This book took me over a month to finish. I find this unacceptable, as I prefer a one-week turnaround on all books I pop open.
First, the book is deceptively large. It's perhaps an inch (maybe a smidgen more) thick and 528 pages long (with 30 pages of "rec'd reading"). Typeface is small, maybe size 10 font. This means it takes approximately 5 minutes to read one freaking page.
Second, there is no hope. Let me repeat, there is no hope. We are all doomed. The author's idea of "cautious optimism"? Five pages out of 528 heart-wrenching, soul-shredding, eye-gouging idiotic behavior from the human race.
While I do not think our global society will collapse in 2012, I give us until 2030 or maybe 2050, tops. This is serious business, people.
I still rec'd it to you. And you. It's fascinating to learn about past and modern societies failures and successes (emphasis on failures, hence the title). As an outsider, it is hard for me not to shake the book and screaming at these past and present civilizations - what the fuck is wrong with you, people? Then I just have to open my browser to google news and be all "oh, yeah, that's what".