What do soaring debt, endemic narcissism, road rage, political attack ads and killer drones share in common? All are symptoms of a society that moves, reflexively and relentlessly, to exploit the fastest, most efficient means to any end, without regard to cost. This is the `impulse society' in which we live.
In every facet of postindustrial society - the way we eat, the way we communicate and entertain, the way we work, the way we court lovers and raise children, educate and govern - technology and affluence has let us reach our goals with a speed and efficiency unimaginable even a generation ago.
But the result is not all milk, honey, and gold. Companies now reflexively maximise short-term gain at the expense of long-term success. Politicians resort with ever-greater speed to nasty campaign tactics, and can count on their damaging claims to spread before the facts catch up with them. Consumers engage in serial over-indulgence and pursue instant gratification of every whim with speed and greed. The costs of living this way are substantial: financial volatility, health epidemics, environmental exhaustion and political paralysis, to say nothing of a growing, gnawing dissatisfaction.
In this epoch-defining book, Paul Roberts traces the roots of this problem, damningly revealing how it has permeated society, and cogently argues how it may, perhaps, still be reversed.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 614 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
I guarantee this will jog your thinking, and perhaps put you on a new path * Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature *
A brilliant feat of analytic journalism * Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair *
The Impulse Society is a feisty read and full of energy ... It is hard not to empathise with his yearning for simpler times; when communities were "willing to make sacrifices for a larger social good" * Financial Times *
A stunning piece of work - perhaps the best single book ever produced about our energy economy and its environmental implications. * The New York Review of Books on The End of Oil *
A tour de force . . . an outstandingly clear, lucid and readable book about a highly complex issue that is central to our times * Guardian on the End of Food *