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The Coming Dark Age Hardcover – 1973
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, let me make that verdict formal: I did not find this book worth reading. The main reason why I read it was that it was quoted in some other post-apocalyptic books, among them Lucifer's Hammer. The enigmatic and authoritative sounding quotes mislead me to think that the overall book would be interesting - not so.
The book is very old and outdated. Many of the opinions and predictions are either quaint or trivial, and others are just silly. The little that makes sense, e.g. modern society is complex and complex systems are prone to large unpredictable failures, is better said by other authors.
Here is representative quote: "In the year 2000 Swedish officials will be governing New York, Moscow, Berlin, and Paris" (p. 174). Yeah, right, that's how it was back in 2000 :)
The first 80% of the book is formally sounding but overly theoretical discussion of various reports by ancient AT&T officials or musings about 1960s power outages and traffic jams. This is the least interesting part. Then there are a couple of short chapters towards the end about how the coming dark age will be very feudal and personal allegiances will be the only form of power. This is the mildly interesting part, but frankly nothing truly thought provoking. The author does not make a logical connection between the fragility of certain complex systems (first 80% of the book) and the structure of the future society (the end of the book) so it feels disjointed. There is nothing actionable or new that could be learned from this book. Something like Kunstler's Long Emergency would be a far better read.
Overall, the book is poorly written and very outdated. Not recommended, unless you are an intellectually masochistic book worm.
In spite of its age (he predicts that if reforms are not implemented, the dark age will start between 1985 and 1995), it's still a good read for people interested in energy, ecological, urbanism, and similar fields.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a mixture of interesting and weird. It is interesting when he talks about traffic congestion and blackouts, weird when he says that Sweden shall one day rule over the... Read morePublished 23 months ago by qeddeq
A good book with very good explanations as to why things fall apart. It is . . . a bit dry. Definitely not a novel, but not bad. Not bad at all.Published on April 21, 2009 by Spyderhead