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After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,398 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Optimistic About America’s Future?
Don’t Be.


In his giant New York Times bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Mark Steyn predicted collapse for the rest of the Western World. Now, he adds, America has caught up with Europe on the great rush to self-destruction.

It’s not just our looming financial collapse; it’s not just a culture that seems on a fast
...more
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published August 8th 2011 by Regnery Publishing (first published January 19th 2010)
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Patrick
Amazon review:
Steyn takes aim at the people who have driven the US to this economic Armageddon with his usual razor wit. The man seems incapable of writing a dull sentence.

The cover of Steyn's book shows a dead Uncle Sam, flat on his back and with a toe tag. Steyn is not warning about a coming American decline. "We're already in it" he announces with gloomy relish, "What comes next is the fall--fast, sudden, off the cliff" (p 13).

And who is at the helm as this wreck is taking place, it's ... w
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Andrew
I don't think I've enjoyed another book this much in at least the past year. It's hard to say whether I liked this or America Alone better, but both were excellent and are highly recommended.

I have always enjoyed Mark Steyn's witty writing style. He'll make you laugh when you probably should be crying, given the grim topic. This book is no exception. His topic is the civilizational suicide being committed by Western nations (not exempting America, as he did in his previous book). He argues that
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Dale
"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop"

The above quote is from the economist Herbert Stein. Besides being a clever little bit of the obvious, a Yogi Berra-type quote, it is also part of a scary thought about America itself that Mark Steyn points out in After America - America cannot keep doing what it is doing forever and hope to lead the world - it will stop. It cannot keep borrow 40% of its budget forever and hope to keep its economy afloat or offer its children a decent future. Am
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Richard
What an enjoyable read, even as Mark Steyn lays out our stark future in no uncertain terms. Stein is deadly serious about the deep excrement in which we too-blithely reside. Niggling details like impending calamity aside, the book is so much fun. But many readers might want to keep a dictionary handy. While discussing the expansion of wealth, Steyn so effortlessly rips off a sentence like this [pp 34-35]: "But then Mr. and Mrs. Peasant start remodeling the hovel, adding a rec room and indoor plu ...more
Roland Bruno
A magnum-opus of observation on the decline of western civilization. I couldn't put it down. Beyond the cavalcade of evidence, both anecdotal and actual, Steyn carves out the heart of the belief system of the multi-cultural, moral relatavist and barbecues it. Steyn paints with a broad brush and while there are topics where he misses the greater picture,(Peak Oil being a key one for me.) if you finish this title and walk away unconvinced then clearly you suffer from delusions about the state of h ...more
Jennifer
It's rare that I rate a book before I'm done reading it, or that I give five stars to any book, let alone a political one (I've liked a a lot of them, it's just that they aren't timeless), but I'm going to make an exception here. Mark Steyn has been compared to Cyrano de Bergerac, and it's really no exaggeration.
Keith
Having just read Niall Ferguson's Civilization The West and the Rest, which details ways in which the West came to dominate the world, as well as how quickly it might disappear, I followed with Mark Steyn's latest which details the details of our decline. Steyn addresses the problem of American decline in great depth but with great wit. The book's blurb line is far too accurate as well: "Optimistic about America's future? Don't Be." What are the sources of impending disaster? Much of what we hav ...more
George
DEEPLY DISTRURBING.

“Look around you. From now on, it gets worse. In ten years’ time, there will be no American Dream, any more than there’s a Greek or Portuguese Dream.”—page 24

I’m not a big fan of end-of-the-world, doomsday-scenario books, and Mark Steyn’s dystopian screed, ‘After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,’ is certainly one of those. In this book he manages to insult almost everybody on the planet, and, those few he doesn’t insult, he scares the crap out of. Yet much of what he has to
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Kenny
Other reviews have parsed out the main point of this book, which is, in a word, chilling. I'll not add to that bulk, but instead I will simply quote a paragraph from After America, which for me says it all:

Conservatives often talk about "small government," which, in a sense, is framing the issue in leftist terms: they're for Big Government--and, when you're arguing for the samll alternative, it's easy to sound pinched and mean and grudging. But small government gives you big freedoms--and Big Go
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Rhonda
Second book I read by this author...first one was "America Alone" how other countries are falling all around us, but we still stand. THIS book is now about how America is on a fast track to do the same thing, America is in a downward spiral...
backed by tons of data and examples...not that everyone can't see it already.

