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A History of the Future (World Made By Hand, #3)
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A History of the Future (World Made by Hand #3)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  330 ratings  ·  58 reviews
A History of the Future is the third thrilling novel in Kunstler’s "World Made By Hand" series, an exploration of family and morality as played out in the small town of Union Grove.

Following the catastrophes of the twenty-first century—the pandemics, the environmental disaster, the end of oil, the ensuing chaos—people are doing whatever they can to get by and pursuing a si
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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Joanne Regina Yes you will have to read the beginning of the series to meet the characters and get the most of out the story. Like most series the author tries to…moreYes you will have to read the beginning of the series to meet the characters and get the most of out the story. Like most series the author tries to explain some of the details from the previous events, but it's not a substitute for reading the novels. They are all great reads.
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John Norman
This is a fun read. I've given it five stars, and it is important that you understand that rating in the context of what the author is trying to do: This is an entertainment, a fable, a cautionary tale, a ripping yarn. It the novel was positioned as high literature, I'd give it a different rating. There are a couple of negatives but on the whole if you care about what life will be like when the fossil fuels are gone: read this and its predecessors in its series.

This is the third book in a series
Kathryn Bashaar
I really enjoyed World Made by Hand but hadn't realized Kunstler had turned it into a series until I came across this third in the series at the library.
The premise of this series is that in the near future the world has undergone a series of catastrophes - a disastrous Middle East war, annihilation of LA and DC, a series of epidemics - that have caused the collapse of consumerist, central-government-managed, fossil-fuel-driven civilization. Humanity is back to the 19th century - at best.
I don'
Bryan Winchell
This is another interesting addition to this series, which takes place in post-collapse America maybe 20-30 years in the future. The previous two in the series were probably better as stories in and of themselves, but I enjoyed how Kunstler used this one to show the changes to the broader world outside of upstate New York. I also think he has done a nice job laying the groundwork for the fourth and final book in the series, which I heard him say in a podcast interview would likely be out in 2015 ...more
Although I have stopped reading Kunstler's blog because of his tiresome tirades against tattoos and black Americans, I still think his overall thesis about the "long emergency" is an accurate one. Plus I really enjoy the world he has made (by hand!) in these novels. A History of the Future, the third in this series, was as enjoyable a read as the first two novels. It also (finally) provided a look at what happened to the world outside of upstate New York, as recounted by a prodigal son who barel ...more
It's the third novel in his A World Made By Hand series, which is a great take on the post-apocalytpic future. I like his style and like the world, but the plot isn't quite there. It follows a bunch of mostly disconnected stories that overlap occasionally and none of them come to a very satisfying conclusion. It feels kind of lackluster. It's worth reading if you like the series, but it's not a great chapter.
Certainly not the best of the World Made by Hand series... the writing seemed overly simplistic and repetitive, even for Kunstler. This is the first time I actually didn't get pulled in head over heels into Union Grove and I finished the book feeling disappointed.
I love most everything JHK writes, and the latest of the World Made By Hand novels is a pleasure through and through. This is a grim yet loving vision of what life in a future America might be like when everything goes to shit, politically, technologically, environmentally--you name it. All this is based on Kunstler's deep background in systems failure: the whole technological dystopian scene, in a broad, occasionally cranky and bitter, but often perceptive way, though I'm still waiting for thos ...more
I do enjoy post-apocalyptic stories, so this caught my eye. I'd never heard of it and didn't even realize it was part of a series. It stood alone; I did not feel I was missing backstory by not having read the first 2.

The story itself was interesting with lots of thoughtful detail about what life would be like in this future. I did want to know how things unfolded.

However, this is the most unprosaic prose I have ever read in a fiction novel. The descriptions are very straightforward, and if there
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
A History of the Future by James Howard Kunstler is the highly recommended third book in the World Made by Hand series. These books are set in a future America after a complete economic, political, and cultural collapse has occurred. Epidemics have swept the land and the population has been decimated. In this world, those who are going to survive are forced to live literally by what they can do with their own hands and labor. It is sort of a dystopian pioneer setting - the simple life but in a c ...more
Lynn Vannucci
A History of the Future
Kunstler, James Howard (Author)
Aug 2014. 352 p. Atlantic Monthly, hardcover, $24. (9780802122520).

Kunstler’s post-economic-collapse and postdigital A World Made by Hand series continues with increasing literary finesse in the third installment, following The Witch of Hebron (2010). In the slowly recovering upstate New York town of Union Grove, people relearn old skills as they produce their own food and libations, make music, restore old buildings, and use candles and woo
Ted Stark
I enjoy this series. A different take on the post-apocalypse world.
Shelley Fearn
With the plethora of dystopian fiction lacking in quality, it is refreshing to read Kunstler's World Made by Hand Series. In A History of the Future, the third in the series, Kunstler again focuses on the citizens of Union Grove, NY years after bombings in D.C. and Los Angeles catapulted the United States back into the 19th century. The citizenry's differing abilities to cope with the change are addressed in a thoughtful manner. The return to Union Grove by Daniel who left to explore the country ...more
Best book I've read in 2014. I didn't just read this book, I savored it. Dwelled in it. Instead of racing through the pages like I usually do, I lingered over every page, every paragraph. It was the slowest I've read a book since I read The World Made by Hand, the first of this series.

Love, love, love this book. So thought-provoking. Changes the way I look at the world. So well written. Great story, perfectly paced. I'll definitely be giving it a reread in the next few months.

