A Short History of Progress
Each time history repeats itself, the cost goes up. We live at a time of runaway growth in human numbers, consumption, and technology. The great question we now face is how, and whether, this can go on. Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament, though new in scale, is as old as humankind.
A Short History of Progress is nothing less than a concise history of the world since Neanderthal times, elegantly written, brilliantly conceived, and stunningly clear in its warming to us now. Wright shows how human beings have a way of walking into "progress traps," beginning with the worldwide slaughter of big game in the Stone Age. The same pattern of overconsumption then took a new form as many of the world's most creative civilizations--Mesopotamia, the Maya, the Roman Empire--fell victim to their own success.
House of Anansi
History | Social and Cultural Anthropology
Wight, Ronald, "A Short History of Progress" (2004). Personal Research Collection. 49.