Wednesday, June 2, 2010
As The Lights Go Out Around The World...
Those who know me are aware of something that often presents itself as an annoyance: I am a veracious reader. It's not uncommon for me to stumble around the house, or campus, or most anywhere with a book in hand. Come to think of it, that may be the cause of another annoyance people have with me, (that I wasn't aware of until my better half made me aware of it); I am a "know-it-all". Alas, that is a tail for another time.
Back to the books. I usually juggle two or three books at a time. That's not to say I'm a genius, far from it. It's only to illustrate how into reading I am. I like to understand things and I like to know what I'm talking about. Now, that might disqualify me from a job at the White House criticizing Arizona's new immigration law, but so be it.
It's rare that I read a book that so captures my attention that all other books, regardless of subject, are put by the wayside. Last year that book was Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny." This year it was Mark Steyn's "America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It."
I first became aware of Steyn's book after perusing the "Uncommon Knowledge" archives over at the National Review.
I was a little behind the curve on this, as Steyn's book had come out a few years before. None the less, I was so taken aback by the subject matter that I hit the local Borders. Sadly, Borders had sold out their copies. A little online ordering later and I was eagerly checking the mail like a kid waiting for his Lone Ranger secret decoder ring.
When it finally arrived, I was not disappointed. In short, Steyn's book is a close examination of a subject which, more than any other, drives our societies and influences our history: demographics. Lets look at a quick example of how demographics drives societies and how changes in demographics have serious effects on all of us:
Have you been wondering of late as to why the usually "moderate" Turks have been making worthless nuke processing deals with Iranistan? Or, why they are sending blockade-running boats full of well armed "peace activists" full steam ahead towards the inevitable shoot-out with Israeli commandos? Could it have something to do with the fact that for the last couple decades, the Islamo-fascists in Turkey have been rapidly out-breeding their more moderate, "westernized" brethren?
Steyn's book examines these changes and their effects, both current and future. If a major demographic shift in a single nation can have such a dramatic influence on geo-politics, (think Turkey and the current hate Israel fest) what happens when an entire continent, (or an entire civilization for that matter) sees its own demographics change in such a fundamental way?
Below I have links to the five part series that the National Reviews Uncommon Knowledge did with Steyn. He lays out the book as only Steyn can, with a mixture of sound insight and gallows humor. Check them out, they're well worth your time.
National Reviews Uncommon Knowledge interviews Mark Steyn on his book, "America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It."