> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Review: Ragnar Benson's The Modern Survival Retreat



Review: Ragnar Benson's The Modern Survival Retreat

Good ol' Ragnar. The prolific survivalist writer has covered most every topic out there, from mantrapping and poaching to homemade grenade launchers. In The Modern Survival Retreat, he gives a brief overview of retreats--why you would want one, where to locate one, what to store there and so on.

This is Ragnar's second book about retreats. His first, the Survival Retreat: A Total Plan for Retreat Defense, was written in 1983, during the height cold war, takes a fairly conventional viewpoint on why you should have a  retreat--you need one to survive nuclear war, invasion from foreign powers--TEOTWAWKI, basically.

The Modern Survival Retreat is an update of sorts. It was written back in 1998, when incidents like Ruby Ridge and the Waco siege were still fresh in people's memories and the threat of nuclear war was a (for the time) distant memory. Accordingly, hiding from evil government forces becomes Ragnar's reason for retreating. The reason for retreating goes from the traditional TEOTWAWKI survival to escaping the IRS, FBI, ATF, truancy police, environmental gestapo, the UN or whoever. This focus is the downfall of this book--half of the the Modern Survival Retreat is focused on surviving when evil government forces are after you.

There is certainly value to the "man vs. evil government" information. While I am not a tin-hat wearing, conspiracy theory/anti-government type, history is littered with tales of governments gone bad. Civil wars, government-backed persecution and genocides, tyrannical dictators and the like. However, this hiding from the government content is NOT "survival retreat" content; chapters like "How They Find You" and "What to Expect from your Government When it Goes Hard Core Against You" belong in a different book.

The rest of the book gives a very basic glossing over of retreating--what is a retreat, how to pick a retreat, what to stock in a retreat, transportation to a retreat, that kind of thing. Content-wise, it's nothing particularly earth-shaking, though it is written in Ragnar's friendly, interesting anecdote-filled style. I like Ragnar's books for this reason--not because they've got the latest and greatest ideas or are filled with spectacular recommendations, but because Ragnar's stories and tips get me thinking. There's certainly some of that going on in the Modern Survival Retreat, which is why it's worth a read.

This is a very short book (106 pages, with pictures) and can be read in under an hour. Four of the book's nine chapter's are "hiding from evil government" content, so only about half of the book is really about survival retreating, and, as I've mentioned, it's pretty basic information. If you can borrow it, get it at the library (you'd be surprised what your library has!) or otherwise get it for free, it's worth a quick read, if only to get you thinking. I wouldn't spend the cover price on this one though...just not enough good stuff between the covers.