Robert D. Kaplan & Vladimir Putin's CharacterFriday, March 23, 2018
I read the NY Times Bret Stephen’s review of Robert D. Kaplan’s The Return of Marco Polo’s World – War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century with lots of interest.
My first knowledge of this unusually brilliant man began in 1994 when I purloined his Balkan Ghosts from some foreign hotel’s book shelf.
Then in 1998 under the tutelage of the Georgia Straight’s editor Charles Campbell I was given the plum assignment to photograph and interview Kaplan. I was to write a review of his An Empire Wilderness.
Kaplan by then had this theory on how geography affects the decisions nations make.
Interviewing Kaplan was a piece of cake (sort of) as I had gone to Lima in 1990 to interview Mario Vargas Llosa for Books in Canada.
As you can see I am not all that stupid a photographer. Some of us can write a splendid declarative sentence in a pinch.
The Bret Stephens review has one very splendid quote by Kaplan:
“A student of Shakespeare would have grasped Vladimir Putin’s character long before an international relations wonk.”
And there is this:
“The very idea that some sermon or blog or tweet has gone viral is a sad reflection on the state of individualism in the 21st century. The electronic swarm is a negation of loneliness that prepares the way for the new ideology of totalitarianism.”