Dark Age Ahead
Jacobs, JanePublisher: Random House Canada, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 2004
Pages: 244pp Price: $29.95 ISBN: 0-679-31309-5
Library of Congress Number: CB19J33 2004a Dewey: 909.83
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX6715
A dark age is a culture's dead end. Jacobs argues that our society is facing the coming of a dark age.
The "Dark Ages" as defined by Jane Jacobs, are those places where cultures go to die. And she warns, that is the place North America finds itself at the outset of the 21st century. Her thesis: planning schemes premised on outdated approaches can only lead to societal decay and destruction.
A famed urban writer and activist, Jacobs' work is easy to grasp though it dips into the complexities of fiscal accountability, failed education practices, and our misunderstanding of science. Jacobs herself called the book more a cautionary tale than a surrender to despair.
Her premise rests on the identification of "five pillars of society" under siege. These include the loss of family and community, the downgrading of useful education, the abandonment of science, flawed taxation and governmental powers, and the failure of self-regulation in selected professions. Jacobs links the crumbling of these pillars to contemporary environmental woes, racism, the growing rich/poor divide and cultural collapse. And she cites a lack of courage as one of the reasons why we find ourselves here.
It is a work both provocative and instructive, and is the last book from a woman known to ignite debate and challenge conventional thinking.
[abstract by Penny Cadrain]
Table of Contents
One: The Hazard
Two: Families Rigged to Fail
Three: Credentialing Versus Educating
Four: Science Abandoned
Five: Dumbed-Down Taxes
Six: Self-Policing Subverted
Seven: Unwinding Vicious Spirals
Eight: Dark Age Patterns
Notes and Comments