Amazon comments on Mark Steyn’s book

MS

Steyn begins by showing us the writing on the wall, using the story of Belshazzar’s feast as a framework to show us that we are broke. Not just in financial difficulties or right up against it, but way past a mere spendthrift nation and into a level of debt that will not only bankrupt the world, but generations to come.

Chapter one shows us images of America past and compares it with America present and compares that with late Rome. Rome was built slowly, but fell quickly. America may be in for the same nightmare.

Chapter two shows us what the true American Dream was, demonstrates how we have traded in our patrimony for some magic beans and some Fool’s Gold. Chapter three demonstrates how close we are to the sickness of Greece right here in America. Much closer than anyone admits and Obama’s policies are drawing us and the whole world closer to that abyss. Chapter four takes us through the cultural decay the role the present all-consuming fetish with Diversity has played in making America weak and incapable of response to our present difficulties. He uses the images of Eloi and Morlocks to show the cultural split between American elites and Americans who actually produce. And how the Americans who still do are condemned, mocked, and are being nanny-stated into becoming passive and government approved Eloi.

What a terrific book. I hope you get a copy and read it. And then tell all your friends about it so they can also hear the warning. And get some laughs as they think about the nightmare we truly face. I know it sounds odd. But we don’t just cry at funerals. Sometimes we have to laugh, too.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Saline, MI

In November of 2010, bestselling author and radio personality Mark Steyn gave a speech in London, Ontario, Canada entitled “Head for the Hills: Why Everything in Your World is Doomed.” While comical, Steyn put forth a very negative outlook for the West that addressed a lot of the major demographic challenges facing Western nations.

After America: Get Ready for Armageddon (the much anticipated sequel to America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It) focuses almost exclusively on the United States. The country that once shone as the beacon of wealth and freedom to the world lost its way, and Steyn doesn’t pretend that patriotism and belief in American exceptionalism alone can fix the problems plaguing the nation.

Drawing from some of the greatest thinkers of the past and present in his book, Steyn brings home lessons that people should have learned through history, particularly the recent history of Europe’s economic and cultural crash, as well as many anecdotes and chapters in ancient history. Most shocking was Steyn’s use of classic novels to illustrate his points. The shock comes not from an author using fiction to make his case for the decline of America, but that what’s happening in the present day is so unprecedented: plot lines previously thought of as bizarre fantasy have become reality.

Make no mistake: in the author’s eyes, the United States is not facing a decline—the decline is already happening, and has been since mid century. What’s next for America is a fall, a plummet, and the result is not pretty.

His argument is straightforward, and familiar to anyone paying attention to the debt crisis. He claims that America has gone from a nation of producers to a nation of borrowers, as he puts it, “from a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers.” Steyn notes that our debt service alone could fund China’s military—even if China quadrupled its military budget.

He sums up the situation with one great Steynism after another, my favorite: “We’ve spent too much of tomorrow today—to the point where we’ve run out of tomorrow.”

This is probably the only recent book that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter while discussing such a depressing subject (the last such book was Steyn’s America Alone). Steyn takes a hard look at the position of the U.S. today financially, politically and in terms of national security and analyzes these with his deep insight and hilarious writing style. As Steyn would probably say himself: “it’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine.”

PC is the chains that keep the Eloi silent. Government hand outs are what keep the Eloi bound. It works amazingly well. Mark’s goes on to show how absolutely dreadful the Federal and State governments of the USA has become.

Personally I don’t think the USA will just up and go away like old Rome. Instead it will eventually fade into an overworked, overtaxed, and over governed society with indifferent citizens. The person who has correctly predicted the future of the USA was Robert Bork in his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline.

His previous book America Alone was about the decline of the western world sans USA. After America is about the impending decline of the United States due to massive spending and growing debt. Steyn warns that fall of the USA will be a catastrophe for the whole world and it will be a nasty thing.

The hot topic lately in Washington is the astronomical debt of the U.S. Government. But Steyn demonstrates that the questions of government debt, overspending, and likely national decline are fundamentally moral questions…

Western civilization, Steyn writes, “is a synthesis—a multicultural synthesis, if you like: Athenian democracy, Roman law, the Hebrew Bible, dispersed by London to every corner of the globe.” In many ways, America is the culmination of this glorious heritage. Unfortunately, America now more closely resembles the newer, degenerated versions of these once-great geopolitical states (Rome, Athens, Britain and Jerusalem) than their celebrated pasts, which so mightily contributed to the founding of our country.

Steyn states what everyone knows but is afraid to say: The welfare state of Europe and, to a slightly lesser degree, America, is simply unsustainable. “When you’re spending four trillion dollars but only raising two trillion in revenue, you’ve no intention of paying it off, and the rest of the world knows it.” The Obama administration, upon taking office, took the average Bush deficit from 2001-2008 and doubled it—all the way to 2020.

