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An Illustrated Short History of Progress

by Ronald Wright

ISBN 0887842062 / 9780887842061 / 0-88784-206-2
Publisher House of Anansi Press
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Ronald Wright argues that humankind has been repeating the same mistakes over and over. What's more, each time history repeats itself, the price goes up. Starting from the recognized truth that the 20th centurys runaway growth in population, consumption, and technology placed a colossal load on all natural systems, Wright demonstrates that this seemingly modern predicament is as old as civilization itself — a 10,000-year experiment humans have participated in but seldom controlled. Only by understanding the patterns of human triumph and disaster, he says, can the experiments inherent dangers be recognized and its outcome altered. In this handsome new edition, illuminating illustrations and sidebars complement Wrights arguments, offering further evidence to support his cautionary tale. His trenchant text evokes striking images across time and space, starting with Paul Gauguins painting DOù Venons Nous? Que Sommes Nous? Où Allons Nous? — Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? — three questions that perfectly summarize this thought-provoking book.