History in the Age of Abundance?

How the Web Is Transforming Historical Research

History in the Age of Abundance?

A guide to the World Wide Web and its archives for the contemporary historian.

Golden Dreams

California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963

Golden Dreams

A narrative tour de force that combines wide-ranging scholarship with captivating prose, Kevin Starr's acclaimed multi-volume Americans and the California Dream is an unparalleled work of cultural history. In this volume, Starr covers the crucial postwar period--1950 to 1963--when the California we know today first burst into prominence. Starr brilliantly illuminates the dominant economic, social, and cultural forces in California in these pivotal years. In a powerful blend of telling events, colorful personalities, and insightful analyses, Starr examines such issues as the overnight creation of the postwar California suburb, the rise of Los Angeles as Super City, the reluctant emergence of San Diego as one of the largest cities in the nation, and the decline of political centrism. He explores the Silent Generation and the emergent Boomer youth cult, the Beats and the Hollywood "Rat Pack," the pervasive influence of Zen Buddhism and other Asian traditions in art and design, the rise of the University of California and the emergence of California itself as a utopia of higher education, the cooling of West Coast jazz, freeway and water projects of heroic magnitude, outdoor life and the beginnings of the environmental movement. More broadly, he shows how California not only became the most populous state in the Union, but in fact evolved into a mega-state en route to becoming the global commonwealth it is today. Golden Dreams continues an epic series that has been widely recognized for its signal contribution to the history of American culture in California. It is a book that transcends its stated subject to offer a wealth of insight into the growth of the Sun Belt and the West and indeed the dramatic transformation of America itself in these pivotal years following the Second World War.

The Age of Abundance

How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture

The Age of Abundance

A reexamination of the past half century argues that a rise of affluence has directly caused a divide between liberal and conservative states, explaining how respective political parties were reorganized around economic interests after World War II and gave way to racial and gender politics as well as the recent conservative revolution. 30,000 first printing.

Fewer, Richer, Greener

Prospects for Humanity in an Age of Abundance

Fewer, Richer, Greener

How the world has become much better and why optimism is abundantly justified Why do so many people fear the future? Is their concern justified, or can we look forward to greater wealth and continued improvement in the way we live? Our world seems to be experiencing stagnant economic growth, climatic deterioration, dwindling natural resources, and an unsustainable level of population growth. The world is doomed, they argue, and there are just too many problems to overcome. But is this really the case? In Fewer, Richer, Greener, author Laurence B. Siegel reveals that the world has improved—and will continue to improve—in almost every dimension imaginable. This practical yet lighthearted book makes a convincing case for having gratitude for today’s world and optimism about the bountiful world of tomorrow. Life has actually improved tremendously. We live in the safest, most prosperous time in all human history. Whatever the metric—food, health, longevity, education, conflict—it is demonstrably true that right now is the best time to be alive. The recent, dramatic slowing in global population growth continues to spread prosperity from the developed to the developing world. Technology is helping billions of people rise above levels of mere subsistence. This technology of prosperity is cumulative and rapidly improving: we use it to solve problems in ways that would have be unimaginable only a few decades ago. An optimistic antidote for pessimism and fear, this book: Helps to restore and reinforce our faith in the future Documents and explains how global changes impact our present and influence our future Discusses the costs and unforeseen consequences of some of the changes occurring in the modern world Offers engaging narrative, accurate data and research, and an in-depth look at the best books on the topic by leading thinkers Traces the history of economic progress and explores its consequences for human life around the world Fewer, Richer, Greener: Prospects for Humanity in an Age of Abundance is a must-read for anyone who wishes to regain hope for the present and wants to build a better future.

Transparent Governance in an Age of Abundance

Experiences from the Extractive Industries in Latin America and the Caribbean

Transparent Governance in an Age of Abundance

During the last decade, the Latin American and Caribbean region has experienced unprecedented natural resources abundance. This book highlights how transparency can help realize the benefits and reduce negative externalities associated with the extractive industries in the region. A central message is that high-quality and well-managed information is critical to ensure the transparent and effective governance of the sector. The insights from experiences in the region can help policymakers design and implement effective regulatory reforms and adopt international standards that contribute to this goal. This is particularly important at a time when the recent boom experienced by extractives in the region may be coming to an end.

