You can listen to our April 12th interview on the Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio here. The show is one hour.
A podcast archive of our April 6th interview on Trailblazers with Dr. Howard Gluss on KFNX 1100 AM in Arizona is now available online.
You can listen to the show here.
Book Fanatic reviews The Last Myth on Amazon:
This book took a while to get going for me but the second half was very good. The authors are much too pessimistic of technological solutions for my taste but that’s OK because their opinion is worth considering. This book shows how apocalyptic thinking both secular such as environmentalism and religious developed. The second half of the book goes deeply into the nature and consequences of apocalyptic thinking and the danger we are in if we continue to maintain those attitudes. Overall I liked the book and think it is worth reading for the thinking reader. It is a rather unusual take on the subject and I appreciate something new once in a while.
Z Shaw reviews The Last Myth on Amazon. This is one that we are particularly pleased to receive — he gets it:
The Last Myth enriches and expands our understanding of the times we live in. It goes far beyond what we might expect of a book about the end of times. Through a fascinating historical narrative buoyed by strong empirical evidence, this exemplary work of nonfiction sets forth a case for transforming America’s hegemonic and flawed concept of ‘infinite progress’ as we hurtle toward an unsustainable and collectively ugly resource-depleted future. In doing so, it becomes the panacea for the mindless mindfulness of the New Age. It makes sense of the teeming Rapture-ready herds champing at the armageddon bit. It defines, deconstructs and disposes of our modern secular culture of apocalyptic obsession. In short: it blows asteroids out of the sky.
In the end, The Last Myth may change the way you think about your place in the grand scheme of things. But perhaps more importantly, it will steel you for the times to come, and equip you for the times you are living in right now. Supervolcanoes, asteroids and pandemics are the laughably improbable bogeymen for a decline that’s already taking place. Peak oil, economic collapse, global warming and income inequality factor high on the authors’ TEOTWAWKI list for good reason. Unlike far-flung extinction level events that we can do very little about except grin and bear, the scientific community is lined up to support the authors’ assertions. American collapse is simply the other side of the hard-fought bell curve that the baby boomers giddily bounced on top of when they got back from the war. Now far beyond driven into the red, the authors point to chunks of the American Dream as they crumble off, and warn us of the next pieces to fracture, only this time perhaps more violently. All the while, a pragmatic optimism persists, and the authors are strictly professional when it comes to the presentation of the facts.
You’d have to be living under a rock to not see the changes taking place, and yet this is the very argument put forward. Our rock is our cultural identity, which we cling desperately to during the onset of what feels like the end to us. Behind the magnetic pole shifts and solar flares, we are not only hiding from our own inevitable death — we’re coping with the tenuous nature of being alive. What is the value of one’s life’s work if there is no future for it (or in it)? Gross and Gilles smack the existentialism out of the reader’s head to get to the facts: the time to do something is now. Not because the whole world is going to end, but because the illusion of infinite prosperity via technology is giving way to the reality of a finite natural world.
As I set the book down after voraciously tearing through to its humble but enthralling conclusion, I couldn’t help but think of how future generations would regard mine. After reading The Last Myth, I think history will split us into three groups: those who started the fire, those who threw fuel on it, and those who knew well enough to stay far away from the spreading conflagration. Up until now, we Americans were free to belong to all three groups. But with every passing day, that’s changing. The groups are getting more polarized. Eventually the fire will consume most of those dancing around it. History is written by the survivors.
A podcast of the March 13th interview with Mathew Gross on KPCW’s (Salt Lake City) CityViews is available here (40 minutes).
amorevole reviews The Last Myth on Amazon:
Mathew Gross and Mel Gilles have `lifted the veil’ on when and where apocalyptic thinking began and how and why it has evolved throughout the years in their book The Last Myth.
This book will challenge/trigger/ignite people regardless of their current or past belief systems.
From ancient Jewish apocalypticism to modern apocalyptic thought(s) the book delves into the religious and political beliefs as well as the secular ideas that shape so much of our daily lives.
Thankfully the two were able to lighten up the well researched, informative, doomy subject matter (religion & politics) with their wit and humor as they gently reminded us to be ever present with the current issue at hand and to avoid using delusions as scapegoats.
A timely/less work that I plan on rereading.
Baird Edmonds reviews The Last Myth on Amazon:
Book’s read, jury’s in, didn’t have to deliberate long either. Highly intelligent, impeccably researched and well written. What remains to be seen is of course unknown although the history of our abilities to see what needs to be done and give up the old myths is not encouraging. And unlike the Vikings who “just” had to figure out how to eat fish the scale and complexities of our current dilemma are unprecedented in human history with global implications. Perhaps we can collectively begin to see and figure a new way without a bang or whimper but I’m betting on whimper at the least, something like the long good bye.
Scrambo reviews The Last Myth on Amazon:
I highly recommend this book no matter your agenda. I am Christian and there was some of the theology commentary that I personally question, but the real issues are pertinent. The book confirms apocalypse and apocalyptic thinking. The apocalypse is an unsustainable way of life. The book also challenges each one of us to put our special interests in our pocket and open our minds to realities and to have real conversations that will lead to a path for the future. As the book explains many civilizations have expected the end, and it has never come. With that being said it only makes sense to overcome this manic denial that persists in our country today. I fear 7 dollar a gallon gas this summer is going to hasten this conversation. The answers are not going to come from Washington, they will come from individuals. Even before reading this book my wife and I had decided to start an organic farm with goats and chickens, because commuting 80 miles round trip daily in Atlanta is unsustainable. There may very well be tough times ahead and this book will help get your head out of your proverbial rear end and do something about it. Matt and Mel were two of my dearest friends in 1996, we had the most incredible conversations every Tuesday night as we killed bottles of Maker’s Mark. Thanks for the good times and a great book.
Mark Sundeen reviews The Last Myth on Amazon:
One of the rare books that changed the way I understand the world. I started thinking that end-timers had been around forever, but Gross and Gilles through meticulous research and dazzling persuasion show that this doomsday thinking is a product of Judeo-Christianity in general and post-Atom-bomb America in particular. Why does this matter? Because in a culture of Chicken Littles, we’ve come to ignore and mock the latest predicted catastrophe–be it Y2K or bird flu or the Mayan calendar–all the while standing paralyzed in the face of the climate crisis that is not a figment of our cultural imagination, but an unavoidable fact.
It might sound like a dense academic treatise but Gross and Gilles are not wonks but actual writers, and the prose is vivid, swift, and conversational. I read it in two long sittings. The books it reminded me of are Ecology of Fear by Mike Davis and What’s the Matter with Kansas by Tom Frank, books that massage with wit while clobbering with information, giving that rare and delicious sensation of having your mind pried open and filled with new ideas.
Gingerbicky reviews The Last Myth on Amazon:
A thoroughly researched book that looks at the demise of past civilisations and societies in order to shed light upon the very modern ideas around apocalyptic thought. Each chapter tests our beliefs and assumptions in regards to the very idea of an apocalypse, regardless of whether you are the one waiting in line for the rapture or worried that Mother Nature will buckle under the strain of over population. A fascinating and thought provoking book that ultimately questions our abilities to let go of accepted beliefs and customs in order to sustain an increasingly changing world.