Dark Age Ahead: Author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities

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Random House of Canada, Jun 25, 2010 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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Visionary thinker Jane Jacobs uses her authoritative work on urban life and economies to show us how we can protect and strengthen our culture and communities.

In Dark Age Ahead, Jane Jacobs identifies five pillars of our culture that we depend on but which are in serious decline: community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation and government; and self-policing by learned professions. The decay of these pillars, Jacobs contends, is behind such ills as environmental crisis, racism and the growing gulf between rich and poor; their continued degradation could lead us into a new Dark Age, a period of cultural collapse in which all that keeps a society alive and vibrant is forgotten.

But this is a hopeful book as well as a warning. Jacobs draws on her vast frame of reference -- from fifteenth-century Chinese shipbuilding to zoning regulations in Brampton, Ontario -- and in highly readable, invigorating prose offers proposals that could arrest the cycles of decay and turn them into beneficent ones. Wise, worldly, full of real-life examples and accessible concepts, this book is an essential read for perilous times.
 

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Contents

ONE The Hazard
3
TWO Families Rigged to Fail
27
THREE Credentialing Versus Educating
44
FOUR Science Abandoned
64
SEVEN Unwinding Vicious Spirals I 39
139
EIGHT Dark Age Patterns
161
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About the author (2010)

Jane Jacobs is the author of several books, including the classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which redefined urban studies and economic policy, and the bestselling Systems of Survival. She lives and works in Toronto.

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