Too Much Magic
Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation
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A book by James Howard Kunstler
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012, 256 pp., $25 hardcover
In case you’re wondering, James Howard Kunstler is sticking by the scary scenario he presented in his 2005 book, The Long Emergency. The folks who doubted that the world had reached, or was about to reach, peak petroleum production—after which scarcity will intensify and the economy will be in very rough shape—have ceased to be so sure of themselves, he says.
Yes, it’s time for a book-length update from America’s überpessimist, the most entertainingly dark-humored friend New Urbanism has ever had. In Too Much Magic, Kunstler, gloriously explosive as ever on the printed page, uses the follies of the past seven years to pound home a message he’s been certain about all along: America is in big trouble because of its refusal to organize its communities and its economy with foresight.
“The middle class is dissolving,” he writes. “Americans have lost jobs they may never get back, in occupations that may cease to exist. They are getting tossed out of their houses at a rate never seen before. Government is broke at all levels, along with households and corporations. Foreign nations have gone bankrupt. ... Times are hard