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Kunstler: A History of the Future

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For the townspeople of Union Grove, New York, the future is not what they expected it would be.

In this arresting work of speculative fiction, social critic James Howard Kunstler takes an imaginative leap into the future, a few decades hence, and shows what life may be like following the long emergency, after the terminal decline of oil production and the disruptions of climate change put industrial civilization as we know it out of business.

After these catastrophes converge, leading to resource wars and global pandemics, the residents of the small New York town are forced to do whatever they can to get by. They grow all their own food, at great expense of time and energy, and the largest business in town is the dump, mined for anything usable. With transportation so slow and dangerous, life has gotten extremely local and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people can’t be sure.

As the heat of summer intensifies our narrator, Robert Earle, former marketing executive turned carpenter, and his fellow residents of Union Grove struggle with the new way of life. Robert, coping with the loss of family, tries to push through changes in the meager town government and is sent on a mission to Albany to track the crew of a vanished trading boat. His close friend Loren, the town minister, faces his own dwindling faith as well as the arrival of a radical sect that promises stability. Their challenges play out in a dazzling, fully realized world of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses working the fields and rivers replenished with fish. Driven by realistic conflicts and peopled with relatable, engaging characters, World Made by Hand is an extraordinary novel full of love, loss, violence, power, desperation, but also plenty of hope.


5 Comments on "Kunstler: A History of the Future"

  1. makati1 on Tue, 6th Dec 2016 8:40 pm 

    Would YOU hire a graduate of Snowflake U.?

    “Virginia Tech Snowflakes Unveil Definitive List Of Top 50 Microaggressions That Offend Them”

    Just another proof of the decline of America.

  2. makati1 on Tue, 6th Dec 2016 9:00 pm 

    Another loss of Freedom in America and Europe…

    “Libraries on US campuses are now putting “trigger warnings” on works of literature: students are advised, for example, that Ovid’s sublime Metamorphosis “justifies” rape. Stanford University even managed to exclude Dante, Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare and other giants of Western culture from the academic curricula in 1988: supposedly many of their masterpieces are “racist, sexist, reactionary, repressive.” This is the vocabulary of Western surrender before totalitarian Islamic fundamentalism.”

    And the beat goes on…

  3. makati1 on Tue, 6th Dec 2016 9:18 pm 

    Illegal to be homeless in America…

    ” All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding.”

    Is the word “Gestapo” being used in conversations in America? No? It soon will be.

  4. makati1 on Wed, 7th Dec 2016 1:31 am 

    Everyone is coming to America’s yard sale:

    “Japan Continues Acquisition Of US Oil And Gas Assets”

    The best deals go before the crowd gets there. LOL

  5. Cloggie on Wed, 7th Dec 2016 3:03 am 

    In this arresting work of speculative fiction, social critic James Howard Kunstler takes an imaginative leap into the future

    ‘Speculative fiction’ is good. The book was written in 2015 and still pushes the idea of a ‘world made by hand’.

    ‘social critic’ is good also. If you want to predict the future, you first need to do your home work properly. The last thing we need is yet another Heinberg layman merrily blundering away at explaining the future for us. What you need is a solid understanding of technology first. But our esteemed ‘social critics’ Heinberg and Kunstler are too good for that. That’s for square techies.

    As I explained here yesterday…

    (Tue, 6th Dec 2016 3:57 am )

    …we have no fossil fuel depletion problem, ergo we are not going to have a ‘world made by hand’.

    Nice try.

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