Why Americans Engage in Apocalyptic Thinking

05/22/12 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today we’ll talk about end of the world predictions—and why people in the US—more than any other country are obsessed with the Apocalypse….

But first one listener comment about yesterday’s Last Call on which we played the controversial speech by Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer in which he talked about who is responsible for job creation. Here’s what one listener had to say.


Last year a Christain minister who controlled a large media network predicted the world would end. On May 21st 2011. The day came and went without incident. The minister Harold Camping then re-adjusted his prediction and said the end of the world would happen October 21st of last year. Well, we’re still here. But from Christian television, to books such as the Late Great Planet Earth from the 1970s’s to the best selling Left Behind series, to new age predictions of the end of the world this year based on the Mayan calendar, to the best selling Hunger Games books—the first of which is one of the hottest films of the spring--—the US is a hotbed of apocalyptic thinking. Our guest today has studied the phenomenon and has written a book about it called THE LAST MYTH: WHAT THE RISE OF APOCALYPTIC THINKING TELLS US ABOUT AMERICA. Matt Gross joins us now.

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