Faculty Book: Michael Rawson

Michael Rawson
The Nature of Tomorrow: A History of the Environmental Future
(Yale University Press, 2021)

image of book: The nature of tomorrowFor centuries, the West has produced stories about the future in which humans use advanced science and technology to transform the earth. Michael Rawson uses a wide range of works that include Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, the science fiction novels of Jules Verne, and even the speculations of think tanks like the RAND Corporation to reveal the environmental paradox at the heart of these narratives: the single-minded expectation of unlimited growth on a finite planet.  

Rawson shows how these stories, which have long pervaded Western dreams about the future, have helped to enable an unprecedentedly abundant and technology-driven lifestyle for some while bringing the threat of environmental disaster to all. Adapting to ecological realities, he argues, hinges on the ability to create new visions of tomorrow that decouple growth from the idea of progress.

Rawson is a professor of history at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. 

Purchase this book.

Submitted on: DEC 20, 2021

Category: Faculty Books | General GC News | History