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How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) [Kindle Edition]

David Goldman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Book Description

You’ve heard about the Death of the West.
But the Muslim world is on the brink of an even greater collapse.


Thanks to collapsing birthrates, much of Europe is on a path of willed self-extinction. The untold story is that birthrates in Muslim nations are declining faster than anywhere else—at a rate never before documented. Europe, even in its decline, may have the resources to support an aging population, if at a terrible economic and cultural cost. But in the impoverished Islamic world, an aging population means a civilization on the brink of total collapse— something Islamic terrorists know and fear.

Muslim decline poses new threats to America, challenges we cannot even understand, much less face effectively, without a wholly new kind of political analysis that explains how desperate peoples and nations behave.

In How Civilizations Die, David P. Goldman—author of the celebrated “Spengler” column read by intelligence organizations worldwide—reveals how, almost unnoticed, massive shifts in global power are remaking our future.

Goldman reveals:

  • How extinctions of peoples, cultures, and civilizations are not unthinkable—but certain
  • How for the first time in world history, the birthrate in the West has fallen below replacement level
  • Why birthrates in the Muslim world are falling even faster
  • Why the “Arab Spring” is the precursor of much more violent change in the Islamic world
  • Why looming demographic collapse may encourage Islamic terrorists to “go for broke”
  • How the United States can survive the coming world turmoil

In How Civilizations Die, David P. Goldman has written an essential book for understanding what lies in the future for America and the world.

Editorial Reviews


''In How Civilizations Die, David Goldman muses on population trends and religion with a breathtaking depth, originality, and panache. Some of his startling but documented predictions: Europe is in its death throes. Muslim demographic collapse will undercut Islamic triumphalism. The United States and Israel will emerge triumphant. And that's just the start.'' --Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum and Taube Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University

''Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West was required reading when I was a college student and David Goldman's contemporary argument should be required reading today.'' --Herb London, President Emeritus of the Hudson Institute

''David Goldman has explored the political implications of demography with rare insight. How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too) is a mind expanding peek into the likely political future of our planet.'' --Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University

About the Author

DAVID GOLDMAN is a columnist for First Things magazine as well as an economist and author. He is also a columnist for Asia Times Online and writes under the name ''Spengler.'' Prior to First Things and Asia Times Online, he was the global head of credit strategy for Credit Suisse, the global head of fixed income research at Bank of America, and a columnist for Forbes. In addition to his journalism and financial work, he is a regular on The Kudlow Report and has also been on Glenn Beck Radio. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 159698273X
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (September 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005O2PMYI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
323 of 336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cultural suicide September 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The most important development of the twenty-first century is likely to be the great extinction of peoples and cultures. Like Greece and Rome, Europe has lost faith in itself; though incomparably richer than the peasants who built the Cathedrals, the denizens of what used to be Christendom spend only on themselves, with no thought for the morrow. They have failed to attend to the most elementary task of a successful civilization: raising children. In no European country is the birthrate at replacement level. As David P. Goldman, Spengler of Asia Times Online, tells it, not only is the old world dying, it has reached the demographic point of no return.

The title of Goldman's book is How Civilizations Die, but the addendum, And Why Islam is Dying Too, may be more important. For there is almost no awareness that the Muslim world is following in the footsteps of western civilization. Indeed, a popular narrative among those who seek to revive Europe has it that Muslims will soon rule the continent. But while European Christianity eventually lost the fight with modernity, Islam has fared worse.

Iran proves illustrative. "An educated twenty-five year old Iranian woman today probably grew up in a family of six or seven children, but will bear only one child." As of 2010, Iran's fertility rate stands at 1.7 children per woman. Decadence has enveloped the nation; drug use is rampant, and a sizable portion of the women work willingly as prostitutes. Paradoxically, this makes the Islamic world more dangerous, at least in the short term: "For in their despair, radical Muslims who can already taste the ruin of their culture believe that they have nothing to lose.
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179 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! Goldman is an absolute gem! September 19, 2011
By Reid
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
David P. Goldman, aka Asia Times Online's 'Spengler' columinst, is the single most insightful writer in America today. Goldman's new book 'How Civilizations Die' is an absolute gem as he dispenses with conventional wisdom and gives the reader unique geopolitical insight in a cultural and historical tour de force.

