Dark Age Ahead

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Random House of Canada, Jun 25, 2010 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

The book suggests 5 ways in which our (North American) culture is failing, hurling us toward a Dark Age. It was written 15 years ago and it's clear that these parameters have gotten significantly ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibliosk8er - LibraryThing

Jacobs is an interesting writer, and clearly very well-read. Also a fascinating person. This book contains some interesting ideas. She leans heavily on Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond. Dark ... Read full review


ONE The Hazard
TWO Families Rigged to Fail
THREE Credentialing Versus Educating
FOUR Science Abandoned
SEVEN Unwinding Vicious Spirals I 39
EIGHT Dark Age Patterns

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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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