant belief that all people are the same, regardless of history, culture, language, and so on, and the arrogance of the right with their idea of Manifest Destiny. Kaplan shows an unflinching willingness to criticize the American naivete and hubris that blindly worships the idea of democracy a...more
One of the best books I've read this year. Kaplan offers up a realistic/pessimistic view of world politics, etc. in a post Cold War world. What is eerie and fascinating about the book is that it was published in 2000. Reading it now through the lens of 9/11, some of his observations and analyses are incredibly on target with respect to how he saw the state of the world and America's place in it in the early 21st century. For example, less 'formal' wars and more insurgencies and threats to the U....more
I wanted to rate it 2 stars, but I have a weird relationship with the book.

I read it to contrast much of "The World Is Flat" by Friedman, and it does in fact contrast it.

My problem with this series of articles is that I don't think I actually understand many of the main points and a lot of the references that Kaplan writes about. Which is my own fault. However, I feel that his ideas are often overwritten and laden with references rather than ideas.

It's a frightening view, overall.

I don't know w...more
Aaron Crossen
A collection of Kaplan's essays from his reportage and reading. The first chapter – an expanded essay from which the book takes its title – is Kaplan at his best, blending personal experience and historical anecdote to argue that the destablizing forces of environmental degredation, political ineptitude and cultural mores are driving societies further and further into poverty anc chaos and tearing 'official' boundries apart. The rest of the book is mostly weighty, occasionally irrelevant posturi...more
I think the only reason I gave this book 3 stars was because I am a fan of this author. I have read many other books by Mr. Kaplan and have really enjoyed them.... that is until I got to this one. Unlike his others which focus more on a travel/historical aspect of countries, this one is a collection of articles focusing more on the political philosophy of the world after the Cold War that were in the Atlantic Magazine over a couple of years Not exactly the type of thing I would want to cuddle in...more
Democracies do not always make societies more civil — but they do always mercilessly expose the health of the societies in which they operate. - from Coming Anarchy

Relevant and foreboding even while we act out some of it's prophecies... against a lot I stand for but still happy to take some value out of it.
Mica Meintel-Wade
Kaplan gives a thoughtful look at modern foreign policy and the tremendously complicated issues that policy makers today face. His outlook on human nature and the global viability of democracy, while pessimistic, is also refreshingly insightful. The only problem that I had with the book was that each chapter (which was also an article Kaplan had published in a journal) could have been fully developed into its own book instead of spanning only 15 pages.
Oct 08, 2007 Adrienne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of political science
This book presents some cold hard reality to those who (achem George Bush) who think that democracy will cure all. Kaplan asks whether there might be more nuance to it than that. Even though the essays in this book (dated in the mid to late 90s) are a bit dated, his objections remain food for thought. Kaplan's lean writing is very respectful to his readers. He doesn't burden you down with a lot of worthless text.
Jun 04, 2007 Ryan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to or needs to be internationally knowledgable.
The realists dream book. Depressing but necessary analysis of some global issues. The only downside was the lack of any potential "solutions" and a failure to really tie everything together... but then that really wasnt Kaplan's goal. It seemed to have been meant to be more of a wake up call on what's wrong than a solution manual on how to fix things.

Just reread this book. I had forgotten just how good it was.
Rally Soong
Disturbingly accurate about our changing world- not everything he says have panned out and his irritating habit of romanticizing certain aspects of history grates on me , but I can relate to what he says and his view of democracy in the developing world. A must read for those interested in foreign policy- this book packs more insight than 10 books 20 times the weight!
A collection of essays about the modern world and the problems with globalization. Well written, and some interesting information, but If I were not reading it for a class, I probably wouldn't get past the first's a good read if you like to get depressed about the world, and I already read the news.
Robert Kaplan is an utter fraud as an intellectual and has been exposed by numerous anthropologists for his complete lack of understanding of the world and his shoddy research methodology. He is also a terrible writer, and the darling of the fascist right. Need I say more? Know the enemy...
Real quick read of a dated though interesting analysis of what is to come in the 'post cold-war' environment. Pre-9/11 and a fair amount of fearful language (mainly centered around Africa and problems he foresees there) about incidents that didn't come to pass. Still worth reading.
It's a rich book and a must for any one who's studying political sciences or international relations. the good thing is that he says events as they are and he introduce his opinion in a critical way which widen your brain and stimulate you to be critical as well.
worth reading book.
Superfluous Man
The book is an essential read—and given all that has happened since its publication in 2002, it is surely overdue for an update by the prolific Mr. Kaplan. My full review is available here.
Rosa Poveda Valiente
Extremely interesting. An analysis of the world today.
This is not an optimistic book. Although it was written almost a decade ago, one has to wonder which comes first: the current global economic situation or the anarchy which he so brilliantly describes. What ever you choose, tough times lie ahead.
Great writing, great intellect--just can't give the last star because I find myself disagreeing with his extremely cynical views. Sorry I can't be more impartial. Doesn't stop it from being a brilliant read, though.
Mike Moskos
Written over 10 years ago, this book turned out to be quite prescient.

I reserve 5 stars for those few books that provide a great understanding of the world or a specific topic. This is one of those books.
Bronwyn Myers
A tough yet clear look at the revered Robert Kaplan's sometimes quite argumentative and shocking views about Democracy in 3rd world nation-states. Short, to the point, excellent read.
This is a collection of articles through which runs a single main thread: the inevitability of war. Read it so you are not totally taken by surprise if things do fall apart.
Roberto Macias
Un libro que en 1999 resulto profético de las guerras de principios de la decada del 2000.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (Studies in North American Indian History)
  • The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity
  • Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game & the Race for Empire in Central Asia
  • World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability
  • The Pentagon's New Map
  • The Twenty Years' Crisis, 1919-1939
  • The Transformation Of War
  • Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia
  • The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
  • The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War
  • America, Russia and the Cold War 1945-2006
  • Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire
  • Brigham Young: American Moses
  • Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict
  • The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House
  • Theory of International Politics
  • The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today
  • America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy
Robert David Kaplan is an American journalist, currently a National Correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. His writings have also been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs and The Wall Street Journal, among other newspapers and publications, and his more controversial essays about the nature of U.S. power have spurred debate...more
More about Robert D. Kaplan...
Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History The Ends of the Earth: A Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

Share This Book