Triumph of the Mundane
6 x 9
6 x 9
In recent years, the desire for greater creature comforts and material success has come to dominate the goals and values of most Americans -- in the pithy language of the bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Often, however, this “progress” takes a heavy toll on our communities and environment. Many in the progressive and environmental movements lament this development, and argue that not only does our politics fail to offer solutions, but it does not even seem to recognize the problem.
In Triumph of the Mundane, Hal Kane offers a unique assessment of how and why our day-to-day lives have changed, and considers the wide-ranging impacts of those changes. Using a variety of indicators of behavior -- distances between family members, the things we own, and the pace of our lives -- he traces the social transformations that have occurred in recent decades, and considers the profound effects of those changes on our values, relationships, and physical surroundings.
Kane takes a first step at defining a new set of political goals, as he identifies questions that leaders and policymakers must address if they are to reinvigorate our public discourse so that it can improve the quality of our lives. He provides examples of powerful new ways of measuring the things we really care about, and offers an important means of recognizing the often-overlooked issues that underlie much of the environmental crisis.
Triumph of the Mundane explores in a fresh, engaging way the social causes and consequences of environmental degradation, and is a thought-provoking work for anyone interested in environmental issues or the future of American society.