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Slowdown

The End of the Great Acceleration—and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives

Danny Dorling; Illustrations by Kirsten McClure

View Inside Price: $28.50


May 19, 2020
400 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
67 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300243406
Hardcover

A powerful and counterintuitive argument that we should welcome the current slowdown—of population growth, economies, and technological innovation

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, increases in life expectancy, 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.

Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, UK. His previous books include Inequality and the 1% and The Equality Effect. With others, he created the website Worldmapper.org, a digital collection of demographic maps. He lives in Oxford, UK.

“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 
 

“Dorling has – once again – written a fascinating book challenging our contemporary world and our current way of life. Exploding the false idea of limitless growth in a world of limited natural resources, this is a thoughtful and entertaining call to slow down!”— Markku Löytönen, University of Helsinki 
 

“Ever since Malthus, stories about the future have been stories of rapid growth. That’s what makes Danny Dorling’s Slowdown such a revelation. It challenges our vision of the future and our fundamental assumptions about the nature of change.”—Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of Shorter: Work Better, Smarter, and Less—Here’s How
 

"Is the world spinning out of control? I thought so until I read Slowdown. Dorling's humane vision of a slower, more stable future gave me new hope."—William Powers, author of Hamlet's Blackberry

“This challenging and provocative book casts a wide net as it finds evidence everywhere of slowing growth. Most notably in population and life expectancy, but also in economic living standards, the halcyon era of rapid growth lies in the past.”—Robert J. Gordon, author of The Rise and Fall of American Growth
 

“In this counterintuitive and eye-opening book, Dorling explodes the prevalent myth of acceleration and shows a beneficial slowdown is already happening -- and needs to happen.”—Vanessa Baird, co-editor,  New Internationalist
 

“An incredibly insightful and inspiring analysis showing that an increasingly slowing pace of economic and population growth can go hand in hand with greater human progress, planetary responsibility and refocusing on the things that really matter in life.”—Dimitris Ballas, University of Groningen

"Critiques of inexorable growth have been around for some time. But in this beautifully accessible book, Dorling clarifies to an unprecedented degree what slowdown might actually mean for humanity across a range of dimensions. Turning some of the most fundamental premises of social science upside down, Dorling provides a deeply provocative argument."—Robbie Shilliam, author of Race and the Undeserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit

“An original tour de force. Like following the white rabbit down a futuristic rabbit-hole, Slowdown guides the reader to the realization that a world without growth will be perfectly fine.”—Lorenza Antonucci, author of Student Lives in Crisis