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As a native of Southern California who generally despises the cold, I still claim Antarctica as one of my favorite spots on the planet. There are so many things I love about this continent—its sheer immensity, its towering icebergs and mountains, its moonlike, otherworldly desolation—but perhaps the most wonderful thing about Antarctica is the silence. ... more
Robert Kaplan usually looks outward from the United States. Ever since President Bill Clinton was spotted with a copy of Balkan Ghosts under his arm (and it was devoured by the entire White House staff) Kaplan’s career has skewed towards precarious situations abroad. Now, in his latest book Earning the Rockies, the foreign policy expert rediscovers America on a cross-country drive all the way from Massachusetts to San Diego.... more
The long arm of Baja, fastened on Southern California, seems quiet, beautiful and remote. To the west is the Pacific and nestled in the peninsula’s flank is the Sea of Cortez, what Jacques Cousteau called “the aquarium of the world.” Last summer I trailed Cousteau to the Belize Barrier Reef. This time I’ll cross his path in the Gulf of California after a desert road trip between both sides of the peninsula.... more