Triumph of the Mundane: The Unseen Trends that Shape Our Lives and Environment / Edition 1

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Overview

<p>In recent years, the desire for greater creature comforts and material success has come to dominate the goals and values of most Americans-in the pithy language of the bumper sticker, &quot;He who dies with the most toys wins.&quot; Often, however, this &quot;progress&quot; takes a heavy toll on our communities and environment. Many in the progressive and environmental movements lament this development, and argue that not only does our politics fail to offer solutions, but it does not even seem to recognize the problem.<p>In Triumph of the Mundane, Hal Kane offers a unique assessment of how and why our day-to-day lives have changed, and considers the wide-ranging impacts of those changes. Using a variety of indicators of behavior-distances between family members, the things we own, and the pace of our lives-he traces the social transformations that have occurred in recent decades, and considers the profound effects of those changes on our values, relationships, and physical surroundings.<p>Kane takes a first step at defining a new set of political goals, as he identifies questions that leaders and policymakers must address if they are to reinvigorate our public discourse so that it can improve the quality of our lives. He provides examples of powerful new ways of measuring the things we really care about, and offers an important means of recognizing the often-overlooked issues that underlie much of the environmental crisis.<p>Triumph of the Mundane explores in a fresh, engaging way the social causes and consequences of environmental degradation, and is a thought-provoking work for anyone interested in environmental issues or the future of American society.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Politicians, particularly, talk about trends, progress, growth, and expansion as important indicators of the condition of our country and the direction in which it is moving. Kane, a senior fellow at the nonprofit organization Redefining Progress, argues that other significant trends--the acceleration of new technologies, the increased speed of information communication, the growth of single-person households, the obsession with the accumulation of material goods, and an increasingly mobile society--are at least as important in contributing to the shape of our future. He argues that it is critical that we try to identify, measure, and analyze all of the indicators that tell us who we are and what we are really doing and, most importantly, that we discuss where we want to go. This thoughtful, clearly written discussion is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.--Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559637152
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Physical and Private Changes That Have Shaped America 1
Ch. 1 Speed: The Fastest People Who Ever Lived 19
Ch. 2 Moving Away: Americans Have a Unique Approach to Accomplishing Their Goals 55
Ch. 3 Living Alone: Americans Have Acquired Something That Few Have Ever Had Before 95
Ch. 4 Possession: Americans Built Their Country Partly of Knickknacks, Electronic Gadgets, and Paraphernalia 123
Ch. 5 The Future We Haven't Talked About: America's Other Public Affairs 149
Index 187
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