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Illustrated Short History of Progress [Paperback]

Ronald Wright
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 7 2008 0887848060 978-0887848063

In these acclaimed CBC Massey Lectures, Ronald Wright argues that the twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology, placing a colossal load on all natural systems. But our modern predicament is as old as civilization, a 10,000-year experiment we have participated in but seldom controlled. Only by understanding the patterns of human triumph and disaster can we recognize the experiment's inherent dangers and, with luck and wisdom, shape its outcome.

In this edition, illuminating illustrations and sidebars complement Wright's arguments, and allow readers to witness further evidence supporting his cautionary tale.

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...Meets all our needs and then some; It's smart, downright gorgeous...Bravo. (Toronto Star 2006-01-12)

About the Author

Ronald Wright is an award-winning novelist, historian, and essayist. His 2004 CBC Massey Lectures A Short History of Progress was a national bestseller, and his bestselling nonfiction book Stolen Continents won the Gordon Montador Award. His first novel, A Scientific Romance, won the 1997 David Higham Prize for Fiction and was a Globe and Mail, Sunday Times, and New York Times book of the year. Ronald Wright lives in British Columbia.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something worth talking about March 9 2009
This book is a truly fascinating look back at the astounding advances and trends in human development. Perhaps the best thing I can say about this book is that you will want to talk to people about it. It will spawn a thousand conversations with friends as well as arguments and isn't that what a good book is supposed to do, provoke? Sure the overall message is "hey we should protect the environment" but it is the detail given to our all too sudden stranglehold on this planet that is what makes this book so captivating. You'll read it in an afternoon or in 6 15 minute "lessons".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review: Short History of Progress Oct. 30 2011
By Karoni
This book is a short read which made me skeptical about the amount of interesting information he could convey in so little space. Wright devoted each chapter to the description of a particular civilization and explains in ~35 pages where they came from, how they lived, what went wrong, and what we can learn from it now. I appreciate the difficulty he must have had to be concise especially since almost 50% of the pages included imagery of some kind. The fact that this book was illustrated was also a little off-putting at first but made the read go quickly and was surprisingly enjoyable (despite being cut off mid-sentence to read the description of an image on the following page then having to continue on with the second half of the sentence another page later). I do not necessarily agree with the premise of the book, to examine the past to determine where we are going, since it is impossible to predict the future of any civilization or culture (or of anything, for that matter) however Wright does make good arguments in his final chapter. I don't know if all the information preceding the last chapter was ultimately necessary (it could have stood on its own fairly well) but overall this book was informative, enjoyable, and well-paced.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too late Aug. 15 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is nice. Wonderful photos and illustrations. As for the content : nothing new there. It dates from the 70's, and the 80's and etc.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect little baker Feb. 23 2012
By Antea
I had used a B&d a few years ago, but gave it to my son since I live alone. I missed making fancy bread, so I shopped around. It had to be small. This little Zojirushi is perfect in size, easy to load, the paddle does not make a mess and release the loaf readily, the result is always a pleasure. I varies the flours, the added goodies are almost gourmet cooking, and the bread is constantly perfect even with my adventurous additions : walnuts, almonds, almonds flour, chestnut flour, apples, apple sauce, garlic, ginger, fruits, bacon, cheese, herbs, whole wheat, durum and rye, chocolate and buttermilk. The only rule is simply to think about how much moisture all these bring and try to leave the flour volume equal to the recipes they advise you. So, you learn to balance it all, including the tastes and "Bon appetite" . Just keep the proportion about right!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!! July 4 2010
By Edgardo Alemany - Published on Amazon.com
Very nice way to explain how bad our civilazation is going and what whe should do to change...
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