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When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency, 2nd Edition Paperback – August 18, 2008
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Review From John Egan, proprietor of the website SurvivalistBooks.com-
Matthew Stein has written a clear, concise book on the subject of survival that, while educating, also does what few others have managed to do - entertain and engage the reader. Throughout the book you'll find personal stories accompanying the text to further illustrate or drive home a point. The use of these asides brings you into Matthew Stein's life, as he recounts personal stories of survival and tells the stories of others who have managed to overcome the odds to survive. Not just a survival book, Matthew also covers topics like alternative therapies; how to create a survival mindset; survival strategies; renewable energy; companion gardening; prophecies etc. as well as all the regular topics found in such books - edible plants; first aid; making a survival kit; growing, hunting and foraging; making tools; creating shelters; spinning/weaving/tanning etc. The book has some great illustrations that make plant identification and first aid that much easier to understand and each chapter finishes with a reference section listing books (along with a short review) and resources (with web addresses where available).
"This book is an indispensable basic manual for the real-life issues that await us in the decades to come. Those who read it, and pay attention to its treasure trove of practical wisdom, will enjoy a huge advantage as the cheap oil fiesta winds down and circumstances compel us to live differently."--James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency
"You don't need to be a survivalist to appreciate this book. If you are thoughtful. If you seek a simpler, more sustainable life or if you feel as though technology has already failed us in the ways that matter, this is a book you want in your personal library."--Kathy Harrison, author of Just In Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens
"We imagine that we live in the age of information, but this engrossing book reminds us of how comparatively little we know. Most human communities used to know how to provide water and food and energy for themselves, but most of the tips in this comprehensive account will come as news to most Americans. You may never need to put them into practice (or you may need them this winter when home heating prices soar) but at the very least they illuminate the state of our comparative ignorance."--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
"If you've been wondering about how to respond to the twin dangers of peak oil and global warming, one of your best choices would be to read this book."--Greg Pahl, author of The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis
"A fascinating collection of concepts and skills that will satisfy everyone from the casual do-it-yourself enthusiast to someone who wants to attempt self-reliance and the ultimate emergency preparedness."--Howard Backer, MD, author of Wilderness First Aid: Emergency Care for Wilderness Locations and past president of the Wilderness Medical Society
"I have no children because I read M. King Hubbert's analyses on the future of oil and other fossil fuels in 1969, and Limits to Growth shortly thereafter. It was clear to me then and in every year since that our whole economy, and all of our economic principles, were based on cheap oil that would not last. The reason that economists could get away with criticizing Hubbert and LTG as well promoting their basically absurd theories that often disregarded and even belittled natural resources was that, in fact, more oil could be pulled out of the ground to make ANY economic theory or policy work, no matter how stupid. Now that the oil spigot is sputtering the economists' theories and policies are increasingly shown to be failures. We need a whole new way to think about how we do our economies. In the spirit of the old Whole Earth Catalogues Matt Stein does a marvelous and diverse job of helping us to think about how we might go about generating an approach to our economies that can make sense. This is a great book to have on your bookshelf as we enter the post-peak second half of the age of oil."--Professor Charles A.S. Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
"When Technology Fails is the roadmap that you want and need to navigate whatever may lie ahead."--John L. Chunta, PeakOilResources.com
"We may all need a survival reference when technology fails. Matthew provides one--fact-filled, with useful tips on all aspects of survival, clothing, food, shelter, water, etc., including such vital subjects as grazing and the green pharmacy."--James A. Duke, economic botanist, USDA (ret.), and author of The Green Pharmacy
"A marvelous guidebook for helping us through the worst of times, and even improving on the best of times."--Thom Hartmann, syndicated radio host and author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
About the Author
An engineer, author, and building contractor, Matthew Stein has built hurricane-resistant, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly homes and designed consumer water-filtration devices, commercial water-filtration systems, and automated assembly machinery among other things. He currently resides with his wife, Josie, in the High Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe, California. His websites are at www.stein-design.com and www.whentechfails.com.
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I grew up spending a significant amount of time hunting and hiking, learning (Eagle Scout/Vigil Honor) how to survive with little and how to prepare for longer term survival. Nearly 30 years as a State Trooper has put me in enough situations, that I know the value of preparedness.
This book has refreshed things I've learned decades ago and forgotten .... and given me bunch of new information. Good Job.
It has a great section on growing, foraging, hunting, and storing food. The illustrations of wild edible plants are a great addition, as is the first aid section and the energy, heat, and power section. Some sections made me roll my eyes a little, such as the sections on the author's spirituality and his prophetic notions, but those are small sections, and other than that, I highly recommend the book.