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

Extended Audio Sample The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse Audiobook, 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: November 2003 ISBN: 9780739310519
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annette | 9/14/2013

    " Read the first three chapters and you will feel wonderful about life in the our modern world. It counts the blessings for you. The middle of the book begins to delve into why we are unhappy when everything is so good. The last part are the authors suggestions for what can change our perceptions. The authors political views come out here and there, but the topic of the book falls in a moderate category and easily applicable to many of us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Shuler | 9/4/2013

    " This book takes a serious look at questions of what we mean by progress and how we might measure progress if and when we saw it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 6/4/2013

    " I love this book. Much of my worldview right here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Beck | 4/24/2013

    " Crime is down - incomes are up - so why is everybody on anti-depressants? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor | 4/1/2013

    " Made a bunch of great points and does help you to look at the world around you in a more positive light, but in the end tries to make a purely secular argument for the meaning of life that fell a little flat. Interesting, but not essential. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ivan Raszl | 9/13/2012

    " Great book but a little tiring to read at certain times. Too much data. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Perrone | 12/29/2011

    " A little healthy perspective was never bad for you. This book definitely provides it for you. In some ways, no matter how bad things get for us in our day and age, we never really "suffer." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/8/2011

    " A rare bit of pop sociology that is as interesting in proscriptive conclusions as it is in its presentation of novel findings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 9/11/2011

    " "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." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 7/13/2011

    " Very insightful and detailed. Gets a little tedious, but worth it to have the facts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 7/22/2010

    " Factoid filled. In general I agreed with his assertions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KristenR | 7/6/2010

    " A bit heavy on the statitstics and I remember the last chapter being a little on the sanctimonious side, but a very interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Musing | 12/5/2009

    " This book makes you re-think everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wesley Voit | 10/8/2009

    " If you're feeling shitty about the human condition in the modern world, read this 'big picture'synopsis of how awesome everything really is. Seriously, everything is pretty good for us right now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 7/7/2009

    " Very insightful and detailed. Gets a little tedious, but worth it to have the facts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 5/14/2009

    " A little healthy perspective was never bad for you. This book definitely provides it for you. In some ways, no matter how bad things get for us in our day and age, we never really "suffer." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 10/19/2008

    " This book takes a serious look at questions of what we mean by progress and how we might measure progress if and when we saw it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Musing | 10/17/2008

    " This book makes you re-think everything. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Blewitzky | 9/25/2008

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 7/29/2008

    " A rare bit of pop sociology that is as interesting in proscriptive conclusions as it is in its presentation of novel findings. "

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About the Author
Gregg Easterbrook is a senior editor of The New Republic, a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, a visiting fellow in economics at the Brookings Institution, and a columnist for ESPN.com. He is the author of six books, including A Moment on the Earth, a New York Times and American Library Association Notable Book. He has also been a contributing editor at Newsweek and an editor of The Washington Monthly. He lives in Maryland and can be reached via the Internet at www.greggeasterbrook.com.
About the Narrator

Rick Adamson is an award-winning voice artist with more than twenty years’ experience in voiceovers, spoken word events, event announcing, and children’s media, as well as commercials for well-known international corporations. He has narrated numerous television and film documentaries, including Croatia, co-narrated with Martin Sheen. His audiobook narration includes more than two dozen major books, as well as dozens of early-reader titles for juveniles. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2011 for Best Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction for In a Heartbeat, and he was among the finalists for the 2006 Audie Award for Best Personal Development/Motivational Work for Younger Next Year. He earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for the ensemble narration of Rough Water.