Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation Paperback – July 9, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
James Howard Kunstler’s new much-publicized critique of humanity, Too Much Magic, predicts peak oil, the death of the automobile and the fall of the global economy as we know it.”Huffington Post
In his latest book, Kunstler zeroes in on the central narrative of our time: that we are a highly evolved and technologically sophisticated civilization that will use our ingenuity and engineering expertise to come up with a solution to all the problems we face . . . In Kunstler’s view, this is a childish fantasy. . . . Kunstler believes that we are living on borrowed timeour banking and political systems are corrupt, our fossil fuel reserves are dwindling, the seas are risingbut we’re still partying like it’s 1959.” Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone
Kunstler . . . delivers a cold slap to the fantasists who believe technology will save us. . . . A sharp demand to disenthrall ourselves.”Kirkus Reviews
[Kunstler’s] views are not a popular or welcomed position in America today. . . But his views about the future appear more and more to be being validated by current events. . . . In his new book, Too Much Magic, Kunstler updates his prior writings on Peak Oil stating how Americans’ long-held, ill-conceived belief that new technologies can always conquer our problems is leading us into a period of great denial and subsequent anger. . . . His new book and his prior works are worth the read. Throughout his work, he offers the surprisingly positive idea an energy limited future might well bring about many of the the things the nation at large claims to crave.”Examiner.com
James Howard Kunstler describes himself as an all-purpose writer’, and boy can he write . . . [he makes his subjects] interesting and useful to the reader, without talking down to, or boring us. . . . Too Much Magic, like The Long Emergency, is destined to become a Peak Oil classic.”Kathy McMahon, Energy Bulletin
I highly encourage you to read the book, and to check out Kunstler’s other works.”Urban Times
Kunstler’s writing is remarkably lucid, readable, incisive, accurate, and telling, making it the absolute non-fiction page turner of 2012 . . . It is a MUST READ! . . . The definitive book for anyone who is done with fairy tales and who is ready to meet the world where it really is.”Transition Voice
Kunstler is a big fan of paleo-futurism. In 2001, there was no space odyssey. We are almost to 2015 and it is unlikely there will be any of Doc Brown’s flying cars or hoverboards. The future of 2000 has not lived up to the hype of those imagining the future in 1950.”Occidental Dissent
Kunstler delivers a sobering message about what a post-oil society might look like and how we got ourselves into this situation . . . Too Much Magic is both a history lesson and a warning. The warning concerns how we as a society will have to deal with a world where cheap, plentiful oil is a thing of the past. The history lesson is all about how we came to live in such an oil-dependent society bent on expanding its suburbs to infinity . . . [A] rather sobering (and, at times, frightening) book that may keep you up nights . . . If nothing else, reading this book will get you thinking about serious societal issues, and you will likely learn something as well.”KAZI Book Review
With characteristic curmudgeonly enthusiasm, Kunstler brilliantly if belligerently shows us what a pickle we’re in and how inept we are at dealing with it.”Publishers Weekly
Anyone who has read Kunstler’s previous work will no doubt already be guessing that Too Much Magic is lively, curmudgeonly, and highly readable, as indeed it is.”The Archdruid Report
American journalist and novelist James Howard Kunstler has become widely known in urban planning and energy circles for his articulate and acerbic observations on contemporary American society and its sundry addictions, delusions and dysfunctions . . . a sharp critic of energy-sucking, big-box landscapes.”Winnipeg Free Press
Whether your comfort beverage of choice is herbal tea or single malt Scotch, you'd be well advised to lay in a large store before settling down with James Howard Kunstler's disturbing portrait of the U.S.'s impending decline, Too Much Magic. . . . Kunstler methodically skewers what he asserts is the misguided thinking of people like Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity Is Near) who reassure us we can somehow craft benign, inexpensive fixes that will permit us to continue in a lifestyle roughly resembling the one we enjoy today. . . . a disturbing picture of the decline of American society, as our current lifestyle collapses in upon itself.”Shelf Awareness
Kunstler is refreshingly uninterested in spinning a bad situation. He is willing not only to read the data about resources without illusion but also to assess the state of the culture without the triumphalism so common in the affluent world. . . . He’s not claiming a crystal ball and isn’t interested in specific prediction, nor does he have a tidy list of solutions. Instead, he points out that we can’t expect to tackle problems until we recognize them."Media with Conscience
About the Author
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I've read TMM twice now and found that the most important chapters for me are nos. 1, 5, 6 and some of 7. The excellent synopsis of the political landscape of mid-20th century thru early 21st century America (chapter 5) is really helpful to me even though I lived thru much of that time. And this political history is necessary for JHK's other concerns.
Chapter 6 is splendid as the author explains step by step what has happened to the financial landscape of the same period. I never really understood the big mess of October 2008 until I read this chapter. What the American government has NOT done to enforce the law in the financial shennangigans is appalling.
Chapter 7 explains how technology is not going to replace energy. That is, you can be as innovative and clever as is humanly possible but you still have to face the reality that there is no energy source currently known which can do the work that fossil fuels do so mightily. JHK is exhaustive in his analysis of this dynamic. Part of the title of this chapter is perfectly ironic, "...Waiting for Santa Claus".
At the end of the book is a Coda: A Systematic Misunderstanding of Reality and it is classic Kunstler, only better. I was impressed by the whole book and wish my family would take the time to read it but they won't. Nor will most of my fellow citizens. Consequently they are going to be very shell-shocked when the whole system falls apart.
If Katrina and Sandy can teach us anything it should be that things may not always be o.k. Systems can collapse. Societies can decay. The path to the future will have potholes. The infrastructure is crumbling. The educational system is failing. More people are on food stamps than at any time in history. The percentage of the population empolyed in productive work is the smallest it's been in decades. Our health care system, while producing results far below those of many other countries, has become the most expensive in the world. Our young people have to load up a life time of debt to get a college education.
Kunstler has been attempting to make us look up (away) from our lighted screens for decades. His aim is to make us see what is really going on around us while we live in our electronic worlds and move through our gated communities.
For those of you who complained that this book was just a rehashing of his earlier themes (which I don't believe is the case), maybe he feels a need to rehash, becuase he sees that we still don't get it.
Kunstler has an insight into the American character that is remarkable.
I made it past the first 100 pages but need to motivate myself to go back and read it again
I'm a long time fan on Kunstler, his way of thinking, his blog and admire his choices of his lifestyle - if only I had the resources!!!