First Avid Reader Press hardcover edition.
x, 258 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction: The closing of the frontier -- The Four Horsemen. Stagnation ; Sterility ; Sclerosis ; Repetition -- Sustainable decadence. Comfortably numb ; A kindly despotism ; Waiting for the barbarians ; Giving decadence its due -- The deaths of decadence. Catastrophe ; Renaissance ; Providence.
When a rich and powerful society ceases advancing-- a combination of wealth and technological proficiency with economic stagnation, political stalemates, cultural exhaustion, and demographic decline-- it creates a strange kind of "sustainable decadence." It reflects a sense of futility and disappointment-- a feeling that the future was not what was promised, that the frontiers have all been closed, and that the paths forward lead only to the grave. Douthat shows how we got here, how long our age of frustration might last, and how, whether in renaissance or catastrophe, our decadence might ultimately end. -- adapted from jacket