Synopses & Reviews
A call to save ourselves and our planet by targeting the root of our inaction: extreme short-sightedness.
"The most important question we must ask ourselves is: Are we being good ancestors?" So said Jonas Salk, who cured polio in 1953. Salk saved millions of lives, but he refused to patent his cure or make any money from it. His radical rethinking of what we owe future generations should be an inspiration to us all, but it has hardly taken hold: Businesses can barely see past the next quarter; politicians can't see past the next election. Markets spike, then they crash in speculative bubbles. We rarely stop to consider whether we're being good ancestors... but the future depends on it.
Here, leading public intellectual, philosopher, and bestselling author Roman Krznaric explains six practical ways we can retrain our brains to save our future — such as adopting Deep Time Humility (recognizing our lives as a cosmic eyeblink) and Cathedral Thinking (starting projects that will take more than one lifetime to complete). His aim is to inspire a "time rebellion" — to shift our allegiance from our generation only to all humanity, present and future.
"I judge a book's usefulness
by how many pages I'm compelled to dog-ear and underline. This book on
the pragmatics of long-term thinking earned 50-plus dog-ears."
Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founder of The Long Now Foundation
"An important and
fascinating book that asks whether we've got what it takes to become
citizens rather than consumers and create an ecological civilization.
The Good Ancestor is a triumph."
Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project
"Full of revelations for
everyone who cares about the legacy they leave. This is the book our
children's children will thank us for reading." The Edge, U2
About the Author
Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His books include
Empathy, The Wonderbox, and
Carpe Diem Regained, and have been published in more than twenty
languages. He studied at the universities of Oxford, London, and Essex,
where he received his PhD. He is a founding faculty member of The School
of Life and is based in the UK.