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"The Future and Its Enemies

The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress "

Paperback Published: 1st December 1999
ISBN: 9780684862699
Number Of Pages: 290

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Today we have greater wealth, health, opportunity, and choice than at any time in history. Yet a chorus of intellectuals and politicians laments our current condition -- as slaves to technology, coarsened by popular culture, and insecure in the face of economic change. The future, they tell us, is dangerously out of control, and unless we precisely govern the forces of change, we risk disaster.

In "The Future and Its Enemies, " Virginia Postrel explodes the myths behind these claims. Using examples that range from medicine to fashion, she explores how progress truly occurs and demonstrates that human betterment depends not on conformity to one central vision but on creativity and decentralized, open-ended trial and error. She argues that these two opposing world-views -- "stasis" vs. "dynamism" -- are replacing "left" and "right" to define our cultural and political debate as we enter the next century.

In this bold exploration of how civilizations learn, Postrel heralds a fundamental shift in the way we view politics, culture, technology, and society as we face an unknown -- and invigorating -- future.

Colin Walters"The Washington Times"Exciting, a very important book. Alan Wolfe"The New Republic"A lively, engaging, and thought-provoking book. Daniel Silver"The Wall Street Journal"A pointed and provocative cultural critique. Arthur HirschThe Baltimore SunVirginia Postrel is stirring it up...arousing praise and criticism across the country. Anthony Day"Los Angeles Times"The strength of "The Future and Its Enemies" lies in the author's passionate belief in the inherent virtue in creativity, innovation, and competition. John Derbyshire"National Review"Postrel's aim is to provide a defense of adventurous, optimistic attitudes to social and technological change. That she has done very admirably, with passion and vigor. Etelka Lehoczky"Solon"Vibrant with genuinely remarkable new ideas...Postrel's prose is a delight to read. It bubbles with salubrious little maxims, the kind that reignite one's flagging sense of intellectual adventure. James W. Ceaser"The Weekly Standard"It is a fervent partisan statement, an unabashedly dynamist work. Postrel's conviction displays itself not just in the content of the book, but in the style she has developed to explain it. Postrel writes like a dynamo. James K. Glassman"The Washington Post"American will prosper as long as we allow our trust in what Virginia Postrel in her brilliant new book, "The Future and Its Enemies," calls dynamism -- freewheeling, even playful, change -- [to] overcome our fear of the future. Michael Barone"U.S. News & World Report"In industrial America, centralized bureaucracies believed they could identify and impose what 1910's management expert F. W Taylor called "the one best way" In post-industrial America, Virginia Postrel argues in her insightful book The Future and Its Enemies, it makes better sense to set out simple rules, allow flexibility and accountability. Etelka Lehoczky "Solon" Vibrant with genuinely remarkable new ideas...Postrel's prose is a delight to read. It bubbles with salubrious little maxims, the kind that reignite one's flagging sense of intellectual adventure. Colin Walters "The Washington Times" Exciting, a very important book. Arthur Hirsch The Baltimore Sun Virginia Postrel is stirring it up...arousing praise and criticism across the country. Alan Wolfe "The New Republic" A lively, engaging, and thought-provoking book. James K. Glassman "The Washington Post" American will prosper as long as we allow our trust in what Virginia Postrel in her brilliant new book, "The Future and Its Enemies, " calls dynamism -- freewheeling, even playful, change -- [to] overcome our fear of the future. Daniel Silver "The Wall Street Journal" A pointed and provocative cultural critique. James W. Ceaser "The Weekly Standard" It is a fervent partisan statement, an unabashedly dynamist work. Postrel's conviction displays itself not just in the content of the book, but in the style she has developed to explain it. Postrel writes like a dynamo. Michael Barone "U.S. News & World Report" In industrial America, centralized bureaucracies believed they could identify and impose what 1910's management expert F. W Taylor called "the one best way" In post-industrial America, Virginia Postrel argues in her insightful book The Future and Its Enemies, it makes better sense to set out simple rules, allow flexibility and accountability. John Derbyshire "National Review" Postrel's aim is to provide a defense of adventurous, optimistic attitudes to social and technological change. That she has done very admirably, with passion and vigor. Anthony Day "Los Angeles Times" The strength of "The Future and Its Enemies" lies in the author's passionate belief in the inherent virtue in creativity, innovation, and competition. Michael Barone U.S. News & World Report In industrial America, centralized bureaucracies believed they could identify and impose what 1910's management expert F. W Taylor called "the one best way" In post-industrial America, Virginia Postrel argues in her insightful book The Future and Its Enemies, it makes better sense to set out simple rules, allow flexibility and accountability. James W. Ceaser The Weekly Standard It is a fervent partisan statement, an unabashedly dynamist work. Postrel's conviction displays itself not just in the content of the book, but in the style she has developed to explain it. Postrel writes like a dynamo. Anthony Day Los Angeles Times The strength of The Future and Its Enemies lies in the author's passionate belief in the inherent virtue in creativity, innovation, and competition. John Derbyshire National Review Postrel's aim is to provide a defense of adventurous, optimistic attitudes to social and technological change. That she has done very admirably, with passion and vigor. Colin Walters The Washington Times Exciting, a very important book. Etelka Lehoczky Solon Vibrant with genuinely remarkable new ideas...Postrel's prose is a delight to read. It bubbles with salubrious little maxims, the kind that reignite one's flagging sense of intellectual adventure. Alan Wolfe The New Republic A lively, engaging, and thought-provoking book. Daniel Silver The Wall Street Journal A pointed and provocative cultural critique. James K. Glassman The Washington Post American will prosper as long as we allow our trust in what Virginia Postrel in her brilliant new book, The Future and Its Enemies, calls dynamism -- freewheeling, even playful, change -- [to] overcome our fear of the future. Michael Barone"U.S. News & World Report"

