25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making real-life economics both humorous and depressing - simultaneously!
Wow! What an incredible book. Mark Steyn, a cross between a stand-up comedian (great one-liners), a first class tabloid journalist (pithy, irreverent, and fearless) and an economist (who does reach a conclusion) has produced a MUST READ for all politicians, business folk and anyone else concerned with the current financial/economic chaos Europe and the US is going...
Published 20 months ago by Kenneth J. Morris
5 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed I wasted my money.
It's difficult to decide whether Steyn really believes the fiction he writes or he's just teeing up his one liners, which are occassionally funny. His observations about Europe are well wide of the mark from my experience. I have never been to America, it must be a real shangri-la. One of the positive reviews said he should have a spot on Fox News, I agree. He'd fit in...
Published 17 months ago by bobapcoed
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making real-life economics both humorous and depressing - simultaneously!,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)Wow! What an incredible book. Mark Steyn, a cross between a stand-up comedian (great one-liners), a first class tabloid journalist (pithy, irreverent, and fearless) and an economist (who does reach a conclusion) has produced a MUST READ for all politicians, business folk and anyone else concerned with the current financial/economic chaos Europe and the US is going through. Essentially a plea to "get sovereign debt under control in the US" but there are lessons for all - particularly so in his Chapter, wickedly entitled, "The Hope of Audacity". Here's part of his recipe: De-centralize/De-governmentalize/De-regulate (less. much less Government),De-monopolize (including aspects of government), De-complicate, De-credentialize (less students to university/more compact courses, more technical/practical skill training). If there is one criticism it's Mark's "US tabloid" style - it gets just a little wearing but the underlying arguments are 24 carat gold.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim Prospects for the Post-American World,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)Mark Steyn is no stranger to controversy and to the particularly scathing vain of apocalyptic social commentary. In "America Alone" he addressed an increasing sense of isolation on the part of America in world that seems to be irrevocably sliding away from the many principles that had built the Western Civilization. Unfortunately, in the intervening years even America and Americans have been drifting away from those same values and principles, and in Steyn's view are headed towards the inevitable doom. In "After America" he presents his case for this assessment.
A doomsday books ought not to be this much fun to read. Steyn's wit, erudition, and style are second to none in today's polemical political punditry, and in his latest book he's been combining them and using them to the max. He strips naked all the liberal sacred cows and reduces to the brutal essentials many of the big-state arguments from the left. Steyn argues that the recent encroachment on individual liberties in the US under the Obama administration, and a concomitant increase of the nanny state, are actively undermining the political and economic health of America, and make it far less competitive in the ever more treacherous seas of the changing geopolitical realignments. Aside form the economic uncompetitiveness, it's the lack of leadership when it comes to individual freedom that is rapidly eroding America's unique leadership position. As many generations of immigrants have known for well over two centuries, including Steyn and myself, America has for well over two centuries been a beacon to all who try to escape or overcome tyranny in all parts of the world. And in our view, the world without such strong and unique American leadership is a much more dangerous and uncertain world.
Steyn is a very opinionated writer, and this is one of his main selling points, as well as one of his biggest liabilities. He has a particular set of opinions, and although most of them form a coherent right-leaning worldview, he has enough of the personal pet peeves thrown into the equation that it's inevitable that some of that stuff will not resonate with all of his fans. I personally don't see the decline of government-sponsored space program as part of the decline of America itself. The space program was conceived and executed at the height of the cold war and it had its own rationale and value in promoting the American know-how and acting as a stand-in for all of American technological supremacy. Unfortunately, in my opinion the space program has been a victim of its own success. Like all other government programs of that size and scope it de-incentivized any privately initiated space exploration ventures for the better part of half a century. As it has been successfully demonstrated recently with the launch of Space X, the private sector has fully caught up and is able to execute space programs on its own. If this trend continues or, even more likely, accelerates, then in the decades ahead we may witness the true renaissance of the space exploration, and America-based private ventures at the center of it.
This book is a great read that provides a lot of insights and food for thought. However, it is an extremely partisan book and it's unlikely that anyone who is not already persuaded by its premise will find it convincing. For those of us, on the other hand, who are concerned with the future of freedom in America and beyond this book can serve as a much needed and welcome call to arms.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading.,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)Once again, Steyn lays it all out. Just about everything he predicted in 'America Alone' is everyday life in Europe, and in 'After America' he foretells the next stage of the collapse of Western Civilization.
