Author Robert Kaplan To Lecture March 23
Kaplan, a UConn alumnus, is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and the author of 10 best-selling books on international affairs and travel.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has named him one of four “most widely read” authors defining the post-Cold War period (along with Francis Fukuyama, Harvard professor Samuel Huntington, and Yale professor Paul Kennedy).
Many of Kaplan’s books have received critical acclaim. Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos (2002), about how ancient philosophy can improve critical thinking in business and foreign affairs in an age of terrorism, was named a New York Times “notable book of the year.”
In the 1980’s, Kaplan was the first American writer to warn in print about a future war in the Balkans. His book Balkan Ghosts (1993) was chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the “best books” of 1993, and by Amazon.com as one of the best travel books of all time.
The Arabists; The Ends of the Earth (1993); An Empire Wilderness (1998); and Eastward to Tartary (2000) were all chosen by The New York Times as “notable” books of the year. In addition, An Empire Wilderness was chosen by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times as one of the best books of 1998.
His latest work, Mediterranean Winter: The Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece, was released in February 2004.
His article, “The Coming Anarchy,” which described how population increases, urbanization, and resource depletion are undermining governments, was hotly debated in foreign-language translations around the world. His December 1997 Atlantic cover story, “Was Democracy Just A Moment?” was also widely read and controversial. According to U.S. News & World Report, “President Clinton was so impressed with Kaplan, he ordered an interagency study of these issues and it agreed with Kaplan’s conclusions.”
As a journalist, Kaplan has reported from nearly 80 countries. Two earlier books, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan (1990), and Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea (1988), have recently been re-issued.
He received the 2001 Greenway-Winship Award for Excellence in International Reporting, and in 2002 was awarded the State Department’s Distinguished Public Service Award for outstanding contributions to international affairs.
Kaplan graduated from UConn in 1973 with a degree in English. He is the recipient of the Alumni Association’s 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Gerson lecture is hosted by the political science department.