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Last Futures by Douglas Murphy
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Last Futures

Best Seller
Last Futures by Douglas Murphy
Paperback $19.95
Jul 19, 2022 | ISBN 9781781689820

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  • Jul 19, 2022 | ISBN 9781781689820

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  • Jan 12, 2016 | ISBN 9781781689752

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  • Feb 09, 2016 | ISBN 9781781689813

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Last Futures is to the end of mid-century experimentalism what the Zapruder film is to the death of Kennedy: a weird and gripping replay, full of period grain, each frame posing questions about whether things could have been played out differently.”
Times Literary Supplement

“No one warns you that when you get old eras that you lived through are, to the next generation, history. And it is salutory to have one of the wilder fringes of that history recounted with the acuity, sympathy and fluency Douglas Murphy brings to it. The cast is extraordinary: oddballs, philosophers, seers—and a few frauds.”
—Jonathan Meades

“Murphy outlines both some well known and some intriguingly novel suggestions for why the enthusiasm for ‘omni-infrastructural’ utopian frames went away…[Last Futures’s] motley quality is in no way a fault of Murphy’s approach, but rather a real advantage of his method as a cultural historian. A strength of Murphy’s book is that he depicts both the general outlines and some of the juiciest details of these complex historical moments without distilling them into a deceptively linear chronology or a progression of mere styles.”
—David Wittenberg, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Murphy tells the story of this counter-revolution pithily and well … A fresh and haunting way of explaining what happened to the radical ’60s and ’70s as a whole, in Murphy’s view quite possibly the last chance the west had of creating a decent and environmentally sustainable society.”
—Andy Beckett, Guardian

“In Last Futures, such one-time commonplaces as three day weeks, the elimination of labour, geodesic domes, walking cities, space colonies and industrialised housing are removed from dimwitted ‘where’s my jetpack’ nostalgia and put back into history. In so doing, Douglas Murphy performs the useful service of making clear when the ideas of the unrealised futures of the 1960s and 1970s were stupid and wasteful, and when they were exceptionally smart—serious solutions to problems we still haven’t solved, and problems we seem intent on making considerably worse. Last Futures is the Silent Running to contemporary architecture’s The Fountainhead.”
—Owen Hatherley, author of Landscapes of Communism

“A fluent, chronological narrative in which oddities from the recent past form sequences in an unfolding drama … Murphy deploys his storytelling with great effect.”
Architecture Today

“Provocative and compelling.”

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