Dark Age Ahead

Front Cover
Random House of Canada, Jun 25, 2010 - Social Science - 256 pages
9 Reviews
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.

From the Hardcover edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

This is the last book Jane Jacobs wrote. It was written in 2003 and she was born in 1916 so she was 87 at the time. How wonderful to have the mental acuity and wide-ranging curiosity at that age to ... Read full review

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


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

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information