Makes me think a
This is the 3rd book in the World Made by Hand series and I have loved them all. This one ended in such a way that I know a 4th is coming. I'm already looking forward to it!
Another wonderful book in Kunstler's series about the world when oil runs out, or rather, isn't available. The US economy has collapsed along with the federal and state governments. New alliances are being formed, same old new wars starting up again.
This instalment once again focuses on the citizens of Union Grove and Washington County, New York. It's a new times Christmas season in Union Grove and the town is pulling itself together, along with the ever-entertaining Brother Jobe and his New Fa
I read this not realizing it was part of a series. I had read the first book,'A world Mad e by Hand.' quite some time ago. After I borrowed this one from the library I learned it was an ongoing story.I enjoyed both books. Unfortunately, jumping from book #1 to #3 definitely left some holes in the story. I plan to find the second book now to fill in the gaps.

The characters in the book are very likable. The story itself is full of loss, sadness and struggle. This book is a work of fiction, but it
Jenee Rager
I LOVE the World Made By Hand Series, but this outing was a bit disappointing. One thing I do like about this series is that each book could work as a stand alone since the main characters have always been different, and each book has a little mention of how the world ended up in this state worked in there some where. However, because I have read and loved the previous two books I didn't like this one very much. Characters that were established in the previous novels seem totally different. For ...more
This is a really great series of books that tells the tale of a small town in upstate New York that manages to get by when the world as we know it collapses. The economy dies and the oil runs out and it all comes to a crashing halt with a nuke in L.A. and one in Washington D.C. as well. Now in #3 a wandering soul from the small town returns home with news of his travels and readers begin to discover what all else is going on outside of this small town. A must read for followers of the series. Is ...more
Mike Johnson
A rather thought provoking book about a future US post two major bombings of DC and LA. In the current US environment of unbridled American exceptionalism, it's hard to even think about the US not continuing to dominate world politics forever - this possibility is what makes this book so fascinating.

I couldn't help but be continually reminded of the 1960's Whole Earth Catalog environment when many of us baby boomers were planning for the worst and figuring how to live with no electricity, plast
3rd book in series about America after the world runs out of oil and there is a plague to help things along. I really enjoy these books, the world portrayed is so realistic and I just want the books to go on. The only quibble I have about this book that it is like there is two stories here and one is a plot device to help us understand what has happened in the rest of the world and one is an interesting moral story about what happens when there is a crime and a very basic legal system. Personall ...more
Matthew Hoover
Decently plotted, this book series continues to suffer from two main drawbacks that consistently jar the reader out of "suspension of disbelief" mode:

1. The introduction of the mystical. The local Christian cult, while a key component of these books, includes certain characters that, for lack of a better way to put it, have mystical or magical skills. This is out place with the story and an unnecessary distraction.

2. The character dialog is utterly ridiculous. For some reason, the author has ma
After reading the first two in this series, I was really looking forward to this one. But neither the second nor this novel grabbed me quite the same way as the first.

The characters are still flat and emotionless, even the new ones, like Andrew Pendergast, who Kunstler spends ample time in describing.

Phrases are repeated. Things that were explained two chapters ago are explained again.

The plot seems unfocused. A murder. Robert Earle's son coming home from his journey. Two separate stories of
The third volume in the "world made by hand" series continues examining the physical and social consequences of the collapse of what we consider our way of life. In effect, the political map is rewritten (e.g., the civil war breaks out anew between the white South, the black South, and the upper Midwest), social relationships become increasingly manorial/feudal between those who serve and those who own, and old technologies get rediscovered or adapted. Life becomes harsh for the survivors, but p ...more
By the third book, I felt that we didn't need as much explanation of the background. Most people read the series in order, so going back and recounting things that I had just read seemed redundant. That being said, there is no guarantee that people will read them all in succession like I did, so it's a very minor complaint. A decent story that kept me interested.
Keith Rosson
I love this series, hands down. Some of the aspects of one particular character's recounted history - a history told in a first-person voice that veered from super informal to very heady, sometimes in the space of a paragraph - was a little jarring, but all told that's a very minor complaint. Another great chapter in Kunstler's unfolding world.
Bill Lenoir
I really loved World Made by Hand and the Witch of Hebron. The world Kunstler has created is a believable one and the characters feel real. This third entry in the series, though, is not as good. The curmudgeonliness of Kunstler's non-fiction invades this novel, making it not as enjoyable as its predecessors.
A captivating and engrossing read! I found this to be a realistic perspective of a path our world could go toward. Hoping to see this series continue on. I received my copy through a goodreads giveaway. A must read for fans of realistic post-apocalyptic style fiction.
Bob Reiss
Another solid entry in one of the better Post Apocalyptic series that deals more with characters and small town life than Survivalist/Prepper themes. Well drawn characters with just a taste of SF/Paranormal themes. This latest episode shows a bit more of the world while focusing on a small town murder.
My least favorite so far of the World Made by Hand series. It was frustrating to read Daniel's recounting of his journeys because of the amount of detail they included. It just wasn't believable that this 20 year-old kid would remember every single little detail of his journey. Later in the book, Kunstler does away with this story-within-a-story and, instead, just writes about the last part of Daniel's journey like a normal narrative and it worked much better. All the detail was great at that po ...more
A good addition to the World Made By Hand series. I like that the story takes place soon after the last installment, and really not that long after the first book. The view it affords the reader of the town as it evolves over the third season is interesting and a lot of fun.

The story itself is solid, it has some humor and some underlying aspects to it, but overall is not bogged down by too much history or bringing the reader up to date. I liked the story within a story aspect as well. Telling th
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James Howard Kunstler (born 1948) is an American author, social critic, and blogger who is perhaps best known for his book The Geography of Nowhere, a history of suburbia and urban development in the United States. He is prominently featured in the peak oil documentary, The End of Suburbia, widely circulated on the internet. In his most recent non-fiction book, The Long Emergency (2005), he argues ...more
More about James Howard Kunstler...

Other Books in the Series

World Made by Hand (3 books)
  • World Made by Hand
  • The Witch of Hebron (World Made by Hand, #2)

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