- Paperback: 214 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 8, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1480219886
- ISBN-13: 978-1480219885
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It Paperback – November 8, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The author, Charles Hugh Smith, is a sympathetic character, in full control of the terms by which he leads his life. He makes his roots only somewhat obscure. He was born in the early `50s and hung around the Berkeley scene, drinking from the heady brew of 70s hippydom. Somewhere along the way he sobered up, became a successful freelance writer, and began to concern himself with matters of global and personal finance.
Smith is correct in claiming that his gift is in explaining complex systems and phenomena to the layman. His thesis is somewhat like this.
All life in the United States and the Western world has become more complicated over the course of history. The complex systems he describes include government, medicine, and banking.
A system is not a thinking entity. Moreover, almost every system is far too complex to be completely understood or modeled. Witness the incredible difficulty that climate scientists have in modeling climate change. Models are absolutely essential to understanding, but on the other hand they are always incomplete. The same can be said of the economic models used by hedge funds, corporate treasurers, and government entities.
One characteristic of all of the models is that understanding them requires a thorough knowledge of the field in question.Read more ›
This is not a doomsday prepper's handbook (though I think they definitely have their value) but it explains to us concerned individuals what lies behind the infommertials of the mainstream media, the partisan political statements and maneuvering and the lightweight financial commentators. WHY THINGS ARE FALLING APART AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT is the most empowering book I've read in years and, obviously, those I admire and trust to see the world as it is (Kunstler, Martenson, etc.) feel the same way. This is a must-buy and there's nothing else like it in print.
Most of the book is a hard read for me because I tend to want to remain optimistic about things as they are. The book's main message flies right into the face of that. According to this book, things are not going to stay as they are for much longer.
I began with the notion that I agreed that things are falling apart. The book confirms that and much more- which to my chagrin, is not necessarily what I really wanted to believe. What I wanted to believe, and still do, despite this book, is that we can work out our problems. The thing that is missing is the will to do so.
The book isn't really political, but there is some political stuff in it. Does it tend towards the right or towards the left? Actually, neither. However, those on the left may think the book is aimed directly at them. In a way, it is. That's because the dominant paradigm today is big government liberalism initiated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his New Deal. But it may be noted that a lot of so-called conservative Republicans tend to like their big government too, and are therefore wedded to this paradigm as well. The book also goes after capitalism, but does not extol socialism nor communism. To the contrary, it is critical of these systems as well.
The book's solutions tend in the Club of Rome, Limits to Growth genre. That won't work with the modern day real conservatives who believe in limited government and economic growth. I count myself as one of these, but not whole-heartedly so.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very helpful book with a different perspective than most. Well written with much to be gained from reading, unlike so many other financial books today.Published 7 months ago by Roebear
For those who have had an inkling of the insider society we have become, this book is a must read. Interesting fixes proposed.Published 22 months ago by Eric P. Teplitz
Great insight on what's going on in America's economy today. But with the length of the book, it can get a little dry.Published on June 30, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Charles Hugh Smith gives a good and insightful summary of the larger problems of Western Civilization. I would recommend the book for this analysis alone. Read morePublished on June 3, 2014 by T. Tschirgi
As always, Charles tells us the facts in simple understandable terms. He helps put the various pieces in perspective, all tied together with a nice bow so that I have a better... Read morePublished on April 28, 2014 by James Pitre
This book is a must read. It highlights some very important topics in an easy undestandable way but also quite different than the usual approach. Very good.Published on March 30, 2014 by didier
Recommend this book to all who are looking to prepare themselves for the inevitable collapse of the world's fiat currency, the U.S. dollar.
While Mr. Read more
The world is full of broken systems and corruption. It can be downright depressing. Or, you can read Charles Hugh Smith and learn ways to start taking action in your own community... Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by Susan
Charles Hugh Smith writes well, and is direct without being shrill. I always have the sense that he is presenting his case and has left it up to me to take responsibility for my... Read morePublished on December 2, 2013 by Raye