Forthcoming Book

Darrin Qualman in Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Paris

If we do not understand how our 21st century civilization works, we can neither direct it, nor protect it.

In 2017 or early 2018, look for Darrin’s forthcoming book on civilizations, energy, food, and material flows.  The book will give readers a below-decks look at the engines, fuel supplies, plumbing, wiring, and machinery that make and move our modern world. It will also look at the environmental threats now intensifying around us.

Darrin’s book will look at the big picture and the long term. It will tackle the big questions and big ideas of history and the modern world: how food systems work, the spread of railways, the rise of industry, the dawn of the consumer age, the transformative effects of the steam engine, and how we wrest fuels from the Earth.

To understand our global industrial-consumerist civilization, the advice “follow the money” no longer works. Trillions of dollars in currency transactions, derivatives, and other financial “innovations” circle the globe daily. Those immense dollar flows, untethered from material realities, obscure the workings of our civilizational machinery. To understand our world today, one must follow the energy and materials. Darrin’s book will do that.

Our global mega-civilization is powerful, productive, destructive, wondrous, sometimes monstrous. We must understand it if we hope to direct it.