Thursday, February 23, 2023 | 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Before 1870, humanity lived in dire poverty, with a slow crawl of invention offset by a growing population. Then came a great shift: invention sprinted forward, doubling our technological capabilities each generation and utterly transforming the economy again and again. Our ancestors would have presumed we would have used such powers to build utopia. But it was not so. When 1870–2010 ended, the world instead saw global warming; economic depression, uncertainty, and inequality; and broad rejection of the status quo.
Economist Brad DeLong's Slouching Towards Utopia–named a "Best Book of 2022" by the Financial Times–tells the story of how this unprecedented explosion of material wealth occurred, how it transformed the globe and why it failed to deliver us to utopia. Of remarkable breadth and ambition, it reveals the last century to have been less a march of progress than a slouch in the right direction.
About the Author
Brad DeLong is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a weblogger at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and a fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982 and 1987. He joined UC Berkeley as an associate professor in 1993 and became a full professor in 1997.
Professor DeLong also served in the U.S. government as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy from 1993 to 1995. He worked on the Clinton Administration's 1993 budget, on the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, on the North American Free Trade Agreement, on macroeconomic policy and on the unsuccessful health care reform effort. Before joining the Treasury Department, Professor DeLong was Danziger Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. He has also been a John M. Olin Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Assistant Professor of Economics at Boston University and a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at MIT.