America’s debt has other consequences besides just the obvious ones. In 2010, half of our debt was owned by foreigners, and most of that was held by the Chinese. Steyn continues:

“What does that mean? In 2010, the U.S. spent about $663 billion on its military, China about $78 billion. If the People’s Republic carries on buying American debt at the rate it has in recent times, then within a few years U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese armed forces.”

Yikes! And all that, Steyn mentions, while China is undergoing, according to alarming Pentagon reports, a “massive military build-up.” In other words, we are paying what might be our most dangerous enemy to build-up and maintain its military. Can someone say insane?

This is a direct quote from the flyleaf of the book: “What will a world without American leadership look like? It won’t be pretty—not for you and not for your children. America’s decline won’t be gradual, like an aging Europe sipping espresso at a cafe until extinction (and the odd Greek or Islamist riot). No, America’s decline will be a wrenching affair marked by violence and possibly secession.”

Unlike the situation with Europe though, when America collapses there will be no great Western Civ nation to carry the banner and support Western Civ’s ideals in the world.

Don’t read this book if you don’t want to be severely depressed. In fact, I’d most likely recommend this one to lefties. Since they don’t use their brains anyway, and will never absorb any of the truth to bear the burdens of being an adult knowing adult things. They’ll be too busy frothing at the mouth, angry at Steyn for using Obama’s name in a book talking about America’s decline.

Neither Limbaugh nor Steyn have advanced, or even college, degrees. Yet each has more insight, intelligence, honesty and humor each weekday than most Harvard graduates muster in a lifetime. What if they had gone to Harvard? We can never know, but I’m glad they didn’t.

Truth hurts and can also be depressing. Is the reader more ready for Armageddon having read the book? If “ready” means to be not surprised and awake and conscious while facing reality, the read is worth it. If “ready” means spiritually at peace, look elsewhere.

This is a very fine authorship of issues confronting the Western nation economies. Although the title and content certainly focus on America, the overall impact of decades of badly managed fiscal policies has finally caught up with America especially. And what goes wrong here will also go wrong with all other nations linked to the dollar or euro.

The coming Armageddon is an appropriate phrase for the repositioning of western economies into a pattern of insignificance globally speaking. The eventual reality for America is the weakening of our global influence to a level where we cannot do anything more than struggle with a 3rd world level of significance. The fiscal debt and loss of influence will place America in a position of meaningless power.

Mark Steyn is a true patriot that is not afraid to tell the truth and deserves to be read, heard, and recognized as a brave warrior in American politics. The people of America must wake up to the eventual destruction that is propelling us to the brink of cataclysmic uncertainty if we don’t get out of our comfort zone from the distraction of entertainment until it is too late…

A wonderful book. Steyn somehow is able to be very funny on a topic that is disturbing and depressing. The book is not very well organized. It’s a torrent of data about contemporary America, all of it pointing toward an imminent collapse, all of it well documented.

Any English teacher seeking writing samples to illustrate figures of speech—from alliteration to understatement—would find an abundant source here. Steyn is a word artist.

Some (of many) coinages: armageddonouttahere, conformicrats, Eurosclerosis. He turns common phrases upside down and inside out and presents ideas in new, and usually comic, ways. Steyn always provides a fresh perspective on issues, ideas you don’t find anywhere else. And even ideas you have heard before are presented in novel ways.

America Alone warned us; we continue to slide into an abyss of our own making. After America is Mr. Steyn’s red alert. With typical brilliance and humor he paints a picture of a great nation in its death throes.

Mark Steyn, well known radio host and author of previous bestsellers, writes a sobering 350 pages of anecdotes and statistics showing a bleak future for America and the world.

This type of book is becoming more common and more mainstream, unfortunately. Not too long ago, anyone that saw such a dark future would have been called an extremist wacko. Nobody says that anymore. Perhaps the first down-rating of America’s financial picture convince you, perhaps our endless wars and casualties, perhaps our inability to prevent illegal immigration, perhaps our failing cities and states. What Steyn does well is put all of these kinds of trend together in an understandable whole, backed up by extensive documentation.

In addition to the 350 pages, we get 50 pages of footnotes. Steyn’s research is impeccable. The book consists of chapters on economics, culture, demographics and has frequent excerpts from current essays and news reports. Steyn writes clearly and uses humor effectively, but does not resort to simple primal screaming in print.

I figured out long ago that the United States seems intent on committing suicide by government so Mr. Steyn’s message was well received by me.

I just finished Stanley Goldman’s How Civilizations Die. These are both must read books.

In his previous book, America Alone, Steyn argued from a demographics perspective that the Islamic world was taking over the West and that the U.S. was the only nation in the West with a birthrate that didn’t portend a hopeless national death spiral. In After America, Steyn looks at the world through the lens of economics and he determines that the U.S. has joined the rest of the West in a self-destroying debt spiral, one which will result in a short shift of power to countries like China and Russia.