Goldman may as well be the originator of the phrase "Demographics is Destiny" because he has argued for years (and in this book) that demographics can go a long way into explaining nations' economic and cultural rise and fall. But then what explains demographics? In the introductory part of the book, Goldman explores why people in the developed world choose to have children and why they don't. His answer seems to be that having children is often an act of religious faith, or at least an article of faith in the future. Those developed societies (read: Europe) that fail to reproduce at replacement rate have lost faith. Not surprisingly, only two developed countries, Jewish Israel, and Judeo-Christian America, currently have birth rates above the 2.1 replacement rate.

The next part of Goldman's book takes the reader deep in the heart of Islam and explores how and why Islam is literally convulsing before our eyes despite its religious facade. Who knew that the world had never before seen a drop in birthrates as it sees in Iran today? Who knew that Turkey too faces a demographic crisis in the near future and that native Kurds might soon outnumber native Turks in Turkey? The reader will be shocked as Goldman goes through the numbers and explains the cultural and economic consequences of an Islamic world on the brink.
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172 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spengler at his Best September 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a long time fan of Spengler from his perches at Asia Times online and First Things magazine, it was a pleasure to read this book, which was a synthesis of most of the seminal and original ideas that he has been writing about now for 10 years.

Spengler is not a professional journalist, but rather a retired financial whiz and music theorist, and as such can afford to offend as many people as humanly possible with his terribly politically incorrect views. This is what attracts so many hundreds of thousands of readers to his ATOL essays. Anyone who reads this book will see why he will never be hired to write the anodyne nonsense and trivial gossip that is now standard fare on the OpEd page of the NY Times.

Spengler places high value on 3 points of view that have been virtually taboo in the world of our cultivated intelligentsia in New York and Washington. The first is the value of women having children and rearing them properly - even women with careers and other lifestyle options. The second is the importance of religious life in the modern world, especially for the educated class whose nihilistic, materialistic and low-fertility behavior threatens the survival of the nations they lead. The third scandalous idea (especially for the NY Times) is that Israel shines as a symbolic exception to the cultural and political disintegration and degradation not only of the Muslim Middle East, but in fact post-Christian Europe, as well. Yes, those pesky Jews who in Congressional District #9 just repudiated the favorite politician of the NYT, whose presidency is now endangered.

In the educated class of America and Europe, the terms of discussion have changed dramatically in recent years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty soon, no more babies..
Makes you think - all the trouble and strife in the world today may be irrelevant in forty years when the world population is plummeting - except in Israel.
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Published 1 month ago by GFR
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Eye opening, great read
Published 1 month ago by Tania Young
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book. It is not easy reading but the ...
A very good book. It is not easy reading but the research is excellent. His data explains a lot of the current problems, Some of his predictions are very earth shattering. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bill Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Read
Superb read. Explains the world in a way you never think about. The analysis here scrapes the surface off and digs into the heart of history from a statistical view while examining... Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Smith Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good read. We'll see if his writings become fact in the future.
Published 3 months ago by Harry W Hallstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent read. Goldman is a very talented author and ...
This is an excellent read. Goldman is a very talented author and presents his position very well.
Published 3 months ago by evenst4r
3.0 out of 5 stars A well written book
Some interesting conclusions... coming from an author who has done his homework.
Published 3 months ago by LindaPage
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brilliant David Goldman
David Goldman is simply one of the most brilliant guys out there. His take on Islam is very important.
If you are interested in Islam & civilization, this book is for you. Read more
Published 3 months ago by miasarx
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent condition
Published 3 months ago by Brendan Wolff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent book with lots of good information.
Published 4 months ago by Lee
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