A Short History of the Future

W. Warren Wager, Author, W. Warren Wagar, Author
W. Warren Wager, Author, W. Warren Wagar, Author University of Chicago Press $42.5 (339p) ISBN 978-0-226-86901-8
Reviewed on: 09/22/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
An imaginary history of the world from 1995 to 2200, this futurist tract can be read as science fiction or as an analytical extrapolation from current political-social trends. With magisterial sweep, it predicts the collapse of the global capitalist system (including the state capitalisms of the Soviet Union and China), the death of six billion people in World War III, mass starvation, the founding of a socialist-democratic world government. Then, around 2140, the Smalls, with their philosophy of eco-mysticism, usher in a decentralized, human-scale socioeconomic order. Wager, a historian at the State University of New York, loads the deck by including almost every conceivable scenario--solar power, colonies in space and on Mars, Arab-Israeli war, the disintegration of marriage and the family, genetic engineering, and so forth. His bold chronicle is thought-provoking, disturbing and immensely worthwhile. (Nov.)
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