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Publishers WeeklyMedia strategist Gross (editor, The Glen Canyon Reader) and Gilles, founder of Sol Kula Yoga and Healing, base their book on the unsubstantial premise that, "In America, everyone believes in the apocalypse. The only question is whether Jesus or global warming will get here first." The authors claim that this sense of impending doom is prevalent in the U.S. because the Puritans founded the country in anticipation of the apocalypse, and our national character continues to reflect that initial impulse. The explosion of the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945 effectively shifted the apocalypse from the religious into the secular realm. Given concerns about global warming, pandemics, super volcanoes, and meteor strikes, the Gross and Gilles conclude that apocalyptic panic is worse now than at any time in history. They give a brief historical overview of attitudes toward the end times before examining the validity of the many cataclysmic scenarios prevalent in the media. Their conclusion: Americans' preoccupation with apocalyptic thinking not only reflects the country's past, but also informs its present and clouds its future-unable to accept diminished influence and affluence, it is easier for Americans to anticipate the end of everything. While their argument is intriguing, the authors' substantiation for their claims is weak-many statements lack citations and those that are cited use secondary sources.
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