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Reinventing Collapse Paperback – Jul 3 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (July 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716063
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #536,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


In the waning days of the American Empire the US administration finds itself mired in political crisis; foreign policy has come under sharp criticism; and the economy is in steep decline. These trends mirror the experience of the Soviet Union in the early 1980's. Reinventing Collapse examines the circumstances of the demise of the Soviet superpower and offers clear insights into how we might prepare for coming events.

Rather than focusing on doom and gloom, Reinventing Collapse suggests that there is room for optimism if we focus our efforts on personal and cultural transformation. With characteristic dry humor, Orlov identifies three progressive stages of response to the looming crisis:

  • Mitigation – alleviating the impact of the coming upheaval
  • Adaptation – adjusting to the reality of changed conditions
  • Opportunity – flourishing after the collapse
He argues that by examining maladaptive parts of our common cultural baggage we can survive and thrive and discover more meaningful and fulfilling lives, in spite of steadily deteriorating circumstances.

This challenging yet inspiring work is a must-read for anyone concerned about energy, geopolitics, international relations and life in a post-Peak Oil world.


About the Author

Dmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He was an eyewitness to the Soviet collapse over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late eighties and mid-nineties. He is an engineer who has worked in many fields, including high-energy Physics research, e-commerce and Internet security. Recently, Dmitry has been experimenting with off-grid living and renewable energy by giving up his house and car. Instead, he has been living on a sailboat, sailing it up and down the Eastern Seaboard, and commuting by bicycle. Dmitry believes that, given appropriate technology, we can greatly reduce personal resource consumption while remaining perfectly civilized.

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By doug on May 14 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read the book and followed Dmitry ever since.

No he is not an 'expert' and thank God for that. Because he is not burdened by being an 'expert', something we have far too many of in our society, he delivers an exceptionally clear and concise breakdown of the USSR and the US similarities. He is an engineer. So he can break things down and view it from a clear sequential perspective.

Look for Orlov's work to become more and more popular as the mass psychosis of entitlement washes away from the minds of the masses while the collapse increases its momentum.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By schmeps on Feb. 24 2009
Format: Paperback
Very interesting essay novel. My only concern with it is that Dmitry Orlov is so persuasive I was convinced by the end of the novel that our society is to collapse any minute. I highly recommend this book, though warn readers it is intensely depressing.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matt Sanderson on March 16 2011
Format: Paperback
At the beginning of his book, Dmitry Orlov states that he is neither a scholar, nor an expert, nor an activist. What is he? He's just a guy that traveled through Russia during the Cold War, and decided to write a book comparing two very separate and complicated things -- the collapse of a communist state and the perceived, eventual collapse of a capitalist one. So why read a book by someone that begins with a preamble admitting to his lack of expertise? Good question.

Mr. Orlov uses very simple comparative analysis to link the two super powers -- consumer goods production, food production, militarism, etc., while failing to enter into any true depth to explain these connections and present his arguments in an actually convincing fashion. He somehow links the environmental disaster of Chernobyl to the "killer hurricanes" of Hurricane Katrina. Besides there having been only one hurricane, not plural, he fails to adequately and convincingly explain how they are possibly linked beyond both affecting on different levels the environment. He also resorts to the sci-fi warning of the 1980s of the perhaps eventual institutionalization of uniform wearing in the United States as the result of a corporate run government. This is all very old hat.

In the end, although short, the book does not present anything new, and with the majority of it being old, it doesn't present any of it in a refreshing manner. Many of the facts presented are completely incorrect -- Mr. Orlov claims global warming will cause the spawning of multiple killer hurricanes, when, in fact, the leading theory presented by the IPCC is that global warming will not generate more hurricanes than normal, but instead will exacerbate their intensity.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By norbu lama on April 13 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i am reviewing after sometime but i must say it was a wonderful book and i got the shipment in good time...
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Walter on April 19 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this book.

Like the author, I believe that North American society is approaching collapse. I purchased this book in order to learn the author's recommendations, based on the lessons learned from experience of the former Soviet Union, on how the collapse will likely occur and how best to prepare for it. Unfortunately, such recommendations were seriously lacking. The author's limited recommendations include: buying condoms, stop bathing and wearing shoes, give away all your possessions, make friends, get rid of your car, etc. In his conclusion he summarizes his personal preparation plans for his predicted collapse on page 159 as follows: "Well, I am not sure. But I do wish to share this: I certainly do not plan to be trapped by any one plan." Absolutely asinine.

If you are looking for another reason to love environmentalism, big government, secularism, etc. and to hate the USA, religion, corporations, and technology then this is the book for you. If you want evidence to support the coming collapse of North American society then you will find some of that in this book. However, if you want information on how the collapse will likely occur and many solid recommendations of how to prepare then I strongly encourage you to read James Wesley Rawles' books "Patriots" and "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times."
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