Na wschód do Tatarii. Podróże po Bałkanach, Bliskim Wschodzie i Kaukazie.
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Na wschód do Tatarii. Podróże po Bałkanach, Bliskim Wschodzie i Kaukazie.

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  722 ratings  ·  53 reviews
"Czy walka z chaosem i absolutyzmem na Bliskim Wschodzie leży w naszym interesie? Na Bałkanach – owszem, ponieważ sąsiadują z Europą Środkową i stanowią naturalny kierunek w poszerzaniu zachodniej strefy wpływów i dobrobytu. Gdzie indziej nasze zaangażowanie zależy od tego, czy istnieje stan wyższej konieczności.
Demokracja może bujnie rozkwitnąć w Europie Środkowej, w połu...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 20th 2010 by Wydawnictwo Czarne (first published 2000)
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Back in the late 70's and early 80's, I used to read newspaper articles by this same author, when he was an Athens-based young freelancer frequently published in the Toronto Globe and Mail, which I read religiously. Covering the Middle East, Near East and the Balkans, he seemed to me to be the best reporter covering the area at the time. Judging by this book (published about 20 years later), he just kept getting better and better. He's multi-lingual, knows the history of the areas he covers, and...more
The title is something of a misnomer as only the final section of the book travels 'eastward to Tartary'. Kaplan first revisits the Balkans, reflecting on his earlier visits described in 'Balkan Ghosts' then crosses into Turkey and onwards into Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Kaplan served in the Israeli Army - a fact I was unaware of previously but which gave an interesting perspective to his views - then returns to Turkey and crosses over into Georgia, travelling on into Azerbaij...more
All the time I have lived in and contemplated Romania and the Balkans, I have assumed that they were a periphery to Western Europe. This book made me realize this is misguided. Historically, the Balkans and Romania are peripheral to constantinople and then Istambul. (With exception of 200 or so years under Roman rule from Rome) This came as such a revelation to me. Bucharest is only 400 or so Kilometers from Istanbul, whereas it is thousands from Paris.

If history is any guide, the Balkans natur...more
Crossposted to 238 books in 238 days.

Apparently, the first part of this book is like a sequel to Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History. I'd just like to mention that I haven't read that, and didn't know anything about its significance until I read about it in other reviews, and therefore I can't offer an opinion on that.

As for "Eastward to Tartary" - despite the curiously outdated title, this book seems to be incredibly current for its time. It is interesting to read this 1...more
Starting his book with a quote from Isaiah Berlin (“To know the worst is not always to be liberated from its consequences; nevertheless it is preferable to ignorance.” from “The Originality of Machiavelli”), Eastward to Tartary is Kaplan’s superb follow-up to his Balkan Ghosts. The book provides information on the post-1989 development of Balkan states (Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria), Turkey & Greater Syria (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, & Israel), and the Caucus & Tartary (Georgia, Azerb...more
"'The Prussian work ethic was not entrepreneurial, but fitted to bureaucracy and mass industrialization. It functioned only if someone else supplied the jobs and told people what to do. In a postindustrial entrepreneurial age ... don't expect the formerly Prussian parts of Germany to be economically impressive. Budapest and the rest of Hungary are closer to Catholic Munich than to Prussian-Protestant Berlin, and in a new Europe of region-states, the region oriented toward Munich may be stronger....more
Janez Hočevar
A great combination of travel literarture, history and political observations!!!
Alice Handley
It's just fun to say "Tartary."
David P
Robert Kaplan travels to areas which tourists rarely see. His "Ends of the Earth" starts in Sierra Leone and ends in Cambodia, his "Balkan Ghosts" surveys the fragments of Yugoslavia and their neighbors, and "East to Tartary" wends its way through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey to Syria, Jordan and Israel, then continues to the fragmented nations of the Caucasus and ends in the deserts of Turkmenistan east of the Caspian Sea, part of what Victorian Britain knew as "Tartary."

After one crosses the...more
Patrick McCoy
Kaplan’s Eastward to Tartary is another standout book by Kaplan. Anyway, Eastward to Tartary was another engrossing book with Kaplan’s usual well-informed observations and opinions. He always does a lot of research about the countries and regions he visits and seeks out expert opinions from specialists of/in those countries as well as infusing his own astute observations along the way, leading to well-informed political analysis of the regions and states. I guess you could characterize his books...more
Apr 11, 2013 Diane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Peggy
This was a very difficult book to read (for me) but I was captivated even while feeling overwhelmed. I was surprised when the book began in Romania – what happened to Tartary? Then I realized that the book is really about the trip from Europe starting on the edge in Romanian to Tartary in Turkmenistan. Kaplan compares many aspects of what we would call eastern Europe, the near east and Tartary – pretty much saying that the divisions are arbitrary and meaningless today. He discusses such issues a...more
Fern Richardson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There are a lot of history books written about history from 35,000 feet, but there aren't many written about history from the ground level, like Eastward to Tartary. To understand large historical movements, one has to understand the components that comprise them. In 1998 Kaplan travels by train, bus, and boat, from Budapest through Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Armenia. He talks with scholars, local political figures, and regul...more
Though it took me the better part of 5 months to read this book - I went in bursts, reading 50 or 60 page sections, then put it down for a month or more - I found this book profound and frightening. Kaplan has a gift for observation and a way of describing details with such nuance that it is hard not to imagine yourself with him on his journeys across the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, and near Central Asia as he explores nascent democracies and reveals their fragile and breakable infrastruct...more
Dec 23, 2007 Luxagraf rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone

Fantastic portrait of the Balkans and beyond. Kaplan more or less does the exact route I've been wanting to do -- from eastern Europe through Turkey, Syria and several 'stans. He doesn't go all the way across Mongolia and China and Russia, but for at least the beginning, his trip mirrors my planned trip.

Of course, Kaplan's a well-respected journalist and has all sort of contacts and connections that I lack, but that's part of what makes this a great read, it's not just a travel narrative, but an

I really enjoy Robert Kaplan's books. I came across this one in the library and since it was on my wish list of books to read it made it all the better. In this book Mr. Kaplan travels from Hungary through the Balkan countries, through Turkey and into the Middle East. From Israel he doubles back to Turkey and then continues on to the Caucus countries of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. I am ashamed to say that I really knew nothing about the history and culture about these regions of the wo...more
Kaplan lived in the Balkans for years as a correspondent. HEre he travel in the late 1990s from Hungary (the edge of the West?) through Romania, Bulgaria, into Turkey, down into Syria, Lebonon and Israel before heading up to the Caucasus and crossing the Caspian Sea to visit Turkmenistan (tartary). Along the way he thoughtfully narrates about the history and philosophy of these places, including the impact of having been ruled by Eastern Orthodoxy, the turks, moslems and communists. The result i...more
Kaplan has studied the history and weaves it through the immediacy of the travels he is experiencing. He moves about on foot and with public transportation not buffered from the common problems. He offers incites into the nations he visits. He sees Turkey as once more emerging as a powerful nation in the region. From there he travels north and east through the many Stans relating details of the daily impacts of life in these political regimes and the legacy Russia has left. Kaplan always looks t...more
Jacob Parry
also dated, heavy-footed at times, but anecdotes are wistful/once you're on the journey you don't stop
I have similar feelings about Eastward to Tartary and Balkan Ghosts: they're good, if a bit schizophrenic. It's as if he couldn't quite decide which aspect of each the region to focus on. A a result, each country has small, far-from-comprehensive portions of its history, politics, ethnography, and economics described. Unfortunately, there is barely enough room in this book to describe one country in this manner, let alone a dozen. Essentially, you should read this book as a primer; a base from w...more
Brian Angle
Fascinating look at the history (ancient and current) and politics of countries from Romania to Turkmenistan to Israel and all the countries in between. A bit dated since it was written in 2000.
In Eastward to Tartary, Robert Kaplan picks up where he left off at the end of his now famous post-communist missive, Balkan Ghosts. Launching from Hungary, Kaplan winds his way across Romania and Bulgaria and on into Turkey, from where he first turns south into the heart of the Middle East, and later east along the Silk Road all the way to Turkmenistan. Along the way he weaves together history and current events in a pattern that makes sense to the western eye and ear.

Read more on http://bulsta...more
I love this author's writing/journalistic style. He travels via bus and train for most of the book (from Eastern Europe, through the Middle East and into the Caucasus region) in order to talk to locals about their impressions of how politics/current events in their country is affecting them. But he also has the contacts to then interview ministers of state, etc. He's very thorough in describing the history, politics and culture of a country, and his descriptions of places are very vivid and deta...more
Christopher Roth
Couldn't praise this book highly enough. What a great thing Kaplan has done to travel as he has done and record his impressions and insights. I'm now alarmed that I haven't read his "Balkan Ghosts," which is now going on my list.
I've been working on this for years. It's very interesting, with lots of history, and I appreciate the imagery of his travels through these areas that we don't often hear about. Unfortunately it feels somewhat selective it its telling, and his 1990s-era Washington-Consensus lens gets annoying - probably why I've never been able to finish it. Like Tom Friedman, his analysis is easy-to-digest but only skin deep.
I always love a politically oriented travel book. This was kinda the right time to read this. I finished my tour in Turkey now I'm heading off to Jerusalem. This book covers both. The author is primarily concerned about geography and power and is skeptical of liberalism whether welfare or market. That's fare, but at times I wish he would step outside and view that world from a more micro and macro perspective.
I read this book while traveling around in Israel and the West Bank and it really got me in the mood to not only travel but to also understand the country I was visiting. This is a travel book that does not so much focuses of the author's experience but rather the history of the places he visits and how it has shaped their political situation.
Travel writing as it should be, with a deep historical focus to his insights into the possibilities of 3 key regions: the Balkans, the Levant, and the Caucuses. Though he predicts a slightly rougher century than has taken place so far, his predictions about the Levant may still come true.
Kaplan can't write a bad travel book. Here he starts in Hungary and ends up in Turkmenistan. The roughest places are the most interesting, I liked pieces on Romania, Syria and Georgia the best. Kaplan expresses deep frustration and sadness with how common authoritarianism is in these countries.
Robert Kaplan travels from Budapest to Yerevan, offering political insights on Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Turkestan and Armenia—to name a few. One doesn't often hear about economic conditions in, say, Baku, so it was really fascinating reading from start to finish.
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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

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