Dark Age Ahead

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Random House, 2004 - History - 241 pages
24 Reviews
A dark age is a culture's dead end. In North America, for example, we live in a virtual graveyard of lost and destroyed aboriginal cultures. In this powerful and provocative book, renowned author Jane Jacobs argues convincingly that we face the coming of our own dark age. Throughout history, there have been many more dark ages than the one that occurred between the fall of the Roman Empire and the dawn of the Renaissance. Ten thousand years ago, our ancestors went from hunter-gatherers to farmers and, along the way, lost almost all memory of what existed before. Now we stand at another monumental crossroads, as agrarianism gives way to a technology-based future. How do we make this shift without losing the culture we hold dearand without falling behind other nations that successfully master the transition? First we must concede that things are awry. Jacobs identifies five central pillars of our society that show serious signs of decay: community and family; higher education; science and technology; governmental representation; and self-regulation of the learned professions. These are the elements we depend on to stand firmbut Jacobs maintains that they are in the process of becoming irrelevant. If that happens, we will no longer recognize ourselves. The good news is that the downward movement can be reversed. Japan avoided cultural defeat by retaining a strong hold on history and preservation during war, besiegement, and occupation. Ireland nearly lost all native language during the devastations of famine and colonialism, but managed to renew its culture through the steadfast determination of its citizens. Jacobs assures us that the same can happen hereif only we recognize the signs of decline in time. Dark Age Ahead is not only the crowning achievement of Jane Jacobs's career, but one of the most important works of our time. It is a warning that, if heeded, could save our very way of life.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

I did not find this book very closely reasoned, she seems to lack a clear vision for the future of the American City, and its inhabitants. But parts are in sync with my vision, so it got the half star. Read full review

Review: Dark Age Ahead

User Review  - Bruce - Goodreads

In her last book, the articulate ur-urbanist manages to be both prophetic about America's present and hopeful about America's future. She describes five signs of crisis as our culture enters the post ... Read full review

Contents

one The Hazard
3
two Families Rigged to Fail
27
three Credentialing Versus Educating
44
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

JANE JACOBS is the legendary author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a work that has never gone out of print and that has transformed the disciplines of urban planning and city architecture. Her other major works include The Economy of Cities, Systems of Survival and The Nature of Economies. She lives in Toronto.

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