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Visions of the Future: The Distant Past, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Oxford American Lectures) Paperback – 1 Feb 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (1 Feb. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019510286X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195102864
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,157,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`A worldly philosopher's provocative broad-brush perspective on what the morrow could bring.' -- Kirkus Reviews

`A worldly philosopher's provocative broad-brush perspective on what the morrow could bring.' -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Robert Heilbroner's many books include

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sept. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Most noticeable error in Heilbroners work is the lack of a reasonable historical support from which he arrived to his conclusions. Although Heilbroner may have provided a plausible conclusion on what things might imaginably be, especially in the field of economics from which he laid heavy emphasis in the last part, he failed to provide to the readers justification on his central concept of dividing the distant past, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In short, the most contestable part of his study is the dating of the period. Going through the text repeatedly, I can almost say with certainty that no where in the book can we find a valid even justification on the timelines that separates the so-called distinctive eras of mankind. Much worse is Heilbroners summation of the mood of this era's stating that of the distant past as characterized by resignation, hopefulness that of yesterday and apprehension for today. One would marvel on the genius of the author on such summation in so brief a book, which poorly contains sufficient historical data, not even enough to assert clearly the division of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Oct. 1996
Format: Paperback
Robert Heilbroner has again proven the insight which has made him one of the twentieth century's greatest economic minds. Now, Heilbroner has turned from ecnomy and focused his intellect on human perception of the future. He categorizes human history into four major eras: Distant Past, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. He then goes on to illustrate how each era perceived the future and what it would bring. Using this, Heilbroner then postulates how our perception has changed and what the future may hold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Tour-de-force. 4 Dec. 2002
By Luc REYNAERT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In this small book Robert Heilbroner succeeds in summarizing his vision on the history of mankind from the beginning to the ... future.
"Resignation sums up the Distant Past's vision of the future, hopefulness was that of Yesterday; and apprehension is the dominant mood of Today." (p.69)
His analyses are succinct, clear and on target.
His vision for tomorrow and after is more speculative:"a spectrum of capitalisms is the most probable political setting for the Western world over the coming of the next century, but that ultimately capitalism will exhaust its vitality, perhaps making way in some societies for a more egalitarian society and in others for more centralized and controlledones." (p.115)
I believe that capitalism will continue to be the dominant economic system in the far future, but that the proceeds of the successes of capitalism will be better distributed under the pressure of the democratic process.
But I agree with the author that in order to 'save' our planet, we need a stabilization of the population of the globe and a better protection of the environment.
A small, but important and stimulating book. Not to be missed.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A different vision of our visions. 12 Oct. 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Robert Heilbroner has again proven the insight which has made him one of the twentieth century's greatest economic minds. Now, Heilbroner has turned from ecnomy and focused his intellect on human perception of the future. He categorizes human history into four major eras: Distant Past, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. He then goes on to illustrate how each era perceived the future and what it would bring. Using this, Heilbroner then postulates how our perception has changed and what the future may hold
Give Heilbronner his due; futureist. 10 Dec. 2013
By Terry Dudas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Reading this at the end of 2013, I am struck at Heilbronner's prescience. If he had not died in early 2005, his conclusions in this book could have been written yesterday.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Inconsistent and lackes historical support 18 Sept. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Most noticeable error in Heilbroners work is the lack of a reasonable historical support from which he arrived to his conclusions. Although Heilbroner may have provided a plausible conclusion on what things might imaginably be, especially in the field of economics from which he laid heavy emphasis in the last part, he failed to provide to the readers justification on his central concept of dividing the distant past, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In short, the most contestable part of his study is the dating of the period. Going through the text repeatedly, I can almost say with certainty that no where in the book can we find a valid even justification on the timelines that separates the so-called distinctive eras of mankind. Much worse is Heilbroners summation of the mood of this era's stating that of the distant past as characterized by resignation, hopefulness that of yesterday and apprehension for today. One would marvel on the genius of the author on such summation in so brief a book, which poorly contains sufficient historical data, not even enough to assert clearly the division of time.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dense and Unreadable 26 Aug. 2009
By Vance - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Whatever the theory, one has to be able to communicate it. I found this book too dense and the prose stiff to enable a sustained read.
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