Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: Spiraling Downward by Peter Damaris

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Today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Summer Book Festival. Peter Damaris, the author of Spiraling Downward: Thinking About and Planning for Economic Collapse, shares his answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book.summer book festival 2013_09

Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.  “Sue” has won a copy of 299 Days: The Visitors. Congratulations! I have contacted you by email with instructions for claiming your book.  Here is how Sue answered the question “What are you personally preparing for?

Preparing for most likely short term situations – bad weather. Long term – economic collapse with following societal chaos.

Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.


Tell me about your book, Spiraling Downward: Thinking About and Planning for Economic Collapse. What is it about?

Spiraling Downward discusses the characteristics, warning signs and preparations for economic collapse. It takes the reader through progressively worse economic situations from a market crash to a breakdown in social cohesion. It analyzes what to look for in the market, how and where, and what to do with your financial assets under each scenario. It describes the complexities of global markets in easy-to-understand terms. What this book is not is a general prepper book on how to store food, bury weapons, etc.

This book looks at markets and talks about preserving capital.

What type of research did you have to do while writing Spiraling Downward?

I have over 30 years work experience in a variety of financial institutions and consulting firms both in the United States and abroad, with a particular focus on risk management, financial analysis, equity portfolio management, and distressed debt resolution. Much of the “research” came from experience, but there was extensive research into historical examples of market collapse and global data to illustrate points.

How long did it take to write?

The book consumed a period of about four months writing nearly full-time.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Spiraling Downward?

The main objective of the book, from my angle, is to educate the reader on the complex world of global finance, to illustrate how fragile it all is and how quickly it could unravel.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Beyond the work experience I described, I hold a bachelor’s and master’s degree in International Affairs with concentrations in Economics and East Asia. I live in North Carolina with my wife.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes, I am nearing completion on a practical, “enjoy the good life” personal finance book to be published by Prepper Press.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Knowledge is power.

Another market crash and depression is inevitable. It’s only a matter of time. Educate yourself so that when it happens, you’ll be better able to position yourself to minimize its negative impact on you and your family.


A copy of Spiraling Downward has been reserved for one lucky reader.  This week’s question is an important one since I will be using the answers when I compile a new list of Backdoor Survival reader book favorites.

Here is this week’s question:

What is the title of your favorite NON-FICTION survival or prepping book?

To enter, respond in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 AM Pacific next Friday. A winner will be selected at random using tools on the website.  In addition, the winner must respond to my email within 72 hours or an alternate winner will be selected.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

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When it comes to numbers and all matters accounting, I am pretty knowledgeable and skilled.  With economics, however, I am not so good.  That is why plain English books like this one are so helpful in defining not only the situation today, but the realities of preparing for tomorrow.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item: America has suffered two economic blows in less than a decade: the collapse of the bubble in 2000 and the collapse of the real estate bubble in 2007-2009. These blows have left the U.S. struggling to stay on its feet. Spiraling Downward considers the consequences if a still-weak America took another hit, another stock market crash and credit crunch. Given unaddressed imbalances in the US economy, an economic collapse, is indeed possible.

This book charts a path that an economic collapse might take. It starts with the anatomy of a market crash and a credit crunch. It seeks to identify the danger zones from which another crash might arise. It then looks at how a crash might shock an economy already weak into an un-arrested downward spiral. Spiraling Downward thus offers a way to think about the unthinkable. At a time when conventional views of recession and recovery prevail, this book asks us to consider a different proposition: maybe this time it’s different.

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Summer Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

owl reading book


The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide
The Mini Farming Guide to Composting
Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipe
Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting
Don’t Be A Victim!: An Officer’s Advice on Preventing Crime
Emergency Air for Shelter-in-Place Preppers and Home-Built Bunkers
Real Time Machines: The Future is an APP
Survival Medicine Handbook
Getting Home
Staying Home
Guns Across the Border: How and Why the US Government Smuggled Guns into Mexico
Spiraling Downward: Thinking About and Planning for Economic Collapse


Holding Their Own IV: The Ascent
Apocalypse Drift
299 Days: The Visitors
The Western Front (Parts 1,2,3 – The Complete Collection)
The Wayward Journey

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

One of the sale items this month is the Meat Variety Combowhich is 35% off.  Included are cans of Salmon, Diced Roast Beef, White Turkey, Ham, Ground Beef and Smokey Flavored Chicken Chunks.  This month I purchased this combo for my own food storage.

Not to be left out, the Freeze-Dried Fruit Variety Combo is also on sale. Lately I have been using FD fruit in my own “Survival” Sangria and fruit smoothies that also use the Creamy Vanilla Drink Mix.

I am frequently asked how I accumulate FD products for food storage.  I set a budget of $100 (more or less) and place a small order every month.  Over time, it all adds up – faster than you might think.  Of course, in my case, I am always opening the cans and using my food storage.  For me, it makes sense especially when in comes to things like butter powder, green onions, pepper dices and other pantry items that I often run out of.

In the gear department, this month the Katadyn Combi Water Filter is 34% off at $144.00.  There are a lot of other items on sale this month so take a peek!

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

Amazon has a cool feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. Like I said, very cool.

Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (, and can purchased from Amazon.


Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: Spiraling Downward by Peter Damaris — 39 Comments

  1. Its hard to pick just one, but I have read from cover to cover, many times, Sylvia Bernstein’s book “Aquaponic Gardening”. I find I now am using the “Ball Blue Book” over and over. After reading so much of todays news and seeing the problems in the world, the next book I will be reading is “The Bible”.

  2. Edible and Medicinal plants of the West, by Gregory Tilford. This book began my study of edible plants, a study I have never stopped.

