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November 29, 2011


Filed under: Author,Features,Troy NY,peak oil — duncan @ 4:55 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Podcast-Based Book Explores The Tragic Comedy of Suburban Sprawl

The KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler by Duncan Crary

TROY, N.Y. (Nov. 29, 2011) — James Howard Kunstler is one of the most outspoken and funniest critics of suburban sprawl, fossil fuel depletion and the collapsing American dream.

The KunstlerCast by Duncan CraryHis best-known books on the subject include “The Geography of Nowhere,” “The Long Emergency,” and the post-oil novel “World Made By Hand.”

A new book-length interview with the acclaimed urban planning/social critic revisits and updates his ideas on America’s built environment, impending energy crisis and unfolding financial meltdown.

“The KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler … The Tragic Comedy of Suburban Sprawl,” by Duncan Crary (New Society Publishers, Nov. 2011) is available through booksellers. The book is based on four years of recorded conversations between Kunstler and Crary, which first “aired” on the popular weekly “KunstlerCast” podcast.

The topics covered in “The KunstlerCast” are often dire, like peak oil, urban planning, architecture, the economy, gentrification and infrastructure. But these intergenerational conversations between Kunstler, 63, and Crary, 33, are often highly amusing.

“It’s sort of evolved into a comedy act,” Kunstler says of his approach to critiquing life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. “Samuel Beckett put it well when he said ‘Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.’ Our built environments cause us so much unhappiness, so much distress, that they’re a source of comedy.”

Crary, who has spent more than 100 hours talking with Kunstler on the podcast, says Kunstler’s humor and command of language keep him coming back for more, year after year, despite the commentator’s sometimes bleak and frightening outlook for American civilization.

“Like a lot of Gen X’ers, I was hatched on a cul-de-sac in the American suburbs,” said Crary. “And I was very unhappy growing up out there. But Jim’s maliciously funny view of suburbia has always given me a lot laughs. And it helped me to better articulate the failures of that ‘living arrangement with no future.’”


“James Howard Kunstler plainly has a lot to say about the state of the world. And while much of it is bad, bad news — aggressively, congenitally, perhaps even fatally bad — he speaks with such vim and vigor that you find yourself nodding in agreement rather than looking for a noose. Duncan Crary wrangles these free-wheeling conversations masterfully. A bracing dose of reality for an unreal world.”

— Stephen J. Dubner, co-author, “Freakonomics” and “SuperFreakonomics”


For more information and high-resolution publicity images, visit

Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723.


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