In Praise of Slowness
Challenging the Cult of Speed
By Carl Honore
(HarperOne, Paperback, 9780060750510, 336pp.)
Publication Date: September 2005
We live in the age of speed. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Since the Industrial Revolution shifted the world into high gear, the cult of speed has pushed us to a breaking point. Consider these facts: Americans on average spend seventy-two minutes of every day behind the wheel of a car, a typical business executive now loses sixty-eight hours a year to being put on hold, and American adults currently devote on average a mere half hour per week to making love.
Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time and tackles the consequences of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Why are we always in such a rush? What is the cure for time sickness? Is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down? Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time and slowing down the pace -- and living happier, healthier, and more productive lives as a result. A Slow revolution is taking place.
Here you will find no Luddite calls to overthrow technology and seek a preindustrial utopia. This is a modern revolution, championed by cell-phone using, e-mailing lovers of sanity. The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word -- balance. People are discovering energy and efficiency where they may have been least expected -- in slowing down.
In this engaging and entertaining exploration, award-winning journalist and rehabilitated speedaholic Carl Honoré details our perennial love affair with efficiency and speed in a perfect blend of anecdotal reportage, history, and intellectual inquiry. In Praise of Slowness is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream -- in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools. Defining a movement that is here to stay, this spirited manifesto will make you completely rethink your relationship with time.
After studying history and Italian at Edinburgh University, Carl HonorÉ worked with street children in Brazil. This later inspired him to take up journalism and since 1991 he has written from all over Europe and South America, spending three years in Buenos Aires along the way. His work has appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Economist, Observer, American Way, National Post, Globe and Mail, Houston Chronicle, and Miami Herald. His first book, In Praise of Slowness, was an international bestseller.
“It is worth allowing its subversive message to sink slowly in so it has a chance of changing your life.”
-Bill McKibben, author of Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age and The End of Nature
“Take the time to read this important, excellently written book -- our future depends on the ideas it contains!”
-John de Graaf, co-author, AFFLUENZA: The All-Consuming Epidemic, and editor,TAKE BACK YOUR TIME
“If you sometimes feel engulfed by the mad pace of modern life ---- IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS could prove life-saving.”
-Larry Dossey, MD -- Author: HEALING BEYOND THE BODY and REINVENTING MEDICINE
“Taking the time to read this may be the best decision an entrepreneur, manager, or anyone working full time, can make.”
-Gary Erickson - Entrepreneur & CEO of Clif Bar Inc., and author of Raising the Bar
“A friendly and intelligent guide for harried types looking to change gear at home, work or play.”
“A persuasive case against mindless speed and an intriguing array of ways ‘to make the moment last.’”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A skillful blend of investigative reportage, history and reflection on time and our relationship to it.”
“...a brilliant criticism of the culture of speed. Honoré is a proponent of the Slow movement, which encourages a deceleration of everything from cooking to business management, driving to talking styles-based on the belief that speed can produce disconnection from daily life.”
-O, The Oprah Magazine