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Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nationby James Howard Kunstler
Synopses & Reviews
James Howard Kunstlers critically acclaimed and best-selling The Long Emergency, originally published in 2005, quickly became a grassroots hit, going into nine printings in hardcover. Kunstlers shocking vision of our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders alike, and stimulated widespread discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels and our dysfunctional financial and government institutions. Kunstler has since been profiled in The New Yorker and invited to speak at TED. In Too Much Magic, Kunstler evaluates what has changed in the last seven years and shows us that, in a post-financial-crisis world, his ideas are more relevant than ever.
Too Much Magic” is what Kunstler sees in the bright visions of a future world dreamed up by optimistic souls who believe technology will solve all our problems. Their visions remind him of the flying cars and robot maids that were the dominant images of the future in the 1950s. Kunstlers image of the future is much more sober. With vision, clarity of thought, and a pragmatic worldview, Kunstler argues that the time for magical thinking and hoping for miracles is over, and the time to begin preparing for the long emergency has begun.
"With characteristic curmudgeonly enthusiasm, Kunstler brilliantly if belligerently shows us what a pickle we're in and how inept we are at dealing with it. As Kunstler writes: 'Our lust for ever more comfort, pleasure, and distraction, our refusals to engage with the mandates of reality, our fidelity to the cults of technology and limitless growth, our narcissistic national exceptionalism — all propel us toward the realm where souls abandon all hope.' He offers astute critical histories of both political parties, narrating the Democrats' decline into 'the party of nothing in particular,' and how the fundamentalism of Southern 'poor agricultural peasants' combined with car culture to create the right-wing 'official party of stupidity.' Equally disturbing, he proposes that our financial system may already be in permanent collapse, that the promise of natural gas abundance is based more on desperation for fossil fuel than reality, and that Mother Nature may be exacting revenge. Not surprisingly, his best-case vision for the future mirrors his unsettling 2008 novel World Made by Hand, complete with the end of feminism. Surprisingly, Kunstler concludes with homely advice worthy of a graduation speech: 'Demonstrate to yourself that you are a competent person who can understand the signals that reality is sending to you... and act intelligently in response.' Agent: Adam Chromy, Moveable Type Management. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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