In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wideranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past centuryand yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book.Between contemporary emphasis on grievances and the fears engendered by 9/11, today it is common to hear it said that life has started downhill, or that our parents had it better. But objectively, almost everyone in today’s United States or European Union lives better than his or her parents did.Still, studies show that the percentage of the population that is happy has not increased in fifty years, while depression and stress have become ever more prevalent. The Progress Paradox explores why everhigher living standards don’t seem to make us any happier. Detailing the emerging science of yes'>ldquo;positive psychology,yes'>rdquo; which seeks to understand what causes a person’s sense of wellbeing, Easterbrook offers an alternative to our culture of crisis and complaint. He makes a Compelling case that optimism, gratitude, and acts of forgiveness not only make modern life more fulfilling but are actually in our selfinterest. Seemingly insoluble problems of the past, such as crime in New York City and smog in Los Angeles, have proved more tractable than they werethought to be. Likewise, today’s yes'>ldquo;impossibleyes'>rdquo; problems, such as global warming and Islamic terrorism, can be tackled too.Like The Tipping Point, this book offers an affirming and constructive way of seeing the world anew. The Progress Paradox will change the way you think about your place in the world, and about our collective ability to make it better.From the Hardcover edition.
What can a spell-checker tell you about economic trends? Why is the worlds supply of ideas about to double? What did America get right in the nineteenth century that its getting wrong in the twenty-first? If Karl Marx were alive today, would he be hosting a show on Fox News?
These are just a few of the provocative questions asked by Sonic Boom, a (mainly) optimistic look at the near future. Sonic Boom tells why the worlds economy is likely to be just fine, with prosperity increasing; why globalization will soon drive us even crazier than it does today; why a chaotic, raucous, unpredictable, stress-inducing, free, prosperous, well-informed, and smart future is coming. The book is rich with specific examples and advice on how to navigate your own way through the craziness thats ahead. Forbes calls Gregg Easterbrook the best writer on complex topics in the United States, and Sonic Boom will show you why.
On November 17, 1968, the Oakland Raiders staged a last-minute comeback against the New York Jets, scoring two touchdowns in the final minute for a dramatic finale. But there was a problem: no one saw it. NBC, broadcasting the game nationally, cut away with 1:01 remaining and the Jets still leading to air a previously scheduled movie, Heidi. The ensuing public outcry was so significant that the rules for football broadcasting were quickly and forever changed.
In this perceptive, finely argued book, Gregg Easterbrook shows that the so-called "Heidi Bowl" was not just an isolated bizarre moment. It was the beginning of the football era in America. The sport boomed alongside television, soon becoming our national campfire--one of the few points of agreement across the political spectrum and a genuine source of community even as religion's influence waned. It is no coincidence, Easterbrook argues, that we now see in football the same issues that we perceive elsewhere in America--including recent problems with bullying, violence against women, racial injustice, and financial skulduggery.
These problems are significant, and many have been moved to limit their engagement with the NFL's venal culture--or boycott it entirely. Yet as Easterbrook shows, there's something here worth saving. He expounds on the benefits of football, and throws its many problems into relief, finally arguing that the work of reforming and changing one of our great pastimes is American as the game itself.