In industrial America, centralized bureaucracies believed they could identify and impose what 1910's management expert F. W Taylor called "the one best way" In post-industrial America, Virginia Postrel argues in her insightful book The Future and Its Enemies, it makes better sense to set out simple rules, allow flexibility and accountability. James K. Glassman"The Washington Post"

American will prosper as long as we allow our trust in what Virginia Postrel in her brilliant new book, "The Future and Its Enemies," calls dynamism -- freewheeling, even playful, change -- [to] overcome our fear of the future. James W. Ceaser"The Weekly Standard"

It is a fervent partisan statement, an unabashedly dynamist work. Postrel's conviction displays itself not just in the content of the book, but in the style she has developed to explain it. Postrel writes like a dynamo. Etelka Lehoczky"Solon"

Vibrant with genuinely remarkable new ideas...Postrel's prose is a delight to read. It bubbles with salubrious little maxims, the kind that reignite one's flagging sense of intellectual adventure. John Derbyshire"National Review"

Postrel's aim is to provide a defense of adventurous, optimistic attitudes to social and technological change. That she has done very admirably, with passion and vigor. Anthony Day"Los Angeles Times"

The strength of "The Future and Its Enemies" lies in the author's passionate belief in the inherent virtue in creativity, innovation, and competition. Arthur HirschThe Baltimore Sun

Virginia Postrel is stirring it up...arousing praise and criticism across the country. Daniel Silver"The Wall Street Journal"

A pointed and provocative cultural critique. Alan Wolfe"The New Republic"

A lively, engaging, and thought-provoking book. Colin Walters"The Washington Times"

Exciting, a very important book.

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Search for Tomorrowp. xi
The One Best Wayp. 1
The Party of Lifep. 27
The Infinite Seriesp. 55
The Tree of Knowledgep. 83
The Bonds of Lifep. 111
Creating Naturep. 147
Fields of Playp. 171
On the Vergep. 191
Notesp. 219
Indexp. 255
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780684862699
ISBN-10: 0684862697
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 290
Published: 1st December 1999
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1