The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

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9780812973037: The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century–and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations.

Detailing the emerging science of “positive psychology,” which seeks to understand what causes a person’s sense of well-being, 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 self-interest. An affirming and constructive way of seeing life 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.

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Review:

Ordinary middle-class Americans have often tried to assuage their jealousy of the rich by repeating the axiom "money can't buy happiness" to themselves. But according to New Republic senior editor Gregg Easterbrook, "the rich" are, in fact, those same ordinary middle-class Americans and no, they're not happy at all. Wages have soared over the past fifty years and regular citizens own large homes, new cars, and luxuries aplenty. Better still, the environment, with a few exceptions, is getting cleaner, crime is on the decline, and diseases are being wiped out as life span increases. So why do people report a sense that things are getting steadily worse and that catastrophe is imminent? Easterbrook presents a few psychological rationales, including "choice anxiety," where the vastness of society's options is a burden, and "abundance denial," where people somehow manage to convince themselves that they are deprived of material comforts. The sooner we accept how good we have it, the better off the whole world will be, he says, because if we would just realize that we have this wealth, we could be using it to alleviate hunger, provide health care for the millions who lack it, and otherwise address the ills that actually do exist. While at times the book's attempts to make the world a better place seem a bit of a stretch, it's admirable that Easterbrook is willing to make that stretch and not suggest people simply light up cigars and bask in their newly discovered joys. One might look a bit askance at some of Easterbrook's sunny perspectives on our societal fortunes--he celebrates rampant consumerism while skating past the rampant consumer debt that lies beneath it, for instance--but it's hard to deny that the pessimistic viewpoint is much more widely stated than that of optimists. Is the glass really half empty or should we, as Easterbrook indicates, enjoy the wonderful world in which we secretly live? --John Moe

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Gregg Easterbrook

“Easterbrook . . . is a serious author with serious points to make.”
--The New York Times
“Easterbrook . . . writes nothing that is not brilliant.”
--Chicago Tribune
“Easterbrook is perhaps the finest general science writer in the country.”
--Forbes
“Easterbrook invests the timeless questions of life’s meaning with distinctly contemporary pertinence.”
--GEORGE WILL

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ISBN 10: 0812973038 ISBN 13: 9780812973037
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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century-and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Detailing the emerging science of positive psychology, which seeks to understand what causes a person s sense of well-being, 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 self-interest. An affirming and constructive way of seeing life 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780812973037

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Greg Easterbrook
Editorial: Random House USA Inc, United States (2004)
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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century-and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Detailing the emerging science of positive psychology, which seeks to understand what causes a person s sense of well-being, 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 self-interest. An affirming and constructive way of seeing life 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780812973037

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century-and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Detailing the emerging science of positive psychology, which seeks to understand what causes a person s sense of well-being, 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 self-interest. An affirming and constructive way of seeing life 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. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780812973037

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