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Author of Balkan Ghosts, Robert D. Kaplan now travels from West Africa to Southeast Asia to report on a world of disintegrating nation-states, warring nationalities, metastasizing populations, and dwindling resources. He emerges with a gritty tour de force of travel writing and political journalism. Whether he is walking through a shantytown in the Ivory Coast or a death camp in Cambodia, talking with refugees, border guards, or Iranian revolutionaries, Kaplan travels under the most arduous conditions and purveys the most startling truths. Intimate and intrepid, erudite and visceral, The Ends of the Earth is an unflinching look at the places and peoples that will make tomorrow's headlines--and the history of the next millennium.
"Kaplan is an American master of...travel writing from hell...Pertinent and compelling."
--The New York Times Book Review
"An impressive work. Most travel books seem trivial beside it."
--The Washington Post Book World
I. West Africa: Back to the Dawn?
1. An Unsentimental Journey
2. Sierra Leone: From Graham Green to Thomas Malthus?
3. Along the Gulf of Guinea
II. The Nile Valley: The Hollow Pyramid
4. "Oriental Despotism"
5. Islamic Coketown
6. Voices of the "Tormented City"
III. Anatolia and the Caucasus: The Earth's Strategic Core?
7. "The Still Point of the Turning World"
8. Mother Lode
9. By Caspian Shores
IV. The Iranian Plateau: The Earth's Soft Centre
10. A Country of Flowers and Nightingales
11. The Revolution of "the Hand"
12. Bazaar States
13. Qom's Last Tremors
14. The Heart of Persia
15. The Tower of Qabus
V. Central Asia: Geographical Destinies
16. Russian Outpost
17. Pre-Byzantine Turks and Civilization Clashes
18. Clean Toilet and the Legacy of Empires
19. China: "Super-Chaos" and "Physical-Social" Theory
20. Strategic Hippie Routes
21. The Roof of the World
22. The Last Map
VI. The Indian Subcontinent and Indochina: The Way of the Future?
23. Journey in a Plague Year
24. Rishi Valley and Human Ingenuity
25. Bangkok: Environmental and Sexual Limits
26. Laos, or Greater Siam?
27. Cambodia: Back to Sierra Leone?
28. Jungle Temples and the "Milk of Chaos"
29. One Death at the Edge of the Earth