A Short History of Progress

A Short History of Progress

Book - 2004
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Each time history repeats itself, so it's said, the price goes up. The twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology, placing a colossal load on all natural systems, especially earth, air, and water -- the very elements of life. The most urgent questions of the twenty-first century are: where will this growth lead? can it be consolidated or sustained? and what kind of world is our present bequeathing to our future?

In his #1 bestseller A Short History of Progress Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament is as old as civilization, a 10,000-year experiment we have participated in but seldom controlled. Only by understanding the patterns of triumph and disaster that humanity has repeated around the world since the Stone Age can we recognize the experiment's inherent dangers, and, with luck and wisdom, shape its outcome.

Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, c2004.
ISBN: 9780887847066
Characteristics: 211 pages ;,21 cm.


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Jul 12, 2019

An essential and fascinating read for an understanding of our current predicament amid the existential issues of global warming and living in the antropocene age. Wright takes the reader on a historical tour of past civilizations with astute observations that inform the changes we need to make.

May 17, 2019

A must read for those who will be braving the next 30+ years here on Earth.

Oct 31, 2015

A great book for seeing the patterns, the common denominators and the trajectory of going along in the manner of business as usual. Human conceit and the part it plays is something we can now better understand. Therefore it seems we can heal from this aspect of ego and we could then change course. There is a new narrative of who we are and why we are here and i suspect many people are ready to embrace such a new story. Ok, so now doing the call to all artists of all media and mediums- J Campbell said it was up to us to "tell the new stories" I am in others? Let's do this!

Feb 17, 2014

A concise look at the history of some civilizations in human history and speculations on their downfall. The book was fair in it's portrayal of prehistoric societies and did not attempt to glorify any specific society. Regretfully the author's left wing bias was in full force in his conclusions. A very quick read and well worth it.

Dec 12, 2012

I read this book for a history class. It is an excellent book. It's a comprehensive look at history; a practical, pragmatic look at the problems that have been plaguing civilizations since their beginning. Wright outlines exactly why civilizations collapse, and begins to outline a possible solution. Everyone should read it.

Apr 19, 2012

A horrifically fun glance at the prehistoric evidence that our current ecological crisis has been a long, long, long time coming. This book should be read a lot more widely.

q22 Feb 02, 2012

Really makes you think that we (our society, our current world order) aren't so unique, ... I was intrigued to learn about the level of sophistication of previous civilizations and curious to read other works by this Ronald Wright.

LMOH Apr 16, 2011

Frightening and fatalistic as mentioned below, but really interesting too from a historical standpoint. Progress isn't always a good thing!

Nov 22, 2010

The fatalistic trajectory of humanity’s future is put into frighteningly clear focus with every page of this thoroughly engrossing work.

It’s one of those books that you simply can’t help but bother the person next to you with the last factoid you just read.

The audiobook is great too!

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