16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A demographic pageturner, 9 Mar. 2010
I was triggered to read Peoplequake by a tweet that led to Fred Pearce's suspense article on the shrinking eastern German city of Hoyerswerda in The Guardian. Imagine a city halved in population and wolves slinking in from across the Polish and Czech border, roaming the empty buildings. Apart from this story on shrinking German cities, Peoplequake is full of intriguing chapters on every aspect of demography you can possibly think of. From the Irish Famine and Malthusian ideas on natural selection to active greying, Sex and the City or the Chinese one-child policy. And what makes this book really worthwhile is the fact that Pearce has an open mind with which he approaches all sides of the issue of demography. Did you for instance know that the founding fathers of family planning were actually having a hidden eugenetic agenda and were a great inspiration to Adolf Hitler? Did you know that at the end of this century Italy will only have 8 mln. inhabitants, as compared to 56 mln today? Demography is a reliable predictor on which countries are going to cause wars in the coming decade and which countries will simply disappear from the world stage. Peoplequake is a pageturner. Pearce makes you put on demographic glasses to look anew at all the issues the world today has to address: shrinking, global warming, food, war and peace or economic outlook. And each time you will find that many things are not what you thought they were and that truth is stranger than fiction.