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Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation Paperback – October 30, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Hugh Smith writes the blog and is the author of seven novels and five nonfiction books.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (October 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449563449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449563448
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Gib on November 11, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
Should some future archeologist stumble across a copy of Survival+ while rummaging through the detritus of Western civilization, he will have found a veritable Rosetta Stone, unlocking the secret of what went wrong with this incarnation of Homo sapiens. Along with it, he's likely to find The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century (James Howard Kunstler, 2005), The Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future (William H. Kötke, 2007), Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (Richard Heinberg, 2007), and others of that ilk, because members of the choir to whom those authors preached tended to accumulate libraries of secular revelation. You could pretty much get by with just this volume, however, if solving the mystery of modern man's hubris and fall were your only goal.

Smith warns his readers that "we face not some isolated, temporary `financial crisis' or even a political crisis, but an interconnected, self-reinforcing series of crises and challenges which span every level of modern life, from the internal politics of experience to depleting resources to degraded environment to financial and political domination by Elites of capital and State and on to demographics and the host of ills triggered by over-reach." He forsees collapse but not apocalypse. He is hopeful that survivors will learn lessons from the experience--lessons that he painstakingly elucidates--and fashion "a new model of governance to replace the failed Savior State/Plutocracy partnership." This is, after all, a book of "survival." No, even better than that. "Survival Plus.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lamming on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The value I extracted from this book required too much sifting and sorting. It could do with a complete revision to about half its considerable length.

I bought it because of a recommendation and because the reviews on amazon were good. Initially I thought I was on to something big, but then I began noticing the inconsistencies, sloppiness and redundancy.

Readers are warned to "be skeptical of any `natural laws' which are being applied to human culture and history" (83), after which they are oriented to our present world through a long discussion of just such "natural laws." E.g., "If we apply the Stick/Slip hypothesis to the global economy then we understand that ... [etc., and] .... If history or the Peter Principle is any guide we will not do this consciously or voluntarily because we are incapable due to incompetence" (87).

A fairly large number of typos suggest the book was carelessly edited.

Utterly banal observations like the following are common: "A free people will want control of their own lives, sustenance and destiny" (322).

General statements of questionable validity abound: "humans tend to fill every available niche to the maximum carrying capacity (123) ... States tend to expand whenever the opportunity presents itself as the spoils of conquest ... outweigh the costs (124)."

Thumbnail comparisons of today with the 13th, 16th and 18th centuries (128) are glib and superficial.

Many of the author's claims just don't strike me as accurate. For instance, regarding the intellectual framework of Elite dominance, "this process of gaining compliance is not a conspiracy; it is a complex mixture of conscious and unconscious realignments of incentives and disincentives (27).
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By OIFvet on November 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is hard to classify, but I know many people from economists to survivalists have read the original, but shorter, version. The "Survival +" philosophy is built upon many of Smith's popular and insightful essays which include "When Belief in the System Fades" and "The Art of Survival, Taoism and the Warring States". Smith uses a combination of short personal stories mixed with academic discourse and teachable moments to take the reader on a journey through his macro-level life philosophy.

Despite this book containing "Survival" in the title, it should not be considered in the same vein as all the other books on how to stockpile canned food and shotguns. Smith does not address those menial topics. His book is a "how to think" manual. Considering "mindset" is often cited as the most important aspect of "survival" by some other authors in the survival genre, Smith is the only one to have fully nailed it. Smith encourages the reader to think about a fully possible sustainable human future well within our reach without resorting to the safety of the usual sandbags filled with fear.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By awnold on November 30, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charles was talking about the current economic collapse years before it happened. He has an uncanny way of summarizing huge forces that are at work (economic, social, etc) and drawing conclusions that are clear to a point that they seem like common sense. Reading his blog over the years has been time well spent. This book is a summary of the conclusions he has arrived at, given the topics he as covered over the years. Perhaps this book gives us an accurate look at the future, I wouldn't pay any heed to others attempting a feat like this other than CHS. He is constantly proved right again and again as time marches on and things play out. When he talks I listen.
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