Notes From an Apocalypse, by Mark O'Connell

Staff Pick

As O'Connell notes, the end of the world has been prematurely announced many times. But now, with extreme weather events, the sixth extinction, and novel viruses, will this be the real thing? To appease, inform, and perhaps indulge his "obsession" with today's end times, O'Connell sought out others similarly--and not so similarly--concerned. These eight essays recount his meetings with "preppers" for the collapse of life as we know it, specialized entrepreneurs selling bunkers to survivalists, advocates for relocating humanity to Mars, and fellow connoisseurs of catastrophe on a guided tour to Chernobyl. Interspersing travel narrative with reflections on the meaning of civilization and its ruin, he also meditates on the ethics--and the sheer possibility--of raising children at this fraught moment. Ultimately, invoking philosophers from Beckett and Kierkegaard to Arendt and Dr. Seuss—along with watching young climate strikers and witnessing his infant daughter's sheer joy in life—he decides that it's worth being part of the world, even one in such dire straits, and relinquishes some of his anxiety to enjoy the gifts Earth still gives us. If he can do it, we can too.  

Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385543002
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Doubleday - April 14th, 2020

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