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The End Is Always Near

Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses
Written by: Dan Carlin
Narrated by: Dan Carlin
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (216 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The creator of the wildly popular award-winning podcast Hardcore History looks at some of the apocalyptic moments from the past as a way to frame the challenges of the future.

Do tough times create tougher people? Can humanity handle the power of its weapons without destroying itself? Will human technology or capabilities ever peak or regress? No one knows the answers to such questions, but no one asks them in a more interesting way than Dan Carlin.

In The End Is Always Near, Dan Carlin looks at questions and historical events that force us to consider what sounds like fantasy; that we might suffer the same fate that all previous eras did. Will our world ever become a ruin for future archaeologists to dig up and explore? The questions themselves are both philosophical and like something out of The Twilight Zone.

Combining his trademark mix of storytelling, history, and weirdness, Dan Carlin connects the past and future in fascinating and colorful ways. At the same time the questions he asks us to consider involve the most important issue imaginable: human survival. From the collapse of the Bronze Age to the challenges of the nuclear era the issue has hung over humanity like a persistent Sword of Damocles.

Inspired by his podcast, The End Is Always Near challenges the way we look at the past and ourselves. In this absorbing compendium, Carlin embarks on a whole new set of stories and major cliffhangers that will keep listeners enthralled. Idiosyncratic and erudite, offbeat yet profound, The End Is Always Near examines issues that are rarely presented, and makes the past immediately relevant to our very turbulent present.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Dan Carlin (P)2019 HarperAudio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The podcast, only different

Carlin is as good as the podcast in this book, and if you don't like waiting 6 months for the next episode of Hardcore History to be released then this book is a good substitute. Carlin returns to many of the themes that are covered in some episodes of Hardcore History (destroyer of worlds, suffer the children) and while the subject matter is similar, it does not feel as though it is just a cheap rehash of the same story (for the destroyer of worlds segment at least, I haven't listened to the other HH episodes that are covered in the book). Carlin stays pretty true to his overall theme revolving around mankind's brushes with catastrophe and when the fate of civilization was most in peril. Without drawing conclusions or making any definitive judgements, he leads us to contemplate how precarious the state of our modern civilization really is, and how easily it could be taken away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic Carlin

Having listened to everything he ever podcasted, I can say I love Dan Carlin and he has really informed my understanding of how we got to where we are today. While we aren’t breaking a lot of new ground here the narrative is very entertaining. I was starting to notice a lack of differentiation of tone between imminent extinction and his lively reading of the credits. Thank you Dan for dramatically improving my life.

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Another Dan Carlin Masterpeice

Dan Carlin is one of my favorite podcasters and narrators. Check out Hardcore History if you enjoyed this. Much more where this came from.

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It's hard to not love Dan Carlin's storytelling

Dan Carlin is a master at bringing the drama of history to life. If you liked the Hardcore History podcast, this will feel very familiar. Now if we could only get Dan to narrate every history book, I believe more people would find past events more compelling to learn about!

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Fantastic historical topic.

Dan Carlin's in depth research into every topic he talks or writes about makes you think beyond! His delivery of every word in this book is delivered with passion and enthusiasm. great book...great author!!

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Thought provoking

Asks great historical questions with tremendous storylines one can delve much farther into. Highly recommended.

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Classic Dan Carlin and exactly what you expect!

This was a great first book by Dan. If you are a hardcore Hardcore History fan then you will find that many of the topics, themes, and some of the incidents described in the book are expansions from his podcasts.

Don't let that make you hesitate to buy it, the expanded details, extra depth and new angles on some of his classic podcasts make this book a fantastic exploration of "The End".

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Fantastically narrated!!

Dan Carlin once again brings us much needed historical context. No better way to make sense of the crazy world we live than to dive into these apocalyptic scenarios.
Can't recommend The End is Always Near enough!

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Phenomenal book

I love this as a distillation of many themes that run through the authors varied podcasts.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

If your a Hardcore History fan this book is for you! If your not a fan this book is REALLY for you.

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  • Steven Glover
  • 2019-10-31

Hardcore Histories Greatest Hits

If you're considering this audiobook, you fall into one of three categories. Either you've never heard his podcasts, you're a casual listener, or you've downloaded most of the archives to help get you through until the next episode drops. I am the latter. 


