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Promise Ahead: A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity's Future Paperback – May 15, 2001


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Promise Ahead: A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity's Future + The Living Universe: Where Are We? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? + Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060934999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060934996
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,088,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Promise Ahead offers us a new framework for our conscious evolution. A gem to inaugurate the twenty-first century." -- -- Barbara Hubbard, author of Conscious Evolution and The Evolutionary Journey

"The very act of envisioning a better future can in itself initiate change. . . .Promise Ahead inspire[s] those necessary dreams." -- --New Age

"The very act of envisioning a better future can in itself initiate change. . . .Promise Ahead inspire[s] those necessary dreams." -- -- New Age

"[Promise Ahead] alert[s] us to important problems and offers suggestion[s] that are genuinely constructive." -- -- Christian Science Monitor

"[Promise Ahead] alert[s] us to important problems and offers suggestion[s] that are genuinely constructive." -- --Christian Science Monitor

About the Author

Duane Elgin is an internationally recognized speaker and author. His books include The Living Universe, Promise Ahead, and Awakening Earth. In 2006, he received the international Goi Peace Award in recognition of his contribution to a global "vision, consciousness, and lifestyle" that fosters a "more sustainable and spiritual culture." He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


More About the Author

Duane Elgin is an internationally recognized speaker and author. His books include The Living Universe, Promise Ahead, and Awakening Earth. In 2006, he received the international Goi Peace Award in recognition of his contribution to a global "vision, consciousness, and lifestyle" that fosters a "more sustainable and spiritual culture." He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Pendleton on February 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What an aptly named book! In a brief 200 pages, the author delves deeply into key issues facing humanity at an important juncture in human history. The book describes where humankind is along our evolutionary path, the global environmental and social problems confronting us, and the opportunities before us for charting a better future. Be forewarned -- if you read this book, you might just find yourself overwhelmingly compelled to make changes in your life that will ripple out to others. It has the ability to transform the way you view people and the world around you. It is a must read for anyone concerned about where humanity is headed, and wants to roll up their sleeves and make a difference. Enjoy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Rose VINE VOICE on March 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a well-written book which provides deep hope, in a realistic way, for the future of human society. Good insight into the historical development of human culture and the evolution of personal consciousness. Really puts its finger on the main developmental challenge as the personal and cultural transition from adolescence to adulthood. Read this together with another excellent book on the potential of adulthood for the planet: A Conscious Life: Cultivating The Seven Qualities of Authentic Adulthood, by Fran and Louis Cox.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bugs on May 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the title hints, this is a book filled with guarded optimism that humanity can wake-up to the devastation it's causing on Earth and that wake-up will cause a "bounce" in it's perception of reality moving towards a "paradigm shift" from the old paradigm of environmental parasitism and destruction, to a new sustainable , loving relationship with Earth and all it's myriad life forms and life-support cycles.

This is a close parallel to E. O. Wilson's thoughts outlined in his engaging book, "The Future of Life", where humanity is passing through the "bottleneck" of converging circumstances- a long history of environmental destruction, out-of-control population numbers which are depleting the Earth's resources faster than can be regenerated. In both books, education and adherence to vastly more sustainable lifestyles will be the determining factor as to whether we make it past the 21st century and into the future or we will not heed the call to reform and end up going the way of the dinosaurs.

"We have met the enemy and he is us"- Pogo. Now that we know, will we change our destructive ways?

We have arrived at what Elgin calls "Hitting the Evolutionary Wall" (beginning of chapter 2, p.15) and "Are We Are On A Collision Course With Nature?", so it was fitting that this chapter begins with two good quotes:

"What is difficult is to imagine how to get out of the situation we're in right now in a time frame that is in line with the rate of deterioration that we're seeing."- Paul Hawken ["Natural Capitalism"]. And:

"If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed." Indeed!

Ancient Chinese Proverb.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard H. Burkhart on November 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Duane Elgin's book "Promise Ahead" holds out hope for humanity in these dark times, as the Bush administration continues its obstinate pursuit of global domination and exploitation. Though Elgin is fully aware of the possibility of an "evolutionary crash", he also sees the deepening crisis as leading toward an opportunity for an "evolutionary bounce". The result would be similar to the "planetary society" envisioned by John Stewart in "Evolution's Arrow".

Elgin sees humanity as presently in its "adolescent" stage, with the crisis of the next generation becoming an ordeal of "initiation". To Elgin "our evolutionary challenge is to consciously retain the lessons of each era while moving on to the next". The next era, if we avoid the crash, will be marked by a "compassionate consciousness" for the "Earth and all its inhabitants".

The threat of crash or collapse comes from ecological factors like resource depletion, over population, pollution, and loss of biodiversity, but also from social inequality and injustice. Elgin was well aware of Peak Oil before most people paid any attention. He also cites Jared Diamond's study of the collapse of civilization on Easter Island.

This is balanced by the hope illustrated by successful experiments in sustainability like the village of Gaviotas in eastern Columbia. He sees the media as enabling the creation of a "common purpose for humanity". He has personally conducted "electronic town meetings" and proposes the distribution of "Earthvisions" to counter consumerism.

Duane Elgin sees humanity becoming a "self-organizing planetary family" as it emerges from its coming trials by fire. Yet, if the book has a weakness, it is its lack of a realistic of vision of how all this might come about.
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