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Mediterranean Winter By Robert D Kaplan Book Review

Introduction and background:

Mediterranean Winter Book Review: In “Mediterranean Winter,” acclaimed author Robert D. Kaplan invites readers on an enthralling expedition across the diverse and historically rich landscape of the Mediterranean. Kaplan creates a blend of travelogue, history, and personal reflection in this miniature of a book. The book was written in 2004, however, it recalls the author’s adventures and travels through the off-season Mediterranean which he took in his youth during the 1970s, the golden and personal age of tourism. This is a Mediterranean Winter book review.

Mediterranean Winter book review: What to look for?

The book’s title, “Mediterranean Winter,” might lead one to anticipate a narrative set against a gloomy background. However, Kaplan’s approach surprises, as he masterfully navigates the reader through the Mediterranean’s timeless glamour and its cultural mosaic.

Kaplan’s lyrical writing transports the reader to the sun-soaked shore, bustling marketplaces, and intimate cafes of the Mediterranean towns. From the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik to the bustling bazaars of Istanbul, Kaplan’s words paint a vivid picture of the region’s beauty.

The heart of “Mediterranean Winter” lies in its historical explorations. Kaplan takes readers on a deep dive into the archives of the Mediterranean’s past, uncovering the layers of civilizations that have shaped its identity. He dives into the legacy of empires like the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and Phoenicians.

The interaction between history and geography is the main theme in the book and Kaplan shows us how the Mediterranean physical features have influenced the region.

Narrative Style and Author’s Perspective:

Throughout “Mediterranean Winter,” Kaplan’s narrative style combines historical analysis with on-the-ground observations, providing readers with a comprehensive view of the region. His firsthand experiences and interviews with key figures offer a unique perspective that adds depth to the book.

Mediterranean Winter book review: Shortcomings!

However, “Mediterranean Winter” occasionally lacks a sense of coherence. The transitions between historical analysis, personal narrative, and geographical descriptions can feel abrupt at times, disrupting the overall flow.

Additionally, some readers might yearn for a more in-depth exploration of certain topics touched upon, rather than a broad overview.

Kaplan’s style of writing turns tedious pieces of text into luxurious tales. “The founding of Carthage is clothed in sumptuous myth,” he writes. Sometimes, however, this approach interferes with coherence and the writer is diverted from the main text.


In conclusion, “Mediterranean Winter” is a captivating journey through a region of immense historical significance and culture. Robert D. Kaplan’s writing creates a sensory experience that goes beyond the pages. Despite some minor structural issues, the book succeeds in immersing readers in the timeless charm of the Mediterranean. It is filled with memories and history, not the author’s alone, but humanity’s as well. Whether you’re an armchair traveler or an adventurer at heart, this book is a worthy companion for an exploration of the Mediterranean.

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