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Book Review: How to Survive The End of the World as We Know It

It is not too often that I read a book where I feel totally on the same wave length as the author.  This recently happened to me when I read “How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It” by James Wesley, Rawles who is also founder – one of our favorite websites.

Sort of a funny story how I came across this book, I recently had a birthday and was visiting my in-laws back in Wisconsin.  My mother-in-law surprised me with Mr. Rawles’ book and I said to her “Oh ya, this guy runs the most popular Survivalist blog in the world.”  And then she frowned and said “I hope that it is OK that I bought his book for you.”  Like somehow James Wesley, Rawles is the enemy because we both have survival websites, not the case.  I was thrilled.

By the time I read the 2nd page I was hooked, by the time I reached the 15th page I realized that James Wesley Rawles JWRRawles and I might be brothers from a different mother.  We share a favorite quote on the topic of firearms “Better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.” He picked up the quote from his father, I picked it up from Christian Slater in the movie “True Romance.”  I have been saying that quote since 1993 when the movie first came out and this was the first time I ever heard anyone else use it, written or said.


The book covers preparation from A to Z for a SHTF event or even TEOWAWKI with a focus on JWR survivalblog.comyour Bug Out Location or Survival Retreat.  Mr. Rawles doesn’t just gloss over areas that he covers in this book.  Each section is given proper attention and he tells you where to get more information if you require it.  Throughout the book, Mr. Rawles encourages his readers to “Live in your retreat”, obviously that does not work for a lot of people who have high paying jobs in the city but he makes some points on this topic which are worth considering.

About the Author

(From Wikipedia) James Wesley, Rawles is a TEOTWAWKIsurvivalist-fiction author, blogger, and survival retreat consultant. Rawles is a Christian conservative. He was a United States Army Military Intelligence officer, serving from 1984 to 1993.  He is the editor of, a blog on survival and preparedness topics. Rawles is the author of the survivalist novel Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.

Favorite Part

I really enjoyed reading this book.  A lot of his ideas on “defense in depth” for your survival retreat including razor wire, sand bags, natural barriers and road cables are things that I have been thinking about for sometime but haven’t heard a lot of people talk about them or explore the topic like JWR does in this book.  It is nice to know that there is at least one other person as crazy as I am in this world.  I also liked the fact that he covered charity, giving some of your stored supplies to neighbors, friends, and people in need during a crisis.  I never thought of this before and for most survivalist that goes against common sense.  However Mr. Rawles covers ways to properly give to charity while keeping OPSEC on how much stuff you have stored up.   One such method he recommends is using intermediaries such as your local church to pass along the extra supplies to those in need.  The other great thing about this book is that Mr. Rawles names names.  He tells you what brands he thinks are the best and why, where to get them and why you want to stay away from other brands.  Not too many people go into that much detail in books.


There was not a whole lot that I disliked about this book and this is not so much a dislike as an observation.  If you are struggling to put food on the table every night or living on a fixed income, this might not be the survival book for you.


Mr. Rawles’ book is for the dedicated survivalist who makes preparedness part of his/her life style.  This book is about commitment to the modern preparedness movement from alternative energy to canning food.  If you are committed to a self reliant style of living in case of a “grid down” event, then I highly recommend you pick up “How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It” by James Wesley, Rawles.  You won’t be disappointed.


It is also available on Kindle (click here)

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Photos by:
MD Creekmore
Penguin Books