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on 22 August 2013
For anyone who is interested in scenarios about how the future of the current industrial/capitalist paradigm could pan out '5 Stages of Collapse' (sub-titled 'A Survivors Toolkit' is for you.

Dmitry Orlov writes with a wonderful dry humour which is most engaging in itself. He develops the idea of various of our systems falling over - financial, commercial political, social and cultural, and then provides cases studies of each of these, which can provide some solutions to the issues raised. This is of course set against our various financial calamities, resource drawdown, slide into climate change, over population and the slow demise of the nation state. Of course this introduces ideas and possibilities that are very hard for many of us to process at first glance or even second glance but i would urge anyone and everyone to stop and think about what he has to say as each of his case studies are based on events which are happening now, and seemingly being extrapolated across the globe. he emphasises the psychological damage that can accompany these changes, which is why I particularly find his writing so useful, so that when the wheels come off I am emotionally prepared, and hopefully able to function as a useful parent and neighbour.

He offers hope too. Having spent the last few decades demolishing the extended family and locally based life we will perforce find that our most resilient social ties will be within our families and close communities. Our salvation such as it is will rest within that setting, and the symptoms of this are already apparent with for instance the growth in the 3 generation household.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2013
There is a lot of interest in collapse (and "life after growth") issues these days, probably because an economic system predicated on perpetual growth is bound to hit resource constraints, and sooner rather than later.

In this excellent book, Orlov provides a step-by-step analysis of collapse. First, the financial system collapses once the underpinning assumption of perpetual growth becomes invalid. Financial collapse creates commercial collapse as trading relationships founder in the absence of finance. Stage three sees the collapse of the state as tax revenues disappear. And so on.

This book is very well-reasoned and well-written. I would have liked a few more stats (hence four stars instead of five), but otherwise it is wholly commendable.
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on 13 February 2014
Mr Orlov wrote an interesting and informative book however, it is NOT a survivors' manual as some may believe when reading the title, nor is it an in-depth study of collapsed civilisations one can trult draw from. When the author mentions toolkit, it is in a philosophical way, of tools for thought and a sinthesis of ideas for further reading. The case studies are looked at very superficially, almost anedoctally, but do serve the purpose of depicting different ways to cope with the five stages of collpase he predicts.

Mr Orlov's ideas for human resilience have merit however, his fascination with violent criminal societies and clear disregard for women (except for grandmothers) both of which permeate this book throughout, make their implementation a pretty bad prospect for at least half of the survivors of societal collapse.
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on 30 May 2013
A very interesting and engaging look at collapse based on the 5 stages of trauma borrowed from psychology. Possibly not as clean cut in terms of stage progression, but that is not really the authors main focus. Its seems to be more what the defining characteristics of a stage will be, rather than portraying the overall exact sequence of events.

Wonderful real world examples used from his personal experience and via case studies. I also find his writing style and way of presenting the topic to be very amusing. Difficult to do considering the topic.

Well worth the asking price.
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on 1 June 2015
Be prepared, intellectually. This book, once read, provides understanding of collapse and how far we might fall. I have read it twice.

It also explains how much we have lost getting here and how we might reclaim that all back. Which is why I read it twice. I missed the happy 'ending' the first time round.
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on 22 February 2015
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on 30 December 2014
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2013
This reminds me of some of the CDs I have in my music collection - a couple of excellent songs, some that are OK and a few that I never want to hear again.

The author is overflowing with ideas that he wants to share but I'm struggling to find a cohesive flow to the book. For example I read a chapter that spent a lot of time talking about a utopian society based on giving and then the case study that follows looks at how organised crime came to dominate in Russia and the former Soviet Union. If there's an explanation of how you head towards the nice and avoid the nasty, I missed it.

I'm getting frustrated and angry with the book as it shoots off into areas that appear to me to be irrelevant. I've had to give up on it and I think it's going to take a lot to get me to go back.

I suspect there's an important book here but I think it's struggling to get out. It needs much better editing to either weed out the irrelevant or to explain the relevancy.
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on 21 November 2014
An interesting general background read on the subject, but the 'toolkit' byline is somewhat misleading, as the author readily admits in his closing remarks. Well written with a good dash of irony that appealed to this English reader. A blind belief in CAGW undermines his credibility though...
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on 15 April 2013
A great overview of systemic collapse and peoples responding choices and survival strategies. In large parts it is drawn from his essays on ClubOrlov, but the case studies are new and informative. Dmitry sees financial, commercial, and political collapse as set in place, and details extensively what we will see as these stages progress. He hopes we won't see social or cultural collapse, on which he gives less detail. Though as these stages are much rarer historically and have been studied much less, I don't think he can be faulted here. For specific personnel advice on how to survive through the early stages of collapse I think his "Reinventing collapse", the Soviet experience, is better as a couple of chapters specifically address it. The book's structure around the five stages of collapse illuminates connections and processes leading to each stage of collapse, but this structure I feel also inhibits making connections to the processes in American society that are leading to the cultural and social collapse stages in many places before the financial, commercial and poltical collapse stages occur at national level. A good book for those seeking wisdom in these times, but not for preppers.
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