Customer Reviews for

Dark Age Ahead

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Doomsday picture written with surprising appeal

    Despite the topic - the threat of culture collapsing into another dark age in the near future - this is a surprisingly charming, readable book. That is due to the way author Jane Jacobs combines a lifetime of research and thought on urban planning and the way societies function with very practical stories based on personal experience. Jacobs moves smoothly from a discussion of medieval tax strategies to accounts of a Sunday drive, and uses both to illustrate her ideas. Her style is friendly, almost casual, and at times she meanders from one topic to another in the style of the pedestrian-friendly cities she so clearly loves. However, while this provides a great deal of the book¿s charm, it also provides its two weaknesses. Problem one: the book often relies on scattered evidence - albeit by a world-class scholar - to address deeply serious problems. Problem two: Jacobs spends more time discussing society¿s failings than how one might fix them. The result is a fascinating book that is difficult to apply. As a result, we suggest this book to reflective readers who want an intelligent take on the issues involved in shaping the future of our cities, communities and countries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2006

    okay quick read

    When I first picked up this book and read the first chapter I decided that I would buy the book. The only good point that she made in the book was how almost every technologically advance country failed at one point in time but after that she pretty much blames are morals on why our country is failing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005

    Dark Age Ahead... if you are THAT pessimistic

    There is a Dark Age Ahead, indeed, as Jane Jacobs warns, but only if you are THAT pessimistic. This is a woman who longs for the nuclear family of the 50s and the removal of many roads because they ruin the community, leading to isolation rather than socialization, among other things. I have to wonder how she was such a supposedly influential urban planner if Toronto, where she worked for many years, turned out so horridly by her own standards which is ruining the community with its mess of roads. I think Jane's been a bit isolated by those roads in Toronto, sitting alone to formulate up all these things. Also, several 'get back' statements to certain people who opposed her views in the past were also present in the book, statements which nobody cared to listen to she had to write her own book to put them in print. These were NOT classy and paints a picture of a bitter old lady, which, incidentally, is the tone I got from the book. Now, I'm not saying everything Jane says is incorrect. She does rightly point out issues of accreditation instead of education where institutions are giving slips of paper and churning out students rather than educating them well. However, as with all her observations, accurate or not, she tends to draw the wrong, or at least, most pessimistic conclusions. It's so pessimistic that apart from an apocalypse prediction, it rivals doomsday cults in predicting where we're going. It's not so drastic, but more painful if you look at it as us having to live through it in a relatively meaningless life devoid of functionality as a family and as a society, rather than just quickly be wiped out. Thank goodness Jane won't be around for it, but I'd advise her to have some faith in humanity and die in peace rather than fret about the rest of us as a species, all for nothing. I had to read this book for a course and I deliberately finished the final few pages standing in line at the university library, to donate it the moment I was done if only not to pollute the atmosphere with unnecessary by-products of burning a book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    JANE RULES

    Jane Jacobs is observant and intense. Well worth reading and a book with ideas that will haunt you.

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