If you've never subscribed to the shows, this is a great introduction. I started listening to his politics show, Common Sense, after hearing it on the BotL podcast. I tried the Hardcore History show despite never having much of an interest in history. His series, Death Throes of the Republic, changed that. He explains history in an interesting way, filled with back story and nuance. It is often only after hearing his take on an event that I have enough foundation to listen to the much dryer primary source material. He digs deep enough into topics make you feel immersed in the story, then pulls you onboard an alien space ship to wonder what they'd think of things.

If you're a casual listener to the shows, then this audiobook is like getting 7 blitz editions, each centered around and tied together by the theme of the sense of an impending apocalypse. It's reassuring to know we aren't the first group of people to feel an impending sense of doom. It's disconcerting how often they've been proven correct. The biggest difference I noticed was less breaking of the 4th wall to address the listener directly, and fewer reminders that "We've talked about this in a previous episode." The This is Dan kept on point, and distilled to his best. The book is about twice as long as a typical episode, but it provides as much content as 5-7, so I felt I got my money's worth.

If you're someone like me who has listened to most of the archives, then this is Hardcore Histories' greatest hits. That being said there were plenty of things I had heard for the first time. Hopefully, this is the first of many audiobooks to come. 

We live in a world where everyone communicates through tweets and sound bites. This is book which satisfies someone with an addiction to context. 

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph Manganello
  • 2019-10-30

Interesting!

I'm an avid listener to Dan Carlin's podcasts and purchased this title to support him. I enjoyed his take on the multiple topics he brings up in this book however the topics don't really flow/transition well most of the time. Still an interesting read and appreciated.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • reader
  • 2019-11-03

Best for Dan Carlin newbies

Content consists largely of previous DC podcast subject matter wrapped around a common theme. If you are a regular listener, there is little new here. If not, you will get a hardcore look into how abruptly civilizations can wink out.

Very disappointed there wasn't more new content.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-03

Love love love this book!

Dan has a special way to take the lessons of history and make them seem closer and dearer than I’ve ever heard or experienced.

While he is not an historian, as he is fond of telling his podcast audience, (His Hardcore History Podcast is second to none for good reasons) his exhaustive research and extensive quotes from a wide variety of sources bring history to life like no others have.

I highly recommend this book (and the long list of references he provides) to fans of history, dramatic non-fiction storytelling, and everyone from 15-115.

If any of my history classes had included this or his podcasts, even as supplementary material, I am confident that I would have gotten better grades and had a more personal understanding of history.

Five thousand stars!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-03

Depressing, but amazing all the same!

If you’re a Hardcore History fan than this format will not disappoint! It’s definitely more formal and less conversational than an HH episode, but it’s overall theme is succinct and captivating. If anything, it does a superb job of tying together the stories and themes of Dan’s previous work in an “Ah Ha!” kind of way. 5/5, who knew having an existential crisis could be so entertaining?!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-03

Very good, but a little short

Very well written, and well performed. A little disappointing that it is so short. The topic would have deserved a more comprehensible book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • 2019-10-29

So far soooo good

Only a couple chapters in but so far I am really enjoying the book. While the subject matter is very similar to Hardcore History, I feel like the pace of the story telling is faster. It seems to me that on the podcast there are more pauses after sentences which give time for thought and reflection. In the book there are no such pauses.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-29

Best history stories you will ever hear

If you love history Dan Carlin is the master story teller... Not a historian. Just a lover of history. Check out all his work :) I have been listening for years and will buy anything he puts out. It's that good.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-29

Dan Carlin is always awesome

Dan Carlin is a fantastic student of history. His podcast is always enlightening. This book is a wonderful accumulation of one of his most prominent themes throughout his shows. He asks the questions that many historians are afraid to touch but have a lot of relevance when examining the arc of human history.

It is obvious that Dan is reading from his text and not riffing like he does on the podcast, but that dosent take away from this work at all. I will say I did miss some of the tangents and sidebars Dan indulges in on his podcast, but overall, this was a very entertaining and informative book. Any fan of history will enjoy this, wether they are familiar with Dan or not. An easy 5 stars from me!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex Smirnov
  • 2019-11-12

It's Ok

I owe Dan a lot of money for his amazing podcasts, so I have no regret of buying this book; however, this felt like a combination of a bunch of his podcasts, and things I have heard from this before but watered down. If you haven't listened to his podcasts, this is an interesting read about everything and nothing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful