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A bracing assessement of U.S. foreign policy and world disorder over the past two decades, anchored by a major new Pentagon-commissioned essay about changing power dynamics among China, Eurasia, and America - from the renowned geopolitical analyst and bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and The Coming Anarchy.

In the late thirteenth century, Marco Polo began a decades-long trek from Venice to China. The strength of that Silk Road - the trade route between Europe and Asia - formed the foundation of Kublai Khan's sprawling empire. Now, in the early twenty-first century, it is no coincidence that the Chinese regime has proposed a land-and-maritime Silk Road that duplicates exactly the route Marco Polo traveled.

In the major lead essay, recently released by the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, Robert D. Kaplan lays out a blueprint of the world's changing power politics: As Europe fractures from changes in culture and migration, Eurasia coheres into a single conflict system. China is constructing a land bridge to Europe. Iran and India are trying to link the oil fields of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. America's ability to influence the power balance in Eurasia is declining.

This is the first collection of essays since Kaplan's classic The Coming Anarchy was published in 2000. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic, and encounters with America's preeminent realist thinkers, Kaplan makes a powerful case for what timeless principles should shape America's role in a turbulent world: a respect for the limits of Western-style democracy; a delineation between American interests and American values; an awareness of the psychological toll of warfare; a projection of power via a strong navy; and more.

From Kaplan's immediate thoughts on President Trump's foreign policy (2016's "Donald Trump Is No Realist") to a frank examination of what will happen in the event of war with North Korea (2006's "When North Korea Falls") , The Return of Marco Polo's World is a vigorous and honest reckoning with the difficult choices the United States will face in the years ahead.

Advance praise for The Return of Marco Polo's World

"These essays constitute a truly pathbreaking, brilliant synthesis and analysis of geographic, political, technological, and economic trends with far-reaching consequences. The Return of Marco Polo's World is another work by Robert D. Kaplan that will be regarded as a classic." - General David Petraeus (U.S. Army, Ret.)

"When it comes to geopolitics and the analysis of world affairs, Robert D. Kaplan is the best in the business. These essays are not only astonishing in their breadth, depth, and range but beautifully crafted and accessible." - John Bew, professor, the Department of War Studies, King's College London, and author of Realpolitik: A History and Castlereagh: A Life



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