The book starts with a scenario of a man in the last nineteenth century, in an ordinary home around 1890. Look at his surroundings. Then fast forward him in a time machine just 60
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Tom
Read this book. You'll laugh a lot. You'll cry a lot. You'll wet your pants.

I really don't want to believe that we're as far down the path of ruin as Steyn says we are. But the facts he presents, and the logic behind his analyses is hard to argue with. We are soooo screwed, I'm afraid, and it will all become glaringly clear to everyone sooner than anyone imagines. We are living in the waning days of a golden "empire", and even though the signs and portents abound around us, most of us are as una
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Kelly
5 enthusiastic stars! Mark Steyn is brilliant and incredibly funny. Every person in this country should read this book. One of the reviews on the back cover of the book is exactly what I wanted to write here..."Only Mark Steyn can write about the decline of America and leave you laughing."
Greg Perciak
Like the paranoid who occasionally has something genuine to fear, Mark Steyn is the alarmist with something to be alarmed about, and he writes about it with a healthy dose of gallows humor. We're looting the future to bribe the present. And the demography is not in our favor - with birthrates being what they are, we're running out of people to stick with the bill. Worse yet, big government makes for small citizens, as the nanny state makes more of our decisions, drains our ambition, and assumes ...more
Jeff
I'm a big Mark Steyn fan; love reading his essays and listening to him occasionally on the radio. This book was a bit of a disappointment in that a lot of the material is nearly identical to some of his previous essays - and in some cases word-for-word identical - so that I wasn't reading anything new. I don't have much argument against the message, and there was a least one laugh-out-loud moment in the book, but nonetheless I wasn't really able to "get into" this one. The best point he makes is ...more
Brook
I admire Mark Steyn for writing with both humor and erudition on such a disheartening topic as the decline of western civilization. After completion, I was pleased to give my copy to an open-minded education graduate student whose own reading choice was "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"
Thomas Dean
Mark Steyn dares to go where no one is brave enough to venture. The focus of this book is to show how the choices Americans and politicians are making with government are in fact destroying us. He compares America to empires of the past such as Rome and Britain; in this comparison, he points out the mistakes those empire made that led to their destruction and how America is not very different. He delves into America's inevitable decline and asks how steep or gradual will we decline. According to ...more
Matthew
This book is both funny and well-written, but I can't say I enjoyed it. How can one enjoy predictions that the country you love and the prosperity it has enjoyed are most likely things of the past. While the book shares my prejudices and political view, I believe I can say confidently-putting aside any predictions of doom and gloom-that it is a realistic appraisal of our current cultural and political straits.

The doom and gloom may seem a bit much, but Steyn gives a frightening look into a not-s
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Ezra Hood
Is there a snappier writer publishing today? Steyn makes a case that is potent, and as far as I am aware, unrebutted. The burden is on his detractors (even friendlies, like Andy Sullivan at the Weekly Standard) to prove him wrong.

