I did not expect this book to be an ?argument? for progress, rather I had hoped it would give me insight into how historical events have shaped our modern day beliefs regarding happiness and satisfaction. I thought the author would discuss both the pros and cons of progress (e.g. higher mobility and individual freedom has led to less family unity or increased industry has led to environmental problems). Instead the author presents us with a long litany of reasons why progress has been good to society. His argument strays quickly from objectivity to defensiveness leaving the reader to wonder: ?Am I the audience he is raging against?? and ?Why did I waste my audio credit on this book??
Easterbrook: I've read his football columns for years and that same paradoxically forward thinking/tradition embracing exuberance put to much more practical effect. Loved this book.
Makes a lot of good points...however goes over them and over them and over them (you get the picture) and then espouses a very very left view of how to address societies woes....which I suspect has never been shown to work anywhere in a society comprised of more than 100 to 200 people (in other words impractical).
Informed, positive, inspiring.
This is a book about life. Allowed me to look deeper into myself as an individual as well as a member of society, helping me understand how I think, behave and relate to others.
No, I have not.
This is an amazing book, enriched with words of wisdom throughout. The arguments are very well thought through and the language so straight forward that it can reach any audience.
I thoroughly recommend it. It is one of those books that you will come back to a few times, as there is a lot to absorb and to relate to.
I rated this 3 stars---the first half was easily 5 stars, a well-researched and written analysis of happiness and what does/does not make it. Part 2 was worth 1 star, a seemingly endless retelling of all the woes of current American society and choices. Ironically some of the prescriptions do not even appear to make economic sense. While I do agree with some of the author's points, if I wanted a political discourse on economics I would have bought another book. Will listen to part 1 again; will delete part 2.
Mr. Easterbrook's condescension of Liberal/Progressive views is so offensive it made listening to him very difficult right from the first page, none-the-less I persisted. However, I finally had to draw the line at his use of fictitious facts that were so blatantly trumped up as to erode the last vestige of his credibility.
If you hold Liberal or Progress worldviews and you don't enjoy having your intelligence insulted, I recommend that you pass on this piece of neo-conservative propaganda.
The book weaves a clever argument for prolific discrepancies between the progress made by our society and our psychological perception of it.
I wish I would have read the other reader reviews first. It would have saved me the sad experience of wading through the extended opening of statistical recitation only to get harangued by the author's personal viewpoints. It's not that I necessarily disagree with the author's sense of morality--but I certainly did not buy the book to be subjected to an accusational political diatribe. Stay away from this book, unless you like being preached to.
As the others have said, the first part of the book seemed objective and OK, presenting reasons and data to support the author's point that humans on Earth have it better today than ever before. But rather quickly after that, he veered to the left and began to rant about the benefits of an idealistic society, based on left-wing, political ideas. He wants the United States to "buy" the world out of poverty, is anti-military, anti-business, and pro-big government. Overall I would not recommend this book. I was expecting an objective treatise, but was very disappointed.
While I think Easterbrook has some valid points, they are sandwhiched between so much personal bias, that the book is hard to stomach. The personal bias is so strong in points that you have to question the validity of the information presented as "facts." I would not waste my time and money on this one.