“Most of the world may be richer, healthier, freer and less violent than at any time in history, but the anxiety about social collapse that has made The Walking Dead and other post-apocalyptic stories so popular isn’t absurd. Our unprecedented prosperity is disturbingly vulnerable to systemic shocks. On an increasingly urbanized planet, global pandemics are terrifying. And as my work as a journalist has often shown me, residents of cities like Baghdad and Damascus can relate all too well to the predicaments that characters face in The Walking Dead. Even Beirut, an advanced city where I once enjoyed living, sees spasms of violence during which neighbors wake up one morning and start shooting at one another. Sometimes, in other words, breakdown is more than just a dark fantasy. Learning how one can survive and—just as important—remain a decent human being in such a crisis might be worth thinking about, even if it never happens.”— Michael J. Totten, “The Walking Dead in an Age of Anxiety: Why We’re Obsessed With Zombies,” City Journal, Autumn 2014
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