Two flaws (and they are minor) -- it's too easy to get lost in the anecdotes and examples, and forget where in the argument you are reading. There's almost too much flesh on the bones. More major, and this goes for any apocalysist: Steyn tries to prove his point with ex
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Norbert
The heading on the inside front jacket is "Optimistic About America's Future? Don't Be." Pretty much says it all. I could quote the whole book but it would be easier, on me, if you just read the book. If America falls then what will be left will be a repeat of the 1,000 years of the Dark Ages. If you don't know what direction America is heading then you're either a liberal, progressive, libtard, or just plain stupid. Remember the 70's oil crises when "we imported one-third of our oil? Now, 30 ye ...more
Dan Glover
To summarize my appreciation for this book, I echo the sentiment of Ann Coulter in that only Mark Steyn could make you laugh this hard while reading a book on the death of America. However, unlike Coulter, my praise for Steyn's astute observation and critique of the ills must be counter-weighted by my disappointment and downright puzzlement at what Steyn proposes in place of the status quo. With a problem this bad, the solution must be far more radical than Steyn proposes. For these reasons, I g ...more
Bernie
I loved America Alone. Steyn's analysis there was spot-on and witty, and though ominous, at least a good American could cling to the belief that unlike Europe and the rest of the Western World, his fellow citizens could be trusted to excercise enough virtue and wisdom to step away from the cliff. The assessment in "After America"? Not gonna happen. It seems America is tied at the ankle to the declining and stumbling Western World, and while She may be at least able to slow the West's descent, th ...more
John
One of the doomiest and gloomiest books I've ever come across, but in a good way. Steyn writes with a wit sharper than razor wire, and even such (over)celebrated authors as Christopher Hitchens can only pale in comparison. Yes, it's relentlessly bleak in its take on where the world is headed, but Steyn presents his brand of alarmism in such logical, believable terms that I found it surprisingly easy to buy into his MAD MAX-esque vision of what the near future might have in store. Even if Steyn's ...more
Al
A follow-up to Mr. Steyn's earlier polemic, America Alone. He's right on the basic issues, although he often overstates his cases. This stridency can be forgiven since he is undoubtedly motivated by a) the desire to get people's attention and b) the need to sell books. Mr. Steyn has numerous targets, and he does better with some than with others, but the overall effect is quite compelling and scary. It's not the first time we've been lectured on the decline of America, and perhaps others have d ...more
David Murphy
Steyn chronicles the statist decay of Western Civilization (collecting/recycling material from his newspaper columns) and predicts a Sino-centric world in the not too distant future. Frightening stuff. Steyn takes the blinders off so we can see how many aspects of our private lives have become dominated by the government and does so in such an imperative way as to force introspection (Can I justify my existence as a grad student funded by government grants? Wouldn't I be happier if I were actual ...more
Dennis
I recommend reading this book as a wake up call for those who believe this country is on the wrong track and for those who are blissfully ignorant. It is so easy to see what is taking place and has taken place in Europe and Canada that one wonders why we continue as we do. Unsustainable, a word much used these days, is a warning the author offers on many fronts. Steyn has an interesting sense of humor that is both instructional and descriptive of so much of what is wrong in America. In the final ...more
Wes Baker
This is Steyn's follow-up to "America Alone"--and the update is not encouraging. He argues that in the years since his earlier work the United States has proceeded down the same path as Europe, rather than bucking the trends. The Europeans, he argues, were able to implement their demographically-unsustainable, expansive entitlement programs largely because the United States was providing military protection, reducing the need for high levels of defense spending. As the U.S. pulls back from that ...more
Aaron Kleinheksel
I enjoy Mark Steyn's wit and sense of humor, and share his views on many things, so it was a given I'd enjoy this book. If you like his editorials you'll like it too. Mark is a far better writer than he is a speaker, IMO.

Rather than write a long review of the book, which details many of the most salient ways that America (and the West) is committing cultural and national suicide, here a couple of quotes that, I think, provide a flavour of what a reader can expect.

1. "Under the American jizya, in
...more
Matthew
Well this was a rather scary look at what the world will look like after America stops being a superpower.

This book is about the death of the western civilization. The decline is already evident in Europe as the entire continent is committing suicide. Low birth rates high abortion rates. Out of control immigration and assimilation problems. The evil of big government reducing people into depended drones deprived of their freedoms.

This is scary stuff and it is now happening in America.
Michael
Mark Steyn is extraordinarily funny. He has a way of turing a phrase, of making up words, of applying his scalpel-like whit to politics...the man just makes me laugh. His first book, America Alonedescribed the 'post-Western world,' with a tremendous emphasis placed on just how not good all that will be for the wheezing Western European countries. This current volume takes America to task for allowing itself to become weak, broke, confused, irresolute, and uncertain of its place on the planet. St ...more
Merritt Webb
My mom gave me this book for my birthday. Steyn is often labeled as a "conservative." But he really takes aim at the "ruling class" comprised of members of both major political parties who tell us how to leave while carving out exceptions for themselves. He has particular ire for the politicans and bureaucrats who "went to the right schools" but have not accomplished anything real. This is a very interesting book, with the points made in a very witty way.
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Canadian born American conservative political commentator, and cultural critic.
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“Abraham Lincoln, a predecessor of Barack Obama in both the White House and the Illinois state legislature, had eighteen months of formal education and became a soldier, surveyor, postmaster, rail-splitter, tavern keeper, and self-taught prairie lawyer. Obama went to Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School, and became a "community organizer." I'm not sure that's progress--and it's certainly not "sustainable.” 7 likes
“Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks--drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it's the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.” 7 likes
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