Decline and Fall:

The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

Although he was writing nearly a century ago, William Butler Yeats could just as easily be describing the United States today. The decline and fall of America’s global empire is the central feature of today’s geopolitical landscape, and the nature of our response to it will determine much of our future trajectory, with implications that reach far beyond the limits of one nation’s borders.

Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America challenges the conventional wisdom of empire. Using a wealth of historical examples combined with groundbreaking original analysis, author John Michael Greer shows how the United States has backed itself into a blind corner in the pursuit of political and economic power. He also explores the inevitable consequences of imperial collapse, and proposes a renewal of democratic institutions as the only constructive way forward.

By shifting the conversation from whether today’s American empire should survive to whether it can survive, and arguing persuasively that the answer to the latter question is “no,” Decline and Fall makes an invaluable contribution to the body of speculative postindustrial literature. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the state of the union, or who believes that the time has come to reinvent the American dream.

Editorial Reviews

“Shedding new light on the misunderstood idea of empire and the costs of imperial overstretch, Greer shows how the US has backed itself into a corner in the pursuit of political and economic power and explores the inevitable consequences of imperial collapse.”

UTNE Reader 

“There is much food for thought in this book, which brings together the realities of oil depletion and the other elements of the impending age of limits with the evidence that America’s empire is in decline.”

“Greer…offers us a view on our deindustrial future that is both carefully reasoned and grounded in spirituality.”

Dmitry Orlov, author of The Five Stages of Collapse

“Greer writes with unsurpassed clarity about the predicaments of energy and economy mankind faces. And he does it with a wonderfully kind, genial, and wise spirit.”

James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency

“The enormous virtue of John Michael Greer’s work is that his wisdom is never conventional but profound and imaginative.”

Sharon Astyk, author of Depletion and Abundance

“Kristoffer Tabori narrates this economic, military, and political history at a slow pace, as though he is delivering a lecture to a packed audience. Word by word, Tabori draws the listener into this complex analysis of America’s rise as an empire and powerhouse and its subsequent slow decline…Tabori’s steady narration never falters as he describes the current economic decline in North America and Europe, rounding up with the author’s chilling conclusions.”


Author Biography

John Michael Greer is a scholar of ecological history and an internationally renowned peak oil theorist whose blog, “The Archdruid Report,” has become one of the most widely cited online resources dealing with the future of industrial society. He is the author of more than 30 books including Green Wizardry and The Wealth of Nature. He has been active in the contemporary nature spirituality movement for more than 25 years. He lives in Cumberland, Maryland with his wife Sara. 

Reader Biography

Kristoffer Tabori made his screen debut when he was six years old and appeared on Broadway for the first time at age sixteen. He has garnered numerous honors for his stage, screen, television, and radio acting and directing, including an Emmy. His first solo narration won the 1993 Audie Award for best audiobook of the year.

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