A Short History of Progress
Written by Ronald Wright
Publication Date October 23, 2004
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.
Ronald Wright is an award-winning novelist, historian, and essayist. His 2004 CBC Massey Lectures A Short History of Progress was a national bestseller, and his bestselling nonfiction book Stolen Continents won the Gordon Montador Award. His first novel, A Scientific Romance, won the 1997 David Higham Prize for Fiction and was a Globe and Mail, Sunday Times, and New York Times book of the year. Ronald Wright lives in British Columbia.