Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)” as Want to Read:
How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  37 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
Unknown Binding, 374 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Not Avail (first published September 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How Civilizations Die, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How Civilizations Die

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 423)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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 or 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
Douglas Wilson
This is a book with a lot of surprises, a lot of twists and turns. Goldman makes some questionable assertions here, but this was one of the most fruitful and thought-provoking books I have read in a long time.
Daniel Cunningham
There are interesting figures/facts about population trends, projections and reproduction rates here.

Is there a coming demographic crisis coming in e.g. Middle Eastern countries? Possibly. I myself have wondered what the heck the various countries and peoples of the region will do in 30 or 50 years when oil really begun to tap out. Poor European countries? Possibly there as well.

But I don't know how much weight I give his projections... do I really believe that in 100 years Germany will be have
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
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
Thomas Rones
The main idea:

Fertility rates drop below replacement due to a nation's loss of faith and secularization. Education and literacy rates are key factors in this.

The Islamic world is a danger because they face an existential threat, ergo they cannot be expected to act as rational nation states.

Europe's fertility rates indicate an economic decline in the next 50-100 years.

America is the exception ( only industrialized country without falling fertility rates) due to the individualistic ideals and
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.
Ken Underhill
A fascinating, if somewhat repetitive treatise on how so much of our world is in a death spiral of population decline. Whodathunkit? Seems all we ever read is how the world is overpopulating itself to death.

This book sheds light on the exact opposite for whole swaths of the globe, including Europe, Japan and most notably the Middle East.

Goldman dovetails this phenomenon with the root cause, that which seems to be a lack of will to survive in these cultures. It turns out, that America (ie: USA) i
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.

De auteur geeft een verrassend beeld van de demografie in de 21ste eeuw. Hoewel geschreven vanuit een Amerikaans-joods perspectief geeft hij toch enkele interessante feiten en analyses.

Er is wel een vreemde ondertoon te bemerken wanneer hij schrijft dat christelijke landen die zichzelf als "uitverkoren door God" zagen (Spanje, Frankrijk, Duitsland, etc.) nu allemaal op de rand van de demografische afgrond en ultiem verdwijning bevinden in de volgende eeuw, in tegenstelling tot Israël dat tegen
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 thoughts on How Civilizations Die, although the subtitle should be a clue describing a large part of the book, as the author looks at what he sees as the coming population collapse of countries such as Turkey and Iran. He claims that rich countries such as Western Europe may be able to barely, and through sacrifice, cope with a largely senior population by the middle of this century, but poorer countries like Iran will be unable to cope.

One problem I had with the second US President
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.
"The separation of sexuality from procreation in Greek culture helps explain the terrible demographic decay that Greece would suffer during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E." -p. 123

"As soon as the constraints of traditional society fell away, the Athenians stopped raising children." -p. 125

If the noble and prosperous Athens couldn't survive this common historical trend, what makes us think we can?
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
Goldman's analysis echoes Patrick Buchanan's in The Death of the West. The plight of the Muslim world was new to me, however, and gives the lie to the idea that Islam is going to take the world by storm simply by virtue of its birthrate. In fact, Islam seems to wither when it comes into contact with modernity, far more so than Christianity.

I highly recommend this book, but not every aspect of the author's interpretation of Christianity. I don't know Goldman's religious leanings, but his discuss
Gabriel Kagan
Definitely an interesting look at theories of demographic collapse, although not all of its predictions have come true. My greatest issue with this book is its failure to consider that the problems it discusses may be fixed or rendered irrelevant by rapid developments in technology. Then again, who knows how receptive any country will be to potential posthumanity?
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
Hmmmm.... Recommended by a bunch of pastors, and I am glad I read it. On my second time listening to the audio. Find myself telling others about it in a wide range of conversations. Especially intriguing when considered in light of a postmill eschatology.
G Budai
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
E. Kahn
Fertility-obsessed maniac. The book gets a second star as a special award for most creative use of non sequiturs in a purportedly serious work.

Somewhat repetitive, but easy to follow and well-referenced. A good mix of political science and demography for a novice like myself.
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...

Read more at:
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
Eric Lassen
Start having kids!
Ben Pashkoff
Seems that my audio version was a bit abbreviated, so when I can be certain of the full version, I will continue.
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It
  • What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense
  • Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa
  • Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything
  • The Village Against The World
  • The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization
  • The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs
  • Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses
  • The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life
  • Men and Marriage
  • Drugs, Oil & War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia & Indochina
  • Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me
  • From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology
  • The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising
  • Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide
  • The Charisma of Adolf Hitler
  • The Camp of the Saints
David Paul ‘Spengler’ Goldman is an economist, music critic, and author, best known for his series of online essays in the Asia Times under the pseudonym Spengler. As a religious Jew, Goldman says that he writes from a Judeo-Christian perspective and often focuses on demographic and economic factors in his analyses; he says his subject matter proceeds "from the theme formulated by [Franz] Rosenzwe ...more
More about David P. Goldman...

Share This Book

“Cultures that do not wish to exist cannot be dissuaded from destroying themselves.” 2 likes
“No Arab country produces graduates who can compete with their East Asian counterparts; the only Muslim country whose graduates meet world standards is Turkey. University graduates throughout the Arab world have miserable prospects. “The average unemployment rate for the age group 15-24 years in the Group of Arab Countries reaches to 30%, compared with an average rate of world 14.4%,” according to the Arab Labor Organization. “Problem [sic] of high unemployment rates among the educated graduates from universities and colleges, which reaches to 26.8% in Morocco and 19.3% in Algeria, 17.7 % in Jordan. It was noted that 94% of the unemployed in the Arab Republic of Egypt are in the age group 15-29 years, reflecting a lack of consistency of education plans to the needs of the Labor market.”9” 0 likes
More quotes…