Since Steyn published America Alone, a lot has happened. Obama was voted in by a star-struck, celebrity worshipping, fiscally suicidal U.S. majority who believes that Obama’s personal charisma can underwrite an eternal and bottomless credit line with China and other (often hostile) foreign creditors. But unlike most party-line republicans, Steyn recognizes that, while Obama has done much to worsen and hasten the U.S. fiscal death spiral, he is not the real problem. In fact, the best America could hope for from a majority of republican politicians and presidential candidates would be to slow the car from 90 to 70 miles per hour as it speeds toward the cliff.

My Adorable Husband kicked me out of bed for reading this book—I was laughing out loud at the perfect phrasing and framing of the issues. It was disturbing his sleep.

This book reads like a long Mark Steyn column. Steyn is a great composer of one-liners that induce both thought and laughter. The sarcasm and cynicism that drips through the pages also points to greater sad truths about the civilizational torpor of the West and the sad state of who we have become as a nation.

I finally stopped reading this book for my own mental health. After going through emotions such as anger, then fear, then depression, I was wondering what Mr. Steyn would offer as a solution rather than depressing us all to kingdom come.

If only to further annoy your friends who shun you at cocktail parties as a relentless purveyor of doom and gloom, read After America and burnish your perceptions and arguments. You may at least become more entertaining if not more popular.

A doomsday book 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.

Steyn has a gift for taking a very depressing topic—the decompression of America from superpower to Greece—and making it entertaining and informative. He documents how an entitlement culture has bred dependency and how, in the face of a debt crisis, the government we elected has opted for… wait for it… more spending and regulations!

If you want to get past the noise coming from the media and understand the magnitude of the turd flying towards the fan, this is the book for you. Incisive, witty, thoughtful laying out of the mess we are in and the even nastier one we are heading into. Don’t expect partisanship. Steyn understands that there is plenty of blame to go around and a lack of seriousness on both sides. Even though Steyn doesn’t endorse any politician, after reading this book I wistfully dreamed of a Ron Paul presidency.

Steyn is witty and funny though there is nothing funny about what’s going on in the world as America withdraws and takes its place with those Western nations that dominated a century and then went to sleep: Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain and now us.

Describes the severity of our financial and cultural problems as the United States nears its end. Essentially, the point is that Americans are dependents of government, the government is run by pseudo-intellectual twits, and there is no possible way our economy can survive the debt crisis.

However, I must dock one star because the author keeps suggesting that some of this might be avoidable. That is hopelessly optimistic. 2012 was the last chance, and America blew it. The Obama administration is now talking about minting trillion dollar coins. Republican “spending cuts” are not only rejected by the Democrats, but are so pathetically miniscule that they wouldn’t do diddly-squat even if implemented. The question now is what to do with your savings… gold? land? ammo? We’ll find out soon.

Outlines a very accurate analysis of our national future. Chronicles how we’re destroying our economy, giving away our freedoms, stripping our national defense and making the future of the world a much less free and much more dangerous and poverty stricken place for everyone.

Unfortunately, if you’re getting government assistance, you probably don’t care.

Mark Steyn

Steyn at the center, wearing a Kippah with Jews at Toronto



This month at Toronto, the famed author Mark Steyn said that Western society is complicit in a resurgence of anti-Semitism that may lead to a second Holocaust, for which humankind will have no excuses. “There is something profoundly wicked in the contortions that Europeans are willing to make with respect to their own complicated history with the Jewish people,” said Steyn. “We are on the verge of the biggest, most disgusting and evil event of all, in part because of the complicity of the West” (see the Jewish Tribune article where these statement and many other similar statements by Steyn on “anti-Semitism” have been recorded).

Either Steyn is playing the fool by willfully setting aside from his consciousness the vast pool of information about the role of the Jews in the ongoing Western collapse, or he has not heard this sort of info during his long career as an intellectual who presumably defends our civilization. There’s no third possibility.

Considering that Steyn said every recorded word at Toronto assuming that any anti-Semitic sentiment must be pathological, it is impossible to discuss what he said this month without basic information about the Jewish Problem.

If the Jewish Problem (1) does indeed exist, Steyn is either playing the fool or simply someone who has not heard of the Jewish Problem throughout his life, as stated above. On the other hand, if (2) the Jewish Problem is sheer white nationalist paranoia, Steyn’s recent statements make sense from the historical and ethical viewpoint. Everything has to do with these two possibilities.

The long quotation that below comprises most of this post—9,000+ words—conveys the idea that #1 is the right approach to understand Steyn’s mind.

Rather than a quotation it’s a series of excerpts that I typed directly from an academic work by Albert Lindemann, a Jewish scholar who specializes in anti-Semitism and acknowledges the reasons why Jews have been so disliked.

No ellipsis added between unquoted excerpts:


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Note of February 23, 2013. I have moved the long book quotation elsewhere.

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