Past and present civilizations failed and fail for many reasons, but the number-one predictor of a civilization’s survival is its sense of religion—or lack thereof. So argues First Things columnist David Goldman in How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too).
The strength of a civilization’s religion affects its purpose, its fertility rate, and ultimately, its fate, says Goldman—who then argues that, contrary to popular belief, Islamic countries are in the last throes of death while Christian America is in a position to flourish. Goldman goes on to say that America must embrace our exceptionalism and stop trying to save Muslim countries that are determined to destroy themselves.
Original, stunning, and provocative, How Civilizations Die shows the power of religion to save—or doom—a society and why, if we stick to our principles, we will emerge as leader of another American century.
©2011 David P. Goldman (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"David Goldman muses on population trends and religion with a breathtaking depth, originality, and panache." (Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum)
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"Is this really the future?"
The week I first started listening to this book, the President of Iran came forward to tell his population to have more babies. From then on, this book had my attention as statistical truth.
There are many things you cannot argue with and, numbers and data are one. Goldman lays out the future of many of our world's civilizations through the use of demographics. From there, he offers a few explanations for why many civilizations are willing themselves out of existence.
For instance, the change in attitude of children now becoming a financial liability rather than an asset. When a society reveres children as an expense, these are the first signs that the civilization is on its way to decline, if not extinction.
Whether you agree with Goldman or not, this is certainly a read that will make you think. Highly recommend this thought provoking book.
"Ideas I Have Never Heard Before!"
Absolutely! Every human being should read this book -- especially our leaders. I consider myself a well-read, well-informed person; but, David Goldman presents ideas I've never heard before. These past eight months, I've gone from knowing almost nothing about Islam to being our local expert. Then I listened to Mr. Goldman! Wow! To say the least, I was blown away! Please, move beyond your prejudices, the reader (dull), the style (dry); and listen to what the man is saying. My God, if only half of what he is saying is true, it's game-changing truth! Population explosion? Absolutely not! Islam taking over the world? No way. The importance of faith? All important! Who are the real world-changers? See that mother over there with four kids. Go tell her, "Thank you for saving America!" I consider this a land-mark book.
Author Goldman's mind sweeps across history, culture, and disciplines with the cleaving gusto of a swinging broadsword. I like that. He attacks, thrusts, parleys, and destroys the conventional, the sacred, and the politically correct. If you'd like a fresh and unconventional look into the future, read Goldman.
I wanted Tom to get more excited, to raise his voice, to drive home the point with vigor. However, having listened to the book three times, I came to appreciate Tom's dignified and measured cadence, his matter-of-fact approach. Tom let the words speak their powerful messages without getting in their way. I commend him for his studied presentation.
How Civilizations Die (and Why What Your Grandmother Believes Is Saving America)
I am hungry for more. The more I reflect on this book, the more questions I have. Each chapter begs to be another whole book. If this truly is what is going to happen, how do we deal with it? How do we save the Arab world from Islam, and what do we give them to replace it? Again, what exactly is it about evangelical faith that produces fertility? Might it be possible that person-to-person relationships between Western and Arab women can and will save the planet? I need the sequel.
"Great but too detailed."
Very intersting concepts that I had never been exposed to. I always thought that the Islamic world was exploding in growth such that in a century or so they would take over the world due to sheer numbers. This book offers facts that destroy that belief.
The author appears to want his readers/listenters to be fully informed. But for the average person, this book could have been half as long and it still would have provided significant information.
Sometimes it is necessary to explain the obvious. Anti-human campaigns,such as zero population growth, have consequences that should be obvious, but unfortunately aren't understood until it's too late.
The good news is that Christians who understand the biblical command to be fruitful and multiply are mankind's hope.
The narcissistic, short-sighted, me-centered reap what they sow: few children, and an end to their way of life, necessarily.
He read it with emphasis seemingly born of empathy. Very effective.
Buy it. Read (listen to) it. Believe it. It's obvious.
"Want to know how the world really works? A must"
Humans abandon truth
The realization that we can't ignore fundamental truths
Guaranteed to make you sick
History can be interpreted many ways, but few if any interpretations make as much sense as this work.
"Glaring misogyny for the reason civilizations die."
I was first taken by the interesting theories of this author. After pondering his ideas, I realized I almost fell into the trap of the idea that has plagued civilization since its inception, and that is, it always a womans' fault, and in this case, the entire female collective. Civilizations die because women stop having children the author writes, and then elaborates extensively with somewhat questionable statics. It is actually a fascinating concept that women in doomed civilizations stop having children, but the author completely ignores the idea that the women are not re-producing because the environment they are in is not conducive for having offspring, whether it is low food supply, war or other societal turmoil. Of course to explore the low birth rates in these collapsing nations from that scientific viewpoint would be inconceivable to a conservative and or religious mindset which is the direction this author approaches the subject with. Perhaps the author will blame a low birth rate for the chaos in Syria and other countries where men are embattled in war and dictators are gassing their own constituency. Will there be a low birthrate now, after the fact of such a hideous landscape emerges? Probably since the havoc raised has driven mothers from the land where they could be having children. It is a preposterous notion to think the opposite is true. The collapse of a society starts with the unraveling of civic order first, then women stop having kids, not the other way around.
Yes, many religious societies want their flock to have lots of babies such as Catholics and now Iranian Muslims. But certainly the US will not collapse because women are having less children. The population gets replenished by the influx of immigration, which built the US. But of course, conservatives despise that notion, even though they benefit from the continuous lowering and control over labor prices from the influx. China had years of governmental imposed birth control which was recently relaxed, but they certainly did not die as a civilization. The entire western world has blamed women for its ills starting with Eve in the Garden of Eden. The battle of the sexes will certainly have no end in sight, but no, civilizations don't die because women have less children...they die because the shortsighted ways of evil men create environments that prove to be treacherous for bringing new life into the world.
Who would enjoy this book? Folks who want a simplistic answer to the worlds ills, narrated in a fancy pseudo intellectual word salad.
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama
No one, he did a good job, no complaints.
Anger and disappointment.
People believe what they want to believe.
"Great overview of world history in 9 hours"
After listening to this book, a lot of the events and situations you see on the news will come into clearer focus and understanding for you.
"A must read for any American"
Hope for our future
Beyond stereo type
Our young people need to understand why a young person in another country would
If you are totally ignorant of historical facts, absolutely prejudiced about almost eveything and think that you and only you hold the keys to all truth and to salvation, this book is for you and you will enjoy it. Otherwise do no bother. As a mathematician the most disturbing thing to me is the flowed logic that is carried on and on.
Get his historical facts right and take some logic courses since he seems not to realize that whatever
"very offensive book and biased book against Islam"
Extremely aggressive tone
I won't cut anything but suggest writer to have a balanced way of writing about Abrahamic religions.
Very bad listening experience
"A book of two halves!"
It starts off very academically and logically, putting forward a highly reasoned argument for the book's proposition, as per its title. The key issue is population decline (and the reason therefor).
Okay that is fine but, whether to 'pad out' the book or otherwise, he ends up giving his views about the failings of President Obama and American foreign policy, sounding rather like the lonely, ranting drunk you avoid at the pub bar!
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