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Archive by Author

KunstlerCast #06: Zoning

The tragic tale of zoning laws Released: March 20, 2008. Ya seen one town in America ya seen ’em all. But that’s because they’re all mandated to look that way! James Howard Kunstler tells the tragic story of zoning codes in the United States. At one time, zoning was a rational response to unpleasant conditions more »

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KunstlerCast #05: Starchitects

The Seattle Public Library and other award-winning disastrous architecture Released: March 13, 2008. How and why did Seattle build that hideous new public library? asks one listener from that city. James Howard Kunstler tells us how cities get hoodwinked into a status fashion contest to have a museum or library built by one of the more »

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KunstlerCast #04: Parking Garages

Retooling parking in Columbus, Ohio Released: March 6, 2008. A listener from Columbus, Ohio shares the bad news about two proposed downtown parking garages. Even though James Howard Kunstler thinks the happy motoring scene in America is on the way out, he explains how to design a better parking garage with first-floor retail, a central more »

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KunstlerCast #03: World Made By Hand

A post-oil novel Released: Feb. 28, 2008. James Howard Kunstler reads from World Made By Hand, his new novel based on the post-oil future. Published by The Atlantic Monthly Press, World Made By Hand is set in upstate New York in the not distant future. It is a fictional account of the ideas based in more »

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KunstlerCast #02: Small Cities and Towns

After the end of oil in small American cities Released: Feb. 21, 2008. James Howard Kunstler describes the impending end of cheap oil, which he calls The Long Emergency. Suburbia is a living arrangement with no future. Things are going to get pretty gnarly in the big cities, too. But small cities, that exist at more »

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KunstlerCast #01: Drugstores

Disposable architecture Released: Feb. 12, 2008. James Howard Kunstler rips on drugstores: the one-story, junk food- dispensing boxes that masquerade as buildings on America’s street corners. Topics include: monocultural zoning; big retail vs. mom & pop; separating the business programming from the container that it comes in; and the destiny of these awful structures after more »

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KunstlerCast #66 (00): New Listener Orientation

JHK Explains What the KunstlerCast is About Released: May, 27, 2009. James Howard Kunstler and host Duncan Crary take a moment to welcome new listeners and explain what the KunstlerCast is about. Kunstler gives a brief overview of topics covered in this program series and explains why these topics are important. Crary explains how and more »

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Forecast 2008

For the tiny fraction of people who actually pay attention to real events — those, for instance, who know the difference between Narnia and Kandahar — the final hours of 2007 leading into the fog-shrouded abyss of 2008 must induce great racking shudders of nausea. Has there ever been a society so exquisitely rigged for more »

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Short Stories

Story Index

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My Hip Replacement: A Medical Comedy

My Bad HipA Melodrama in Three ActsWith Additional Notes by Jim Kunstler (Note to Readers: The acts are not in numerical order. For the purpose of narrative coherence,I want you to begin with the operation, go back to the onset of the condition,and conclude with the recovery process.) For the latest installment, scroll to the more »

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Older Essays, Yowlings, Rants

Older Essays, Yowlings, Rants

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Commonwealth Club Of California (Mp3)

Commonwealth Club Of California (Mp3)

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Making Other Arrangements (Orion Magazine)

Making Other Arrangements (Orion Magazine)

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Forecast 2007: First a Look Backward

Let’s get this out of the way up front: the worst call I made last year was for the Dow to crumble down to 4000 when, in fact, it melted up to a new all-time record high of about 12,500. The reason we saw this, in my opinion, was that inertia combined with sheer luck to more »

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Second Vermont Republic Assembly

Remarks by James Howard Kunstlerat the meeting of The Second Vermont RepublicOctober 28, 2005 When we think about the destiny of our land, there are a few questions we might ask: What do we mean by ‘our land?’What has been holding it together?Who are we?And who will we become? For about 210 years we have more »

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Petrocollapse New York, Ny

PetroCollapse New York ConferenceOctober 5, 2005 Remarks by James Howard KunstlerAuthor of The Long Emergency In the waning months of 2005, our failure to face the problems before us as a society is a wondrous thing to behold. Never before in American history have the public and its leaders shown such a lack of resolve, more »

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Movie: Syriana

The Syriana Syndrome By Jim Kunstler (This ran as an op-ed piece in the Albany Times-Union)             Anyone who sees Syriana, the new George Clooney movie about political hugger-mugger in a Middle East oil kingdom, will not come away with an enhanced understanding of the global oil predicament. They’ll see a dark, brooding, and impressively restrained story more »

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Remarks in Hudson, NY

My last three books were concerned with the physical arrangement of life in our nation, in particular suburban sprawl, the most destructive development pattern the world has ever seen, and perhaps the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known.The world – and of course the US – now faces an epochal predicament: the more »

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Long Emergency Hudson, Ny

Remarks in Hudson, NYJanuary 8, 2005James Howard Kunstler My last three books were concerned with the physical arrangement of life in our nation, in particular suburban sprawl, the most destructive development pattern the world has ever seen, and perhaps the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known.The world – and of course the more »

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Tom Wolf’s Charlotte Simmons

I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe Reviewed by Jim Kunstler      Some years ago, ubermaster journalist Tom Wolfe published an essay in Harper’s Magazine, Stalking the Billion-Footed Beast, in which he upbraided American novel-writers for their narcissistic navel-gazing and miniaturism and challenged them to grapple with the fascinating spectacle of the contemporary scene on the more »

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Remarks in Providence

This nation faces a terrible, paradoxical challenge.     We are now called on to defend the American way of life against a furtive, resourceful enemy. But how much of what we are called on to defend is actually worth defending?    Events now require us to become very clear in our individual minds, and our collective imagination, about what more »

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Las Vegas: Utopia of Clowns from ‘The City in Mind’

They say that Antarctica is the worst place on earth, but I believe that distinction belongs to Las Vegas, hands down. For one thing, Antarctica is more pleasing to look at.  The natural scenery is about equal to Nevada’s in desolate grandeur, but Antarctica’s man-made artifacts are less distressing to an average human being’s neural network.  The population of more »

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Remarks in Bologna, Italy, To the conference of “The Other Moderns”

I spent a lot of time last autumn in what we call the Sunbelt of America — Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, Florida. This was necessarily a very depressing project, because what we have achieved in American urbanism is what I like to call the National Automobile Slum. It’s all the same and it’s all terrible. The more »

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Remarks to the Cities of the Future Conference

Sacramento, December 1999        (slightly edited to eliminate repetition)       . . . the sad truth of the matter is that the United States is increasingly composed of thousands of places that are not worth caring about. The ultimate result will be a nation and a way of life that is not worth caring about or defending!       more »

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Where Evil Dwells – Reflections on the Columbine School Massacre

Paper Delivered at theCongress for the New Urbanism by James Howard Kunstler Milwaukee, June 6, 1999     When we set aside all the technical considerations and all the familiar economic arguments and tedious political angles that swirl around this enormous and momentous field of human ecology, we’re left with the question of how it affects our more »

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