cath's Reviews > The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler
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's review
May 11, 2008

it was ok
Read in May, 2008

okay, so like -- there is a lot of good stuff in this book, stuff we all need to pay attention to. and kunstler is an entertaining writer. but then at the end of the book when he's writing about what might actually happen in the long emergency, he gets all essentialist on our asses and it sucks. like: people in the south will react like this, because of their inherent nature. people in the west will do this because it's in their blood or something. and so on. wtf. that all kinda ruined it for me.
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message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I read half of a book by Kunstler once, but had to put it aside because it was making me so angry. I agree with him on a lot of big issues about sprawl and its insustainability, but so much of his reasoning seemed to be "I'm so much smarter than everyone else; everyone should just accept my aesthetic preferences as the way things should be." I think it was when he went on a big rant about how horizontal windows should be banned in the U.S. because they frame the body lying down instead of standing up that I said, I'm through, life's too short to read this authoritarian prat.

Rachel I read this in 2005. I agree with cath ... I thought Kunstler's generalizations about the personalities and likes/dislikes of people living in various regions and his comments about various ethnic groups sounded xenophobic and racist. I really hated those parts of the book.

But I believe in the peak oil crisis. I agree with Kunstler's arguments that our current economy is based on the abundance of cheap oil and that our economy will not thrive without it. Overall, the book was good at pointing all of that out. I just wish the author hadn't gone off on these racist-sounding/xenophobic tangents. :(

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