The Eastern Question: A Geopolitical History in 108 Maps & Drawings

Ön Kapak
Townshend House Press, 2015 - 264 sayfa
THE EASTERN QUESTION is a clever, politically neutral, graphic exploration of geopolitics from the days of Alexander the Great and the Persians to today's headlines. In the 19th century, the term the 'Eastern Question' referred to the problem posed by the impending dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the fall of which in the second decade of the 20th engendered the modern 'muddle' of the Middle East in the 21st. In a larger sense the East has always been a question for the West, for the simple reason that's where the trouble comes from: Huns, Goths, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, Russians, Soviets--to now a less well-defined, 'non-linear,' and 'asymmetric' trouble. As the West declines relatively and the East rises, seemingly new questions are asked that are in fact old ones. The West's current issues with Ukraine, Crimea, ISIS, Israel, and Iran are present-day manifestations of geopolitical dynamics that have been active in the historical process from its beginning. In 108 elegant and whimsical maps and drawings, The Eastern Question looks at these dynamics through a geopolitical lens with a scope of three millennia. The drawings are historical political cartoons; the maps ground the reader in the geography of time and place. Painting with a broad brush, the author sketches in the story with short texts that explain the drawings as much as the drawings illustrate the texts. The Eastern Question portrays history as a drama with stock characters improvising their lines in a plot whose action has been determined by the dynamics of Desert & Sown, East & West, and Order & Fragmentation. The first half of the book is thematic, exploring these three dynamics. The second half focuses on one of the six characters, the Ottoman Empire -- of which the modern countries of the Middle East are mere fragments -- its rise, decline, and fall, which opened the Eastern Question--and the concurrent rise of the West to world domination, now being challenged by the rise of the East. With vast perspective and extensive view The Eastern Question seamlessly connects today's events to these unchanging geopolitical dynamics.

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