I was somewhat wary of Robert D. Kaplan's book, Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific (2014), since he has a habit of seeing the sky falling. However, I found the book informative, engaging, and interesting in the future scenarios that he has considered and analyzed in the South China Sea. He looks at Indian influenced ruins in Vietnam to contemplate the connectivity of Asian in the "Prologue: Ruins of Champa." "Chapter I: The Humanist Dilemma" looks at the seascape issue at hand in the near future and compares it to the old European model-which was land based. "Chapter II: China's Caribbean" draws a parallel of the South China Sea with that of the Greater Caribbean and its economic importance in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. "Chapter III: The Fate of Vietnam" addresses Vietnam's history and role in the South China Sea. In "Chapter IV: Concert of Civilizations?", Kaplan analyzes Malaysian society and finds much to admire about the Muslim society that had become similar to their Christian cohorts in terms of conspicuous consumption and the benevolent dictatorship of Mahthir bin Mohamad-the man largely responsible for the modern transformation of the country. If Kaplan begrudgingly extols the virtues of Mohamad, he is truly ga ga over Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew in "Chapter V: The Good Autocrat." Singapore is truly an amazing case study, and I find it interesting that the "autocrat/stick" version of his ruling came from his experiences under Japanese rule in WWII. They showed him that you need to use the stick in order to keep society in line. One of the most problematic countries (strategically and economically) in the region is the Philippines, and Kaplan gives that country a close look in "Chapter VI: America's Colonial Burden." Taiwan is discussed as "Asia's Berlin" in Chapter VII. In this chapter Kaplan reveals his admiration and re-evaluation of Chiang Kai-shek's legacy and influence in the region. "Chapter VIII: The State of Nature" is Kaplan summing up the conflicts in the region regards land/sea rights: the Pratas in the north, the Paracels in the northwest, and the Spratlys in the southeast. The "Epilogue: The Slums of Borneo" sums up Kaplan's concerns by looking at that community as opposed to the Vietnamese one he opened the book with. And he mainly states that he has ended up with more questions than answers about the region and what the future holds in store there.