The Long Emergency and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century
 
 


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Long Emergency on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century [Paperback]

James Howard Kunstler
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.95
Price: $9.11 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $5.84 (39%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 12 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, Sept. 23? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
‹  Return to Product Overview

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The indictment of suburbia and the car culture that the author presented in The Geography of Nowhere turns apocalyptic in this vigorous, if overwrought, jeremiad. Kunstler notes signs that global oil production has peaked and will soon dwindle, and argues in an eye-opening, although not entirely convincing, analysis that alternative energy sources cannot fill the gap, especially in transportation. The result will be a Dark Age in which "the center does not hold" and "all bets are off about civilization's future." Absent cheap oil, auto-dependent suburbs and big cities will collapse, along with industry and mechanized agriculture; serfdom and horse-drawn carts will stage a comeback; hunger will cause massive "die-back"; otherwise "impotent" governments will engineer "designer viruses" to cull the surplus population; and Asian pirates will plunder California. Kunstler takes a grim satisfaction in this prospect, which promises to settle his many grudges against modernity. A "dazed and crippled America," he hopes, will regroup around walkable, human-scale towns; organic local economies of small farmers and tradesmen will replace an alienating corporate globalism; strong bonds of social solidarity will be reforged; and our heedless, childish culture of consumerism will be forced to grow up. Kunstler's critique of contemporary society is caustic and scintillating as usual, but his prognostications strain credibility. (May)
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.

From Booklist

Kunstler established a writing career criticizing American suburbia (e.g., The Geography of Nowhere, 1993), and his animosity against his bete noire does not abate here. It's a wide--casting, statistics-studded ramble through energy production and technologies, world economic and political history, and climatology that culminates in predictions that the suburbs are doomed. His assertions are always self--confident, sometimes immodestly so, as when he dismisses in toto any possibility that the market, or technologists, will rescue contemporary civilization from a world of declining oil production. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food. Credit Kunstler with an energetic argument, but whether he has achieved his stated goal--waking up an ostensibly somnolent public--via his relentless and alarmist pessimism remains to be seen. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“It used to be that only environmentalists and paranoids warned about the world running out of oil and the future it could bring: crashing economies, resource wars, social breakdown, agony at the pump. Not anymore. . . . America’s dependence on oil is too pervasive to undo quickly, [Kunstler] warns. . . . In the meantime, we’ll have our hands full dealing with . . . the soaring temperatures, rising sea levels and mega-droughts brought by global climate change. Not long ago, a Jeremiah like Kunstler would have been dismissed as a kook. . . . As brilliant as it is baleful . . . and we disregard it at our peril.” —The Washington Post

“This is a frightening and important book.” —Time Out Chicago

“If you give a damn, you should read this book.” —Colin Tudge, The Independent

“What sets The Long Emergency apart…is its comprehensive sweep—its powerful integration of science, technology, economics, finance, international politics and social change, along with a fascinating attempt to peer into a chaotic future. Kunstler is such a compelling and sometimes eloquent writer that the book is hard to put down.” –American Scientist

“[A] popular blueprint for surviving the end of oil.” —Paul Greenberg, The New York Times Book Review

“Funny, irreverent, and blunt.” –The Globe and Mail

“An especial strength of this book is its break with some of the more pernicious strands in the contemporary left, specifically the left’s kneejerk rejection of America acting militarily in its national interest. . . . There are hints of Malthus here, and of Oswald Spangler’s Decline of the West as well. Mr. Kunstler’s book is a jeremiad, driven by authorial presence. Pithy, entertaining descriptions of historical phenomena like the Soviet Union . . . enliven the text, allowing the veteran commentator to expound on themes that might read leaden by a less facile wordsmith. . . . The book succeeds as an accessible primer to a looming crisis that could end the American way of life.” —A.G. Gancarski, Washington Times

“Kunstler is an amusing and engaging observer and polemicist, and the terrain he surveys is unforgiving and perilous.” —Robert Birnbaum, The Morning News

“Novelist and journalist James Howard Kunstler is the leading popular voice of peak oil, the theory that says we have gone through more than half the world’s supply of this much-needed resource. Kunstler’s regular Monday morning posts foretell a world beset by oil shortages, which he believes will lead to everything from financial shenanigans (sound familiar?) to food riots, not to mention attacks on the wealthy, abandoned suburban housing developments and a forced return to small-town living.” —Helaine Olen, Portfolio

“Kunstler displays a kind of macabre wit about the unpleasantness and strife that await us all. . . . His assertions have a neat way of doubling back to anticipate your critiques. If you express doubt about his views, then you may well be among the deluded masses too addicted to your McSUV and McSuburb to accept the reality that lies ahead.”
—Katharine Mieszkowski, salon.com

“Kunstler is America’s version of an Old Testament prophet, a stinging social critic who warns of dark days ahead if we do not change the way we live.” —Brian Kaller, Pulse

“Kunstler’s book was shockingly readable and engaging….He covers a vast array of topics…I felt like I’d taken a crash course on Big Oil, Global Warming, and Geopolitics just to name a few.”—Romi Lassally, Huffington Post

“James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency may be destined to become the Dante’s Inferno of the twenty-first century. It graphically depicts the horrific punishments that lie ahead for Americans for more than a century of sinful consumption and sprawling communities, fueled by the profligate use of cheap oil and gas. Its central message—that the country will pay dearly unless it urgently develops new, sustainable community-scale food systems, energy sources, and living patterns—should be read, digested, and acted upon by every conscientious U.S. politician and citizen.” —Michael Shuman, author of Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age

“If you give a damn, you should read this book.” —Colin Tudge, The Independent (UK)

“Kunstler concentrates on the continuing environmental instability and the political consequences of the fuel cessation in equal bouts and this makes for a well rounded argument.” —Buzz (UK)

“In the annals of doomsday literature . . . The Long Emergency is destined to become the new standard. . . . Demands frank consideration of what up to now has been unthinkable: that the ascendancy of the human race might have been a temporary phenomenon. . . . This case has been made before, but here it is made powerfully and articulately, with no apology and no hint of reprieve. . . . The Long Emergency represents a ‘wake-up call’ in the same sense that a hand grenade tossed through your bedroom window might serve as an alarm clock. The book is stark and frightening. Read it soon.” —Jim Charlier, Daily Camera

“A shrewd and engaging social commentator.” —Sierra Atlantic

“Adds a relentless, scary, and entertaining voice to the rising alarm about life after the cheap oil is gone. . . . The internal logic of the argument is persuasive, and one reads . . . the book with white knuckles.” —Bryant Urstadt, technologyreview.com

“Authoritative and eye-opening. His predictions for the future make for a page-turning ‘Brave New World.’” —T-D (London)

“James Howard Kunstler has given us, with his usual engaging wit and verve, a new kind
of post-apocalypse scenario. Instead of the nuclear or ice-age wasteland of our earlier imaginings, he has depicted with detailed extrapolation the civilization of the United States after the oil runs out and a great economic collapse occurs. It is a strangely arcadian vision, like the agrarian America that Jefferson, Calhoun, and the Southern Agrarians dreamed of. But Kunstler has fleshed it out with delightful quirky insights and provided our science fiction writers with a fresh mise-en-scene.” —Frederick Turner, author of The New World and The Culture of Hope

About the Author

JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER was born in New York City in 1948. He is the author of two non-fiction books, The Geography of Nowhere and Home From Nowhere, and nine novels. He has been a regular contributor to the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Op-Ed page, writing on environmental and economic issues. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
‹  Return to Product Overview