Despite their awareness that disorder, decay and disintegration may lie ahead, most sociologists implicitly take an optimistic view of the future. Hopeful that knowledge may make it possible to avoid catastrophe, they often fail to spell out the dire eventualities that might come to pass. Rejecting any form of determinism, they self-consciously eschew the role of Cassandra, however menacing the omens. It therefore falls to others to make explicit the unwanted and even unthinkable historical possibilities. The following brief selections from nonacademic sources provide an apocalyptic vision of what may happen if present trends continue and nothing is done to deal with the problems so clearly evident in American cities.