“The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses,” is a fascinating book about the end of civilizations. See, we take it for granted that not only will we continue our prosperous way of living, but that it will go on indefinitely and only get better. However, that is not the lesson history teaches us. Everything from plagues to natural disasters to war to bad immigration policies has destroyed nations and even empires that have been around far longer than the United States. As you read these quotes, you will get a better sense of how lucky we have been and how precious what we have as a nation happens to be.
— “‘History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up,’ Voltaire reportedly said.”
— “The early-twentieth-century German military historian Hans Delbrück had a theory that everything that characterizes the modern military—the organization, tactics, drill, logistics, and leadership—is designed to help offset the natural advantage of the toughness that people at a lower level of civilization possess.”
— “It wasn’t until the late 1930s in the United States that child labor in such dangerous industries as mining and manufacturing was outlawed.”