I think Balkan Ghosts was a better book. This one is written like a travelogue with intermittent secular, micro sermons for the U.S. State Department. I enjoyed learning about the politics and geography of the area. His writing is exquisite. On the down side, I question his vision of the future for the Indian Ocean region. I've lived long enough to be skeptical of futurists. I've seen history humiliate a bunch of them. Mr. Kaplan may join the crowd.