How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)
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How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  20 reviews
You've heard about the Death of the West.

But the Muslim world is on the brink of an even greater collapse.

Will we go down in the implosion?

Thanks to collapsing birthrates, much of Europe is on a path of willed self-extinction. The untold story is that birthrates in Muslim nations are declining faster than anywhere else—at a rate never before documented. Europe, even in its...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 19th 2011 by Regnery Publishing, Inc., An Eagle Publishing Company (first published September 1st 2011)
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There's two types of Apocalypse porn: The quick asteroid/nuclear war/zombie collapse and the slow Malthusian/Spenglerian/This-is-the-way-the-world-ends-not-with-a-bang-but-a-whimper collapse. Goldman's book is the latter of the highest order. Secularists after reading this book will either go home to commit suicide to turn to their significant other and get down to the business of cranking out babies in the name of Western Modernity.

I've been following his column in the Asia Times for years and...more
Duane Alexander Miller Botero
A provocative but fascinating book. The author explains how civilizations die--not because of environmental disaster or wars, but because they lose the will to continue living. This is demonstrated in their lack of a willingness to produce a future generation, which is to say, demographics. His evidence of demographic decline in Japan and countries throughout Europe appears very strong.

The author thinks the USA and Israel are two societies that will resist the trend towards self-elimination. Som...more
Patricrk patrick
Do I believe the authors theory that civilizations die because people stop having children? No, he argues that a sense of despair about your culture or religion results in families no longer making the commitment to raise children and the presence of an inverted pyramid in population distribution leads to the collapse of civilization. Hard to swallow. Worth the read to at least challenge your own conception of how the world works and what the future holds.
Sheryl Tribble
I've been reading "birth dearth" books since at least the 1980s; this one offered something new, first because he covers more ancient history than average, second because he covers the Islamic nations (granted, a lot of those I've read were written before the trends there were clear), and, third, because of his analysis of why Islam nations are dying, which I thought an interesting and likely thesis.

Mark Steyn explained the threat of Islam. David Goldman explains why Islam is threatening but no real threat in the long term. Besides this, the book is a rundown on current demographic trends and what they mean for the world over the next century. There are many surprises. A MUST READ.
Interesting figures. The basic theme of this book is the plunging fertility rates in many countries across the globe and how this is tied to a loss of faith. The author argues that countries lose the "will to live" when they see their culture unable to advance, which normally happens when they turn from religion but cannot replace it with anything enduring. At that point, fertility rates drop and the culture goes into a demographic slide. He says many countries in Europe have already reached the...more
Overall the book was a good read, and I would recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in world affairs, history and/or religion. Most of the good stuff is in the demographic information he provides and in his exploration of the topic of faith, fertility and their relationship in cultures. Minus one star for his annoying foreign policy sermons and minus another star for the pervasive use of C.E. and B.C.E., which I consider to be a sign of mental retardation.
I have a bit of mixed feeling about this book. I am very thrilled about the critism on Islam which I share with the author. Next to that, his analysis on falling fertility rates in both Europe and the Middle East are an eye-opener. I think he is right to point the reason at the retreat of christianity and rise of rationalism. Although I do not agree that nationalism helped to bring down to fertility rates too.

The least one can say is that the author is kind fond of USA and Israel. He supports a...more
John Schneider
I really can find no fault in this excellent work on demographics and the current political order. David Goldman attempts in this work to understand both American politics and Islamic politics from their own perspectives. He grounds his observations in demographics noting that Muslim birthrates are quickly declining. He wants to know why societies cease to have enough children to replace or expand their populations. He concludes that societies give up when they loose their faith. Since American...more
Earl Solper
David P. Goldman (who writes for the Asia Times Online as Spengler) examines the inverted population pyramids of most of the industrial countries, the present tendency of Islamic countries to follow that trend to depopulation and cultural extinction, and speculates on why the demographics of the United States are so different.

He begins each section with one of "Spengler's Universal Laws" (which are amusing, subversive, and a little depressing), then provides statistics to support his assertions....more
An interesting, disorganized read

Published 2011 by Regnery Publishing

David P. Goldman's Why Civilizations Die is an ambitious study in demographics, history and cultural legacy that attempts to predict the future of Western Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In a way it is a less humorous version of Mark Steyn's After America , except that Goldman takes in the same data and comes up with radically different conclusions...

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I figured this was just another 'we are doomed' book and the first third focuses on demographic trends, etc that are standard to the genre. But it's not just now, he goes back to ancient Greece and Rome and ties the story of their demise to our projected problems. He brings in religion and how it influences our decisions, pointing to the initial conversion of European's as a root cause of issues we still deal with today. He points to elements in Islam that appear to be different causes for the s...more
Michael Charton
I found it interesting in finding how even the Islamic nations are losing population. It was a new take on Europe's Thirty Years War and how the real battles was not Catholic vs. Protestant but to do in the population in the German states and how the United States was settled by Europeans and what helped lead to the American Civil War. It can be disjointed in places, and it helps to read the philosophy of Oswald Spengler to see Mr. Goldman's train of thought.
It's an interesting analysis of the demographic collapse of the Islamic world that's being pretty much ignored in the West. It also includes Goldman's theories as to why Christianity in America has proven so much more resilient that it has in Europe. It's organized quite well, and very easy to read, but if you don't agree with Goldman's political opinions going in, this book probably won't change your mind.
I didn't intend to read this but after reading the introduction I couldn't stop. Suffice it to say I am now rather worried about the future path for specific nations. It also gave me a greater understanding of Islam and how it differs from Christianity and Judaism. Very interesting read.
While I agree with some of the conclusions, I do not share the author's pessimistic view of the world. I also wonder about the stats and conclusions on middle east fertility rates. I have heard within weeks of reading this book conflicting stats.
Oct 08, 2012 April marked it as to-read
Claims that Iran now has the highest population decline in human history. They've gone from 7 kids per family a couple of decades ago to 1 per family now. I never would have guessed.
Mar 05, 2013 Matt marked it as to-read
Argues that Islam (and other cultures/religions) are dying due to lack of population growth, contrary to common impression.
Rachel De Lazzer
A bit too heavy on detail and academic for me. But lots of interesting facts and ideas. Educational.
Jul 05, 2013 Pam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
Very interesting, gave me lots to think about.
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