25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


The Powell's Playlist | August 8, 2014

Peter Mendelsund: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund



We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing...... Continue »
  1. $11.87 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$12.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Sociology- Urban Studies

Dark Age Ahead

by

Dark Age Ahead Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Visionary thinker Jane Jacobs uses her authoritative work on urban life and economies to show us how we can protect and strengthen our culture and communities.

In Dark Age Ahead, Jane Jacobs identifies five pillars of our culture that we depend on but which are in serious decline: community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation and government; and self-policing by learned professions. The decay of these pillars, Jacobs contends, is behind such ills as environmental crisis, racism and the growing gulf between rich and poor; their continued degradation could lead us into a new Dark Age, a period of cultural collapse in which all that keeps a society alive and vibrant is forgotten.

But this is a hopeful book as well as a warning. Jacobs draws on her vast frame of reference — from fifteenth-century Chinese shipbuilding to zoning regulations in Brampton, Ontario — and in highly readable, invigorating prose offers proposals that could arrest the cycles of decay and turn them into beneficent ones. Wise, worldly, full of real-life examples and accessible concepts, this book is an essential read for perilous times.

Review:

"Jacobs can write, and so by the end her arguments and admonitions all appear persuasive and disquieting. Crisp, entertaining, scholarly, scary." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to transform our ideas about the nature of urban life." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Jacobs' sound urban-studies foundation...[and] a solid analysis of demographics that keeps this book's alarming thesis from being simply alarmist." Booklist

Review:

"Despite its Cassandralike title, this book reads less like a convincing wake-up call than a collection of random jottings, glossed with unnecessary daubs of hyperbole and only occasional flashes of vintage Jacobs insight." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Synopsis:

A dark age is a culture’s dead end. In North America, for example, we live in a virtual graveyard of lost and destroyed aboriginal cultures. In this powerful and provocative book, renowned author Jane Jacobs argues convincingly that we face the coming of our own dark age.

Throughout history, there have been many more dark ages than the one that occurred between the fall of the Roman Empire and the dawn of the Renaissance. Ten thousand years ago, our ancestors went from hunter-gatherers to farmers and, along the way, lost almost all memory of what existed before. Now we stand at another monumental crossroads, as agrarianism gives way to a technology-based future. How do we make this shift without losing the culture we hold dear—and without falling behind other nations that successfully master the transition?

First we must concede that things are awry. Jacobs identifies five central pillars of our society that show serious signs of decay: community and family; higher education; science and technology; governmental representation; and self-regulation of the learned professions. These are the elements we depend on to stand firm—but Jacobs maintains that they are in the process of becoming irrelevant. If that happens, we will no longer recognize ourselves.

The good news is that the downward movement can be reversed. Japan avoided cultural defeat by retaining a strong hold on history and preservation during war, besiegement, and occupation. Ireland nearly lost all native language during the devastations of famine and colonialism, but managed to renew its culture through the steadfast determination of its citizens. Jacobs assures us that the same can happen here—if only we recognize the signs of decline in time.

Dark Age Ahead is not only the crowning achievement of Jane Jacobs’s career, but one of the most important works of our time. It is a warning that, if heeded, could save our very way of life.

About the Author

Jane Jacobs is the author of several books, including the classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which redefined urban studies and economic policy, and the bestselling Systems of Survival. She lives and works in Toronto.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400062324
Author:
Jacobs, Jane
Publisher:
Random House
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
Sociology - Social Theory
Subject:
Regression
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
no. 38/2002
Publication Date:
May 2004
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.30x5.80x.94 in. .86 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Status Anxiety Used Trade Paper $8.50
  2. End Your Addiction Now: The Proven...
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  3. Beyond the Chocolate War (Laurel... Used Mass Market $3.50
  4. The Chocolate War
    Used Mass Market $2.50
  5. Gifts
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  6. Voices (Annals of the Western Shore #02)
    Used Trade Paper $5.50

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General

Dark Age Ahead Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Random House - English 9781400062324 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Jacobs can write, and so by the end her arguments and admonitions all appear persuasive and disquieting. Crisp, entertaining, scholarly, scary."
"Review" by , "Probably no single thinker has done more in the last fifty years to transform our ideas about the nature of urban life."
"Review" by , "Jacobs' sound urban-studies foundation...[and] a solid analysis of demographics that keeps this book's alarming thesis from being simply alarmist." Booklist
"Review" by , "Despite its Cassandralike title, this book reads less like a convincing wake-up call than a collection of random jottings, glossed with unnecessary daubs of hyperbole and only occasional flashes of vintage Jacobs insight."
"Synopsis" by , A dark age is a culture’s dead end. In North America, for example, we live in a virtual graveyard of lost and destroyed aboriginal cultures. In this powerful and provocative book, renowned author Jane Jacobs argues convincingly that we face the coming of our own dark age.

Throughout history, there have been many more dark ages than the one that occurred between the fall of the Roman Empire and the dawn of the Renaissance. Ten thousand years ago, our ancestors went from hunter-gatherers to farmers and, along the way, lost almost all memory of what existed before. Now we stand at another monumental crossroads, as agrarianism gives way to a technology-based future. How do we make this shift without losing the culture we hold dear—and without falling behind other nations that successfully master the transition?

First we must concede that things are awry. Jacobs identifies five central pillars of our society that show serious signs of decay: community and family; higher education; science and technology; governmental representation; and self-regulation of the learned professions. These are the elements we depend on to stand firm—but Jacobs maintains that they are in the process of becoming irrelevant. If that happens, we will no longer recognize ourselves.

The good news is that the downward movement can be reversed. Japan avoided cultural defeat by retaining a strong hold on history and preservation during war, besiegement, and occupation. Ireland nearly lost all native language during the devastations of famine and colonialism, but managed to renew its culture through the steadfast determination of its citizens. Jacobs assures us that the same can happen here—if only we recognize the signs of decline in time.

Dark Age Ahead is not only the crowning achievement of Jane Jacobs’s career, but one of the most important works of our time. It is a warning that, if heeded, could save our very way of life.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.