Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World (Hardcover)

Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World By Dorian Lynskey Cover Image
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A rich, captivating, and darkly humorous look into the evolution of apocalyptic thought, exploring how film and literature interact with developments in science, politics, and culture, and what factors drive our perennial obsession with the end of the world.

As Dorian Lynskey writes, “People have been contemplating the end of the world for millennia.” In this immersive and compelling cultural history, Lynskey reveals how religious prophecies of the apocalypse were secularized in the early 19th century by Lord Byron and Mary Shelley in a time of dramatic social upheaval and temporary climate change, inciting a long tradition of visions of the end without gods.

With a discerning eye and acerbic wit, Lynskey examines how various doomsday tropes and predictions in literature, art, music, and film have arisen from contemporary anxieties, whether they be comets, pandemics, world wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Y2K, or the climate emergency. Far from being grim, Lynskey guides readers through a rich array of fascinating stories and surprising facts, allowing us to keep company with celebrated works of art and the people who made them, from H.G. Wells, Jack London, W.B. Yeats and J.G. Ballard to The Twilight Zone, Dr. Strangelove, Mad Max and The Terminator.

Prescient and original, Everything Must Go is a brilliant, sweeping work of history that provides many astute insights for our times and speaks to our urgent concerns for the future.

About the Author

DORIAN LYNSKEY is the author of 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs (2011) and The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 (2019). His writing on music, film, books, and politics has appeared in various publications including The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Spectator, BBC Culture, The Los Angeles Times and Slate.

Praise For…

“I was blown away by this book. The staggering range of references, the razor-sharp analysis, the wisdom, left me gasping out loud at times. Lynskey also somehow manages to make a book about the end of the world feel . . . hopeful. One of the best non-fiction writers around.”
—Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireworld

“Impossibly epic, brain-expanding, life-affirming and profound. You’ll never see humanity the same way again.”
—Ian Dunt, author of How Westminster Works

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593317099
ISBN-10: 0593317092
Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: January 28th, 2025
Pages: 496
Language: English