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Om författaren

James Howard Kunstler is the author of four nonfiction books and eleven novels. He has participated in TED conferences and lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, and many other colleges, and has appeared before professional organizations that include the American Institute of visa mer Architects, the American Psychological Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He lives in upstate New York. visa färre
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Verk av James Howard Kunstler

World Made By Hand (2008) 958 exemplar
The Witch of Hebron (2010) 273 exemplar
An Embarrassment of Riches (1985) 35 exemplar
The Halloween Ball (1987) 20 exemplar
Aladdin and the Magic Lamp (1991) 16 exemplar

Associerade verk

Post Mortem (Short Stories Anthology) (1989) — Bidragsgivare — 57 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



This book was hard to read primarily because it was such a mixed bag. Kunstler points out some very real issues with American architecture and city planning, specifically regarding neighborhoods. His points about the car's effect on American infrastructure and daily life are valid, and he gathers some great examples of people building neighborhoods and towns on a much more human scale; built for people, not cars.

However, he does all of this in the tone of a progressive elitist, or a lecturing school marm. The first third of the book or so this tone is largely absent but, as soon as he reaches the point where oil and gas are major parts of America's energy consumption, he adopts it fully. His whole motivation, it seems, for this work is to convince people how imminent the fossil fuel catastrophe is and how America is not prepared for a future without cars. I can agree that, should there be a disaster that removes our ability to drive, it would be catastrophic and that it's an incentive to build human-scaled towns and neighborhoods, but his constant harping on the environmental angle grows annoying very quickly. He also implies that this catastrophe would happen within 30 years. The book was published in 1993, so 30 years would be 2023...yet another climate alarmist's inaccurate prediction.

I'd much rather argue for the things he suggests because they simply produce more human environments, by which I mean they're environments meant for people to live in community, not for people to drive past each other in their sealed metal boxes.

Overall, I found his historical insights interesting, although he portrays many groups (like the Puritans) inaccurately and uncharitably. I grew tired of his elitism and nanny-like tone. But, the book gets three stars because so much of what he writes about needs to be discussed. Christians should be leading the way in these discussions as the ones who best understand man's purpose and, therefore, the best equipped to build human communities.
… (mer)
D.T.Adams | 20 andra recensioner | Aug 30, 2023 |
If you have an interest in issues surrounding Peak Oil or the overall tenuous nature of our economic system this work of fiction may be of interest to you. A quick read.
bloftin2 | 55 andra recensioner | May 4, 2023 |
The Harrows of Spring by James Howard Kunstler is the fourth and last book in the World Made by Hand Series. The series follows the life and inhabitants of a quaint upstate New York town a number of years after both the power grid and governments around the world have failed. United States doesn’t really exist anymore and lawlessness and violence are commonplace. The town of Union Grove strives to remain a peaceful and safe community. They have welcomed newcomers and absorbed them into the community and are now trying to make bonds of trade and commerce with other communities.

In this volume they are visited by a group of left-leaning hucksters who are trying to scam the village out of it’s silver by offering them inclusion in their Berkshire People’s Republic which, in fact, doesn’t exist. I can’t believe that I read all of the books in this series, as his treatment of women, and political learnings to the far right are very different from my own. My only defense is that I am a sucker for dystopian stories.
… (mer)
DeltaQueen50 | 3 andra recensioner | Jan 3, 2023 |
Part history, part analysis, and part plain old rant, The Geography of Nowhere discusses the evolution of the cities and houses in the U.S. in the city, the country, and the suburbs.

Kunstler starts with a historical overview of housing and community development in the U.S., starting with colonial towns and ending with the soulless suburban sprawl of today. Although much of the content was familiar, the historical overview had a number of surprises.

If you grew up in the U.S., when you think of an agricultural community you think of isolated farm houses surrounded by fields. Historically, agricultural communities have had a rather different setup. Homes were clustered together, and these town centers were surrounded by the farm lands. Your farmland was not necessarily adjacent to your property, but it was within a manageable distance. This layout provided safety and was more efficient for people without cars. The country sprawl that we think of as typical today is actually a result of the vast amounts of lands in the American west and the governments policies for settling them.

The history of the suburb is also surprising. Again in the U.S., you generally think of suburbs as the result of car induced sprawl. However, the first suburbs were built in the 1800s as communities along rail lines. They shared many features with modern suburbs (people lived there but did not work there, they were often planned communities of similar homes). However, they differed in one key respect. The original suburbs were built to human scale. Because they were rail suburbs, the residents still had to be able to walk within the community. Furthermore, the railroad station provided a natural center to the community, something which modern suburbs lack.

The next part of the book discusses the changes in house styles in the U.S. This part contains a fair bit of ranting about modern architecture. [b:Home A Short History of an Idea|134218|Home A Short History of an Idea|Witold Rybczynski||129307] by Witold Rybczynski does a better job of presenting similar information.

Kunstler presents case studies of 6 cities, pointing out what is right about them and what is wrong, and closes with a discussion of what is being done to make better places and stronger communities. Overall, I enjoyed The Geography of Nowhere. Kunstler ranted enough to be amusing without being distracting. The historical perspective and the case studies were valuable resources. Even though this book was published in 1993, it is still relevant. In fact, it may be increasingly relevant as the crash of the housing bubble lends energy to community rebuilding efforts.
… (mer)
eri_kars | 20 andra recensioner | Jul 10, 2022 |



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