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Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilization's End Paperback – January 15, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Joseph is a lively tour guide, introducing readers to Mayan shamans and Russian scientists with equal aplomb.”— Publishers Weekly
“Apocalypse 2012 manages to be both lighthearted in tone and more than a little disturbing in content.” – Maclean’s
More About the Author
February 7, 1954 Danbury, Connecticut. But I was raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with which I most closely identify.
Beverly Hills, California, USA
Current position/Key Projects
Lawrence E. Joseph was formerly the chairman of an advanced plasma physics research and development company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Key projects included the development of the the Vulcan Plasma Disintegrator, an ultra-high temperature (10,000 to 15,000 degrees K) furnace designed to completely dissociate highly toxic biological and chemical wastes, leaving no toxic residue.
Strawberry Fields Forever: John Lennon Remembered (Bantam Books, 1980) (co-writer). Written, typeset, printed and distributed twelve days after John Lennon's assassination, this Bantam "instant book" became a NY Times bestseller and was sold globally.
American Lifestyles for the 1980's (Packaged Facts, Inc., New York, NY 1981) This marketing study examined American social and cultural trends and projected their impact on the consumption of consumer goods throughout the 1980's.
Amerika, (Simon & Schuster, 1987) (co-writer). This novelization of the 14-hour ABC miniseries, on which I also served as creative editor, became a NY Times bestseller and was sold internationally.
Gaia: The Growth of an Idea (St. Martin's Press, hardcover, 1990, softcover, 1991) The book also came out in the United Kingdom (Penguin Arkana, 1991), Italy (Geo), Spain/Latin America (Cuatro Vientos) and Japan. More than any other project, this book, arising from my November, 1986 article on Gaia in The New York Times Magazine, has defined my career. Over the past twenty years, I have since written and lectured on the Gaia movement at UNCED, the 1992 United Nations "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, at two American Geophysical Union Chapman conferences on the Gaia Hypothesis (San Diego, 1988; Valencia, Spain, 2000) on Surtsey, the youngest island in the world, an ecological preserve at the southwestern tip of the Icelandic archipelago, New York City, Prague, Beirut and many other locations.
Common Sense: Why It's No Longer Common (Addison-Wesley, 1994) This book enabled me to pursue a brief career as a common sense consultant, with such clients as the United Nations Development Programme (assignment in Bogota, Colombia), and the American Society for Industrial Security.
Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY 1967-1970
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island B.A. 1970-1974
University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California, 1975-1977, graduate studies, teaching assistant, in literature
Editor, Charleston Poetic Review, Charleston, South Carolina, 1978
Chief Marketing Writer, Packaged Facts, Inc, New York, NY 1980-1990
Chairman of the Board, Aerospace Consulting Corporation (AC2), Albuquerque, New Mexico, April, 2005 to present. (I first joined the company in 1995, and have been a member of the board since 2003).
Professional, Academic, or Fraternal Organization Membership
Writer's Guild of America, 1986-present PEN American Center, 1990-present
Honors, Awards, and Prizes
1987, 1988: Summer residencies at Fondation Karolyi, an artistic foundation in Vence, France.
1992: Major grant from Gaiaship Foundation, Oslo, Norway
Magazines, Newspapers and Professional Journals
The New York Times (Sunday magazine, Op-Ed, Travel)
Top Customer Reviews
However, the theme of this book is that the Mayan calendar ending 2012 portends the end of civilization at that date. The author rather glibly moves from the descriptions of variability of these natural phenomena to the conclusion that his scientific investigations support the end of civilization at this date. It is quite a leap from saying we may be hit by a meteor at any time, to saying science tells me its 2012.
PROBLEMS WITH THE BOOK'S SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION
Since the author builds his case on unrelated facts in several fields, his scientific case rests entirely on the validity and total weight of those independent, incremental threats. I have therefor largely skipped over what I think are inaccurate or irrelevant observations and just focused on a few examples where it is easy to exhibit errors.Read more ›
For starters, the book jumps frenetically from one topic to another with nary a transition to be found. The first 20 pages are so disorienting that you wonder whether a Ritalin prescription isn't in order for Mr. Joseph. Our friendly author also can't help throwing in personal experiences that - while presumably cathartic for him - have nothing to do with the book. So we hear about his divorce, his parents' divorce and his dad's subsequent death, his own financial and writing woes from time to time for no apparent reason.
Then there's the topic... that the world will endure some massive transitional (and death-filled) moment on 12/21/2012. This is accoring to Mayan astrological study. Joseph doesn't seem to know whether to mock the hypothesis or take it seriously for most of the book, which incidentally comes off as a faux-science scary bedtime story. After discussing global warming, human threats, the transit of our solar system through a rough galactic patch, super-volcanoes, terrorism and religion, Joseph seems to decide that something big is indeed in the works and that our best bet to prepare is to: 1. Pray; 2. Smash Volkswagon Phaetons (I'm serious); 3. Build underground cities with the money we'd otherwise spend experimenting with nuclear fusion.
So why even three stars? Because the book does manage to capture your imagination in plenty of places and gets you thinking some big existential thoughts and that's an acomplishment in its own right.
A goofy, disjointed ride that might just be worth your time if you like scary bedtime stories.
But this book is not only about the Mayans - it's about the possible ramifications of observed earth changes, global warming, solar changes and meteors - all scientifically validated as far as I know from my own research.
On top of this, there's fascinating information on Jewish, Christian and Islamic doctrine. The Messiah from everyone's point of view - politics, mythology, and a very interesting chapter on the I Ching, or Book of Changes, revealing a time code hidden within the hexagrams. Also covered is Drosnin's "The Bible Code".
I'm a little perplexed as to why this book has attracted (some) such negative reviews. There was certainly no religious fundamentalism, fanaticism - or even fatalism within its pages as far as I could decipher. Just an extremely well researched gathering of facts, history and probabilities.
Even if you're not at all interested in the Apocalyse - you will learn much from this book. And there will be quite a few chuckles along the way. Highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book, a DEFINITE READ for any and ALL who study this ongoing phenomenon!!Published 7 months ago by shadowcat
Having died in the 2012 apocalypse I have to say Lawrence E Joseph's words couldn't have been truer. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Siegie Mots
Outdated, yet the trends that are mentioned are still obviously with us. A very good summary of the challenges we face. Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by David K. Banner,PhD
I Purchased for someone else awhile ago. I think it was about a year ago. I assume they enjoyed it. So I can't say if I would recommend it.Published on April 17, 2013 by Hazel Wortham
Well the 2012 craze has come and gone...and so has my money. However my hats off to all the fear mongers I should have thought of this. Read morePublished on February 24, 2013 by Orbiter2012
The December 2012 situation was very similar to Y2K except Y2K was more technical. I thought it was entertaining to read this book and measure the potential disaster against the... Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by J. Broughton
Well,it looks like all of the Apocalypse 2012 garbage is going to go down in history as just one more big scare tactic scam...right next to Y2K. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Ishmael