  3. My all time favorite non-fiction survival book is “The Book of Survival” by Anthony Greenbank. This book breaks down survival situations into chapters such as too cold, too hot, too high, too low, too wet, too dry, etc. and gives practical information as to what you can do in these situations’. I first read the original edition back in the 1960’s when my dad received it as an Outdoor Life Bookclub selection. It has since gone through several updates and the information is presented in an informative easy to read style. It is available at Amazon and I would urge any prepper to take a look. It is well worth your attention.

  4. One Second After is my current favorite. Even though this is a book of “fiction” it gave me some new things to think about. I have also read an article from a gentleman who lived in a small town during the Bosinan civil war either in the 70’s or 90’s. He discribed in great detail day to day life living cut off from all supplies, gas, electricity, food, water ect… this was a real life example of what people, even good people, will do when they are tring to keep their family alive. unfortunenutly i can not find this article any more. Bill B

    • Bill, I read that too. It has changed the way I have been preparing. It is an absolutely a must read written by someone who has lived though collapse and survived.

  5. Another great giveaway. I recently borrowed the Preppers Cookbook by Tess Pennington. I love this book. Now it’s on my must haves for my library. Thanks for everything you do for us Gaye, besides the great giveaways. Good luck everyone.

  6. There are many good books on prepping, some having been listed here in the comments. One book I like a lot is “Just In Case” (How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens), by Kathy Harrison. It covers general family preparedness for all types of disasters succinctly, and without the hyper-catastrophic, doom and gloom tone that can be overwhelming.

    • I just saw that at Barnes and Nobles. Didn’t get it as I had already gone over my budget. I was very impressed for the reasons you stated. Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. We need to know what to do and teach our children how to respond correctly. Thanks for mentioning it.

  7. I like reading books about people who have survived different situations because these books give me a view of the mental and physical aspects of surviving these situations. Some of my favorites are: “Escape From Camp 14”, “Lost in Shanghai-la”, “Unbroken”, & “Alone On The Ice”. As far as books on prepping, “When Technology Fails is ann excellent book that covers a wide variety of topics.

  8. My fave non-fiction prepping book would have to be Encyclopedia of Country Living…but I’d love to own where there is no Doctor, etc.

  9. i would like to win a copy of this book.I have some money invested in the stock market that i manage myself,i have done well too i might add but am also worried that we maybe peaking and due for a huge correction.As this money is my nest egg i dont want to loose any of it.i have been removing some of my winnings as i go to “play with the houses money” but still

  10. I am using the book “Soup Mixes Using Dehydrated Products by Wanda Bailey Clark to make some meals in mylar bags for long term storage.

  11. As you know i like the SAS survival Guide revised edition by John “Lofty ” Wiseman.I would like to win a copy of this book.I have some money invested in the stock market that i manage myself,i have done well too i might add but am also worried that we maybe peaking and due for a huge correction.As this money is my nest egg i dont want to loose any of it.i have been removing some of my winnings as i go to “play with the houses money” but still

  12. I have many favorites but one of them is Michael S. Hyatt’s The Y2K Personal Survival Guide. It covers many of the things you would discuss with a beginner to get them going on prepping. Each chapter has a checklist so you do not overlook something that might be invaluable to you.

  13. The Foxfire series are my favorites… They weren’t written as “pepper” books but started as a school project by kids who wanted to document the skills their mountain folk grandparents had before the information all died out!

    • Although my choice might seem a bit unorthodox, one of my favorite non-fiction survival books would have to be Saving Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. In my opinion, if you don’t know how to save seed, and can’t grow your own food, you’re going to be in trouble…at some point down the road.

  14. The Foxfire series, as mentioned above, is a wonderful collection of survival information. Discussing just about anything that went on during their life. Some of the topics are tanning hides, gardening, raising animals, butchering and even delivering babies. You will enjoy reading them and will be learning at the same time.

  15. Everyone needs to prepare and be prepared for hard and harder times that are rapidly coming upon the world. Knowledge, wisdom, learning from others, listening to others, and understanding are some of the keys to help yourself and others to prepare. This book and the interview given is one way to be prepared and learn.

  16. It’s a toss-up, the Foxfire series got me started long before I saw my first survivalist magazine, FM 21-76 was my go-to guide for several years, but currently Backwoods Home magazine, Patrice Lewis’ Simplicity Primer, CPT Rawles non-fiction works including his (and his fiction is great too) and I just started A Failure of Civility that is really fascinating.

  17. The Prepper’s Pocket Guide is my favorite non-fiction book. It is small and very easy to understand. This is book I buy for friends when they show interest in prepping.

  18. The Herbal Drugstore and The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs are two I am trying to master. I have a few herbs planted and am trying to learn how to use them for cooking and medicinally.

  19. I have two favorites on the same topic: “Prepper’s Home Defense – Security strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means” written by Jim Cobb and “Holding Your Ground – Preparing For Defense If It All Falls Apart” by Joe Nobody.

  20. Right now the book I seem to be useing the most is the Better Homes and Garden ‘You can Can’ & The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I am new canning and I am making it my goal to can something every mounth. At some point I would like to grow all the things that i can. ( for some reason I can’t grow a tomato to save my life! I have tried and failed 3 yr in a row.)Best fiction is “Bugging Out to Nowhere” by Paylie Roberts

  21. I like the book Back to Basics. It’s a Readers Digest book I picked up years ago and am in the process of re-reading. Covers a lot of things showing the way they were done way back in time that may come in handy if SHTF occurs.

  22. Back to Basics is a great book. I after reading all the responses, I am putting new books on my ‘must read’ list. I would love to read Spiraling Downward.

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