The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise,

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Simon and Schuster, May 10, 2011 - Social Science - 288 pages
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.

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User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

"This diverse, decentralized process makes technocrats uncomfortable—no one is in charge, and the results are unpredictable—but it strikes reactionaries as downright evil. They find its ambition ... Read full review

THE FUTURE AND ITS ENEMIES: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress

User Review  - Kirkus

A provocative and pretentious defense of the free society, the free market, and even the free person. The old political appellations of "left" ‘ and "right" no longer carry much meaning; it's now more ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Virginia Postrel is the editor of Reason magazine and a columnist for Forbes and its companion technology magazine, Forbes ASAP. Her work also appears in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and other major publications. She lives in Los Angeles. Her Web site is at

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