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Publisher's Summary

A History of the Future is the third thrilling novel in Kunstler's World Made by Hand series, an exploration of family and morality as played out in the small town of Union Grove.

Following the catastrophes of the 21st century - the pandemics, the environmental disaster, the end of oil, the ensuing chaos - people are doing whatever they can to get by and pursuing a simpler and sometimes happier existence. In little Union Grove in upstate New York, the townspeople are preparing for Christmas. Without the consumerist shopping frenzy that dogged the holidays of the previous age, the season has become a time to focus on family and loved ones. It is a stormy Christmas Eve when Robert Earle's son Daniel arrives back from his two years of sojourning throughout what is left of the United States. He collapses from exhaustion and illness, but as he recovers, he tells the story of the break-up of the nation into three uneasy independent regions and his journey into the dark heart of the new Foxfire Republic centered in Tennessee and led by the female evangelical despot Loving Morrow. In the background, Union Grove has been shocked by the Christmas Eve double murder by a young mother of her husband and infant son. Town magistrate Stephen Bullock is in a hanging mood.

A History of the Future is attention-grabbing and provocative but also lyrical, tender, and comic - a vision of a future of America that is becoming more and more convincing, and perhaps even desirable, with each passing day.

©2014 James Kunstler (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about A History of the Future

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Uncomfortable fiction

Well, if you like your post apocalyptic fiction with a side of pedophilia and enjoy constant reminders of how much better it was in a society of abundance, you will love this series.

It cold make for a dangerous drinking game. Every time kunstler waxes on about the losses, drink a shot of grain alcohol. Always 100 proof, as he states and restates.

Did I mention libertarian wet dream? Nuff said.

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I have loved the entire series.

This has been a great series. The story is well crafted. In this installment I think it spends a little too much time on Daniel's story. It is a story within the story. Overall this story is very thoughtful when it comes to imagining what a future with less energy might look like. The narrator is fantastic. If you sink into the story it will start to seem like you are hearing many different voices instead of just one voice actor. The performance is amazing.

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A book I could not finish

once started it takes a lot for me not to finish a book, but I gave up on this one with 3 hours left to go. The retelling of the returning son's experience was poorly written, the author struggling to write dialog for anyone that isn't an old white man. That struggle is also seen in his depiction of women and topics of mental health, special needs and racism. I won't be finishing this series.

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Full Steam

Any additional comments?

Jim hits the ground running and never takes his foot off the gas.

He shifts focus a bit in this book, widening the narrative scope and shifting away from some of the more quotidian elements that added a novelty and richness to the earlier books, but aren't really necessary at this stage of the story.

There's an interesting dichotomy happening here, because the book feels rough-hewn (deadlines to be met, and so forth) and it a little more sensational than the first two volumes (they'd like to sell a few more copies of this one), but Kuntsler pulls it off, and occasionally tosses in passages of casually spectacular language that literally stun. I tend to think of Jim as a social observer and critic first, and writer second; that these novels are a tool for making some of his social ideas accessible to a wider audience, but this book, and this whole series, retroactively have come to stand fully on their literary merits. Independent of Kuntler's world-view and prognostications these books are damn fine reads.

The vocal performance is really well done. Everything you want, nothing you don't.

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Great story, great reading, and characters!

I loved it, great story line. I hated when it ended. I wanted more!

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depressing

this book may be less depressing if read in the heat of summer or at least with a description of tbe beauty of nature of upstate new york

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Skewed vision of the future

I want to start by stating that this author is an wonderful writer. His style keeps you engaged the whole time without a lot of sex(there is sex but it's not graphic) and additonal action fluff(I like action fluff but it wouldn't work here). The narrator is great also. The problem started with the first book and I decided to give the author more time to correct what I belived to be an extremely skewed idea of what he thought would happen approximently 10 years after the collapse of the country. It didn't get better, it just got worse.

My husband and I have been farming for over 30 years so I feel like I can approach this with some expertise. For some reason this author believes that if a collapse happened all woman would be relegated back to staying at home, working in the kitchen, having sex and making babies. Just like it was 100 years ago. Oh and they, for some reason, would no longer have pants. They would all find cloth somewhere so they could make dresses to wear all the time( it is physically impossible for me to roll my eyes hard enough). This author has apparently never worn a dress and tried to do actual work in it. Men would be the land owners, doctors, lawyers etc. and in all positions of power. I actually have 3 female veterinarians, know several women doctors(my niece is a physician, Wow) and I am and know women land owners and farmers(and they can do it all by themselves too!). I know woman hunters and survivors. All of these strong women would be virtually gone in 15 years if society collapsed. This is a huge problem for me. I kind of feel insulted by it.
Spoiler alert:
He also thinks that there are enough white supremacists currently living in our country that they would be able to take over half the country and make one of their own. They hate jews too and they like nascar. They're all uneducated, hillbilly, country hicks. This hater country has the only woman of power and she got there with her sex appeal. I am almost sixty years old and I live in the southern US and I have never, in my entire life, ever met one of these kinds of people. I believe there are these kinds of people but not in the numbers required to take over a whole portion of the United States.
I will read the next book in the series because like I said this author is an excellent writer and I am invested now in these charactor. He just needs to educate himself and get to know more women because he is so clueless its almost laughable.


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Amazing reader – Well told stories

James Meskiman may be the best narrator I have come across. I have listened to each of the titles in this series and throughout he has maintained excellent character voices, male and female. How a narrator can create such varied and rich voices is amazing to me. The stories continue to be fascinating as well. I’ll be looking into his non-fiction work as well.

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Ignore

Not well thought out. Author doesn’t like conservatives for certain. Move alloy nothing to see here

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Brilliant! 😌

Great series. A very realistic view of what can happen here (COVID 19 anybody?). Great stories with fine very well developed characters that you come to know and deeply care about. Each character with their own story. Cannot say enough good things about it. Excellent narration!! 😌