It's often said that Steyn is unique in making you laugh whilst also making you depressed; it's absolutely true. If you want to know your future, buy this book - and get reading before it's too late.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)Mark Steyn knows his stuff. It may appear alarmist, but the facts he produces are all publicly available and the fact is the US is going down the tubes very fast. Gone is the baby boomer generation who consumed at olympic levels. They spent from earnings. Now everyone spends from cheap borrowed money, most especially the US Government, and they cannot possibly afford to pay it all back on time. Sound familiar?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and yet hilarious,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)Mark Steyn has the rare and unique ability to use humour and wit to drive home points that are actually as serious as can be. In his previous book, 'America Alone', Steyn argued that the demographic and moral collapse of Europe meant that only America was left to uphold Western values and confront Islamist terrorism and Sino-Russian authoritarianism. In the time since he wrote the first book, he concludes now even America may be doomed.
Steyn concludes in this book that pork barrel spending by successive US governments, and similar social trends that brought down Europe now taking root in America means that now even America cannot morally or financially maintain its role as global protector. Instead, he foresees a future where, without American global protection, regional thugs like Chavez bully their neighbours, and at a global level where rampant and unchecked radical Islam forces countries to become even more submissive to their demands.
This book is a chilling, but informative read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and weep (for the world),
This review is from: After America (Paperback)An unsparing polemic against the 'Europeanisation' of America, both in terms of the expansion of the state and the culture of entitlement, this is written with great humour and apposite historical / literary references.
For a Brit such as myself it's particularly interesting to read an articulation of the almost seamless transition from British Empire to American hegemony; in stark contrast to the historic examples and, of course, the possible transition to China that the book forewarns.
Regrettably I fear it will succeed more in cheering those who already share the views expressed within it than in converting those who don't. That's not a criticism of the book or its author; simply a weary recognition of human nature...
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars after america,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)nearly half way through this absorbing-quite funny piece of literature,in my case i agree with steyn"s view,very well sectioned into mini chapters.a lot of americanisms but can read through that.well worth the read(if you have the nerve)!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steyn is so good, so funny and so right,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Kindle Edition)First to be clear I think stein is great. I always listen to him when he is a guest host on Rush and the way he deals with the callers is great. He speaks to them with humor and respect and always let's them make their case rather then call them stupid like rush and hannity does. mark steyn let's the caller expose his stupidity himself and let's the listener decide. I think that liberals really hate mark steyn as he is nice, not rude, not arrogant and he is foreign.
His book is like Anne coulters in that there is lots of humour but unlike her he doesn't hate liberals or democrats. He just can't understand how they can be so stupid and he exposes the decline of America in such a gentle and funny way that there is no way you can deny it. For example the USA pays for chinas expanding military though interest payments.
It's a shame that Fox never gave mark steyn a show and if I was Glenn Beck I would try and get him on GBTV ASAP as he is a real conservative star.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book but with one or two flaws,
This review is from: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (Hardcover)I liked this book. Mark Steyn, whose enthusiasms range from writing about demographics to sharing his love of John Barry film scores, is always entertaining. I thought that the overall message of this book - the perils of Big Government - was strongly argued. It is a book that fits in with other works on the same sort of theme, albeit with some variations, such as Theodore Dalrymple's "Life at the Bottom", James Bartholomew's "The Welfare State We're In", and "Mind the Gap", by Ferdinand Mount. Some of these books are more UK-centric, whereas Steyn uses what he sees as the failings of British post-WW2 society to warn Americans. But they all hold together. I'd also mention Charles Murray's classic, "Losing Ground".
A couple of niggles: Steyn quotes with some approval a line about immigration by Joseph Sobran. Sobran, who was fired by National Review over a decade or so ago, was a man of reportedly dubious views on the Jews. Steyn is admirably brutal about the anti-semitism of the current leadership of Iran, for example. So I was a bit taken aback to see him quoting this sort of source without explanation or health warning.
I also don't quite share his pessimism about immigration, or at least I think he needs to make the point more clearly that that it is not immigration per se that is an issue, but immigration+welfarism+lack of willingness to teach English, is. America was built by immigration - often at the brutal expense of the Native American Indians, so any alarm about current trends needs to see how they fit into a broader story. There is just a hint of hysteria at times, and this is a part of the book that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. But then again Steyn might argue that one needs a bit of salty language to illustrate how quickly a country can change in unforseen ways.
These are mostly quibbles, though. In the main, this is a good book and Steyn even manages to suggest some ideas on how to turn things around. Call me naive, but I am confident that there is plenty of life and vigor in Jefferson's Republic yet, so long as its citizens remember their Englightenment heritage, capacity for hard work, individualism and can-do attitude. To amend Mark Twain, rumours of America's death are greatly exaggerated.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Steyn.,
This review is from: After America (Paperback)Frightening. Thought provoking. Insightful. Clever. Funny. Ironic. Sarcastic. It seems almost wrong to so massively enjoy a book on such a potentially catastrophic subject. A most extraordinary book.
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After America: Get Ready for Armageddon by Mark Steyn (Hardcover - 11 Aug 2011)