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Extended Audio Sample The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, by Gregg Easterbrook Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (383 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gregg Easterbrook Narrator: Rick Adamson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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. 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 ever-higher living standards don’t seem to make us any happier. 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.

Seemingly insoluble problems of the past, such as crime in New York City and smog in Los Angeles, have proved more tractable than they were thought to be. Likewise, today’s “impossible” 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kevin | 2/13/2014

    " One of the best books I've read. Just awesome. Conservatives will love the first 2/3s - how much better things are than they used to be - and groan the final 1/3 - when Easterbrook proposes a push to eliminate poverty and make health care insurance universal - but the whole thing is important and worth thinking about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Blewitzky | 1/12/2014

    " Detailed analysis showing how so much has improved, particulalry in the west, over the last 100 years or so: poverty, racism. healthcare, environment, etc. Asks why, by many measures, we are no happier. Indictment of a materialistic culture. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Hubert | 12/9/2013

    " Easterbrook often throws a no-nonsense attitude towards American politics and economics. His viewpoints are peppered across the Left-Right political spectrum, which makes him unique. But that alone doesn't make up account for the lack of real critical analysis necessary to put out such an ambitious thesis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jason | 10/26/2013

    " Very interesting read like all Easterbrook books. The Progress Paradox explores the belief that as our lives get better we actually think they get worse. I recomend this book to anyone that doesn't mind thinking. For you Harry Potter fans - this is not for you. "

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