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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Civilizations Die (And How Islam Is Dying, Too), by David P. Goldman

Wow. What a book. This is the must read of 2012. This is the book I'll be shouting about from the rooftops, "Read Goldman!"

Mr. Goldman covers so much territory in this book. The conclusions he draws are pointed. His analysis is persuasive. His evidence exhaustive. People need to read him, either to heed his warnings, or to refute his thinking.

He explains the fundamental difference between Islam on the one hand and Judaism and Christianity on the other, and why that fundamental difference has led to the rights of individuals being enshrined in and protected by the law in the West, but not in Muslim lands. He also explains how that fundamental difference has allowed Christianity and Judaism to interact with modernity without falling apart, but doesn't allow Islam to do so.

He explains that, contra to the predictions of some, most Islamic countries are in a demographic death spiral, that these Islamic countries recognize that, and that this death spiral renders them more dangerous. They have nothing to lose.

He ponders the importance of culture, and why some people give up the will to live and display that by not producing the next generation.

He discusses the Three Great Extinctions, and how we're currently witnessing the Fourth.

He outlines the history of the Thirty Years' War, and talks about the often-ignored aspect of widespread cannibalism during that time in Europe.

He suggests that America adopt a foreign policy which he calls 'Augustinian Realism.'

I cannot highly enough recommend this book. If I can influence your choice of just one book this year, it would be this book.


  1. As a result of reading your review, I just put a hold on a library copy.

  2. Hmmm. I am reading a book right now about a journalist's travels through "Muslim Black Africa", the Sahel, and indicates that Islam is still very strong there (2005), but that Christianity is making gains at least among the black people of Northern Africa. I would be interested to read your book as related to the one I'm reading.

  3. Sherry, as you can probably tell from reading this post, I think it would be great if you read Goldman's book. I'd be interested in learning if it contrasts sharply with what else you've read about the Muslims of today. But dinner's ready and my husband desires my presence at the table. Fancy that!