Seven Essential Books for Rebuilding Civilization

As preppers, we’ve spent a lot of time and energy stocking up on the essentials, and learning new skills that will help us survive without the safety net of civilization. We understand the fragility of our society, and the many ways it could quickly fall apart, and we have prepared ourselves to defend our homes and families. But exactly how long are we planning on surviving for? A few weeks or months? Several years or more?

At some point, we can expect our supplies to run down, and our equipment to fall apart, and even the simplest of tools require a fairly specialized division of labor to make. Eventually, we’d have to move beyond survival, and start trying to build a new future for our children. We’d have to start rebuilding civilization.

This of course, is no simple task. Our society is built on technologies that many of us will never completely understand. The things we own have become so intricate and sophisticated that we have no idea how these things are made. As I write this, I’m looking around my bedroom and examining the things I own, and I can’t find a single item that I could perfectly duplicate by myself. It’s humbling to say the least.

Fortunately we can still master some of the basics that would help civilization get back on its feet. Here are seven books that will help you learn some of the essential skills and cornerstone technologies of civilization. It is by no means a complete list, so feel free to include some of your own ideas in the comments. 507 Mechanical Movemen... Brown, Henry T. Best Price: $2.15 Buy New $6.30 (as of 12:20 EST - Details)

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch

Written by scientist and researcher Lewis Dartnell, it details how humans could rebuild civilization after a global catastrophe, and gives a run down of crucial skills like agriculture, metallurgy, and power generation. However, the skills he describes are rudimentary at best. What’s more important is that he describes whichtechnologies would be the most important and the logistics of making them, rather than how to actually make them. It’s a great starting point for anyone trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of civilization. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch

507 Mechanical Movements: Mechanisms and Devices 

Our world is built on countless mechanical devices, many of which we never see or acknowledge. At around 121 pages, this short book gives a basic description and diagram for every gear, pulley, and screw configuration you could possibly think of, and many more that you never even knew existed. 507 Mechanical Movements: Mechanisms and Devices  Ham Radio For Dummies Silver, H. Ward Best Price: $17.89 Buy New null (as of 11:40 EST - Details)

The Papermaker’s Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper

Making your own paper is one of those skills that most people haven’t thought of in a really long time. Modern society has made paper cheap and ubiquitous, and the rise of computers has made it a lot less important in our lives. However, any kind of calamity that would threaten our computer reliant society would turn paper into a hot commodity. Until a few decades ago, paper was the most efficient means to store data and knowledge. Without it, an advanced and cohesive civilization would not be possible. The Papermaker’s Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper

Ham Radio For Dummies

Whenever there is a major disaster, ham radio operators are often the last remaining line of communication to the outside world. If a global catastrophe were to occur, they would be crucial to the rebuilding of civilization. Small societies after the collapse would need a way share news and trade for supplies that they can’t produce in their locale. Our society hinges on millions of people working together, often over long distances, and radio would likely be the only way for these people to communicate and cooperate. Ham Radio For Dummies

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