Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration – and Why It's Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives (Paperback)
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A powerful and counterintuitive argument that we should welcome the current slowdown—of population growth, economies, and technological innovation
The end of our high-growth world was underway well before COVID-19 arrived. In this powerful and timely argument, Danny Dorling demonstrates the benefits of a larger, ongoing societal slowdown
Drawing from an incredibly rich trove of global data, this groundbreaking book reveals that human progress has been slowing down since the early 1970s. Danny Dorling uses compelling visualizations to illustrate how fertility rates, growth in GDP per person, and even the frequency of new social movements have all steadily declined over the last few generations.
Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that even as new technologies frequently reshape our everyday lives and are widely believed to be propelling our civilization into new and uncharted waters, the rate of technological progress is also rapidly dropping. Rather than lament this turn of events, Dorling embraces it as a moment of promise and a move toward stability, and he notes that many of the older great strides in progress that have defined recent history also brought with them widespread warfare, divided societies, and massive inequality.
About the Author
Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. His previous books include Inequality and the 1% and The Equality Effect.
“Blinded by a cult of progress, many of us can’t see the slowdown that Dorling makes clear. A true public intellectual, he shows that, if we survive, life will be slower—and possibly better.”—Paul Chatterton, author of Unlocking Sustainable Cities: A Manifesto for Real Change
“Slowdown is a new standard for visually understanding human history and social change. Using beautifully illustrated graphs, Danny Dorling provides a broad perspective on long-term social changes, the limits of growth, and widening inequalities, and emphasizes the importance of adapting to this slowdown.”—Tomoki Nakaya, author of The Atlas of Health Inequalities in Japan
“A spellbinding book that will almost certainly make you reconsider what you thought was happening in and to the world, and then think again about where we might be heading.“—Juliette Powell, author of 33 Million People in the Room
“Powerful, thought-provoking, and timely. Professor Dorling brilliantly exposes how spiraling work intensity, alongside bumper profits and freedoms for capital, cannot sustain people and planet. From stronger unions to a greener economy, he compellingly shows how we can choose a more hopeful and humane future.”—Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
“Dorling’s optimism is infectious as he brilliantly explores the huge challenges of a slowing pace of growth while the world transitions to a new ‘normal’ of stable and then shrinking populations.”—Vicky Pryce, author of Women vs Capitalism