Geography Gets Its Revenge

Sep 14, 2012

Does geography matter anymore? It seems more and more Americans have trouble finding other countries on the map, but why would you need to? Your cellphone can tell you.

Robert Kaplan says knowing the map can actually tell you quite a bit about how we got here politically, socially and culturally, and where we might be headed.

"Where a country is, is more important than the system by which it's governed often," said Kaplan. 

He has a new book called The Revenge of Geography. He discussed the tumultuous geographic nature of the Middle East with its many man-made borders. Kaplan argues that Iran is such a strong state in part because of the Iranian plateau.

The conversation also moved a little closer to home. Kaplan analyzed Connecticut's location as a place where the "global elite wants to own homes." Hartford in particular, can still develop into a global city "under the right leadership," although probably not a global city like New York City or Boston.