Conquest of Abundance

A Tale of Abstraction Versus the Richness of Being

Conquest of Abundance

From flea bites to galaxies, from love affairs to shadows, Paul Feyerabend reveled in the sensory and intellectual abundance that surrounds us. He found it equally striking that human senses and human intelligence are able to take in only a fraction of these riches. "This a blessing, not a drawback," he writes. "A superconscious organism would not be superwise, it would be paralyzed." This human reduction of experience to a manageable level is the heart of Conquest of Abundance, the book on which Feyerabend was at work when he died in 1994. Prepared from drafts of the manuscript left at his death, working notes, and lectures and articles Feyerabend wrote while the larger work was in progress, Conquest of Abundance offers up rich exploration and startling insights with the charm, lucidity, and sense of mischief that are his hallmarks. Feyerabend is fascinated by how we attempt to explain and predict the mysteries of the natural world, and he looks at the ways in which we abstract experience, explain anomalies, and reduce wonder to formulas and equations. Through his exploration of the positive and negative consequences of these efforts, Feyerabend reveals the "conquest of abundance" as an integral part of the history and character of Western civilization. "Paul Feyerabend . . . was the Norman Mailer of philosophy. . . . brilliant, brave, adventurous, original and quirky."—Richard Rorty, New Republic "As much a smudged icon as a philosophical position holder, [Feyerabend] was alluring and erotic, a torch singer for philosophical anarchy."—Nancy Maull, New York Times Book Review "[A] kind of final testament of Feyerabend's thought . . . Conquest of Abundance is as much the product of a brilliant, scintillating style as of an immense erudition and culture. . . . This book is as abundant and rich as the world it envisions."—Arkady Plotnitsky, Chicago Tribune

Water

Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity

Water

An intellectual history of America's water management philosophy Humans take more than their geological share of water, but they do not benefit from it equally. This imbalance has created an era of intense water scarcity that affects the security of individuals, states, and the global economy. For many, this brazen water grab and the social inequalities it produces reflect the lack of a coherent philosophy connecting people to the planet. Challenging this view, Jeremy Schmidt shows how water was made a “resource” that linked geology, politics, and culture to American institutions. Understanding the global spread and evolution of this philosophy is now key to addressing inequalities that exist on a geological scale. Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity details the remarkable intellectual history of America’s water management philosophy. It shows how this philosophy shaped early twentieth-century conservation in the United States, influenced American international development programs, and ultimately shaped programs of global governance that today connect water resources to the Earth system. Schmidt demonstrates how the ways we think about water reflect specific public and societal values, and illuminates the process by which the American approach to water management came to dominate the global conversation about water. Debates over how human impacts on the planet are connected to a new geological epoch—the Anthropocene—tend to focus on either the social causes of environmental crises or scientific assessments of the Earth system. Schmidt shows how, when it comes to water, the two are one and the same. The very way we think about managing water resources validates putting ever more water to use for some human purposes at the expense of others.

Twilight of Abundance

Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Twilight of Abundance

Baby boomers enjoyed the most benign period in human history: fifty years of relative peace, cheap energy, plentiful grain supply, and a warming climate due to the highest solar activity for 8,000 years. The party is over—prepare for the twilight of abundance.

Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media

Explorations in Media, Religion, and Culture

Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media

Increasingly, the religious practices people engage in and the ways they talk about what is meaningful or sacred take place in the context of media culture—in the realm of the so-called secular. Focusing on this intersection of the sacred and the secular, this volume gathers together the work of media experts, religious historians, sociologists of religion, and authorities on American studies and art history. Topics range from Islam on the Internet to the quasi-religious practices of Elvis fans, from the uses of popular culture by the Salvation Army in its early years to the uses of interactive media technologies at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Beit Hashoah Museum of Tolerance. The issues that the essays address include the public/private divide, the distinctions between the sacred and profane, and how to distinguish between the practices that may be termed "religious" and those that may not.

The Age of Mozart and Beethoven

The Age of Mozart and Beethoven

An examination of one of the crucial periods of musical history, viewed against the social and political background of the time.