Sunday, March 04, 2007

Gregg Easterbrook's "The Progress Paradox"

Gregg Easterbrook is a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and The Washington Monthly; a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution; a columnist for; and the author of The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse and other books.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said The Progress Paradox is "a book you must read. It tells the truth about how the United States really is today."

Among the praise for the book from writers who aren't billionaires:
The Progress Paradox raises some provocative questions.... This is a book meant to challenge left and right–keep both sides off balance.... A welcome antidote to the demagoguery prevalent in political discussion today.”
– Los Angeles Times

“Well-constructed, civic-minded ... full of compelling statistics and anecdotes ... a convincing case for good cheer.”
– New York Times Book Review

“Lively ... combines a vast amount of scholarly research and reporting to generate a thoughtful, sustained argument.”
– BusinessWeek

“Utterly engaging.... There are surprises all through it, and some startling refutations of conventional wisdoms.”
– Baltimore Sun

“With the lively wit and contrarian insight that is a regular feature of his articles in The New Republic ... Mr. Easterbrook offers a bracing reminder of what is too often forgotten but difficult to deny: In the West in the past fifty years, life has gotten steadily better.”
– Wall Street Journal

Read an excerpt from The Progress Paradox and see how well it was served by the Page 69 Test.

Lynn Green conducted a brief interview with Easterbrook.

Among Easterbrook's recent articles:

"Finally Feeling the Heat," New York Times, May 24, 2006

"Case Closed: The Global Warming Debate Is Over," Brookings Institution paper, May 2006

How many magazine articles do you think about every day when you get in your car? For me, the answer is one: Easterbrook's 2003 essay, "Axle of Evil."

Easterbrook reviewed Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. Here's part of the paragraph about their areas of agreement:
There's no doubt that all faiths contain their share of claptrap. There's no doubt religion has done the world considerable wrong in the past and will cause more wrongs in the future. There's no doubt many believers are hypocrites or can barely describe the most basic tenets of the theology they claim to cherish. There's no doubt the religious often act as though they don't believe what they profess. [read on for more, and more significant, areas of disagreement]
For those for whom football is a religion, see Easterbrook's "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" column.

--Marshal Zeringue