Education About Asia

Teaching Robert D. Kaplan’s “Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific”

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When Robert D. Kaplan talks, people listen. Kaplan has authored over a dozen books on subjects ranging from the conflicts of the Middle East to the wars of the Balkan Peninsula, and his uncanny ability to assess international trends has catapulted him onto Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In his latest book, Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, he demonstrates that the Southeast Asian littoral may very well be the locus of the most important clashes of the twenty-first century. Kaplan’s talents as an author  complement his insightful analyses; his prose is lucid, informative, and accessible. The book is an excellent tool for exploring multiple classroom topics ranging from nationalism, geography, and diplomacy to military affairs, interstate competition, economic development, and authoritarianism. Most undergraduates, as well as high school students in honors or advanced placement courses, should have no problems understanding the narrative. The book is potentially useful for instructors in several academic disciplines, including history, international politics, and human geography.