SLOWDOWN Danny Dorling

The end of the Great Acceleration - and Why It's Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives 

YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS | April/May 2020 | Order:

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Slowdown Danny Dorling book cover

"A powerful and counterintuitive argument that we should welcome the current slowdown—of population growth, economies, and technological innovation"— Yale University Press

Drawing from an incredibly rich trove of global data, this groundbreaking book reveals that human progress has been slowing down since the early 1970s.

Danny Dorling uses compelling visualizations to illustrate how fertility rates, growth in GDP per person, increases in life expectancy, and even the frequency of new social movements have all steadily declined over the last few generations.

Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that even as new technologies frequently reshape our everyday lives and are widely believed to be propelling our civilization into new and uncharted waters, the rate of technological progress is also rapidly dropping.

Rather than lament this turn of events, Dorling embraces it as a moment of promise and a move toward stability, and he notes that many of the older great strides in progress that have defined recent history also brought with them widespread warfare, divided societies, and massive inequality.— Yale Univerisity Press

Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, UK. 

On this website there are links to download the data, illustrations  and animations for all the figures in the book. The data downloads also include further data to study relating to slowing trends. You can also find out more about the author and play recordings of his talks about the book.

Fig 58-New York State Democrat advantage in presidential elections, 1932–2016 illustration

Yale logo BOOK TOUR 2020

  • 31 March—4.30pm talk at Blackwell’s Virtual Festival
  • 16 April—7pm LRB Bookshop Talk with Zoe Williams
  • 5 May—Wimbledon Geographical Association, London 
  • 14 May—University College Dublin public lecture 
  • 4 June—British Library event with Roman Krznaric
  • 4 July—Also Festival, near Lemington
  • 9 July—The British Academy public lecture, London
  • 18th July—Buxton International Festival
  • 21-27 August (date tbc)—Edinburgh Book Festival
  • August (date tbc)—Greenbelt Festival
  • 8 October—Newcastle University public lecture
  • 15 October—Keele University public lecture 
  • REVIEWS FOR "SLOWDOWN"

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    A spellbinding book that will almost certainly make you reconsider what you thought was happening in and to the world, and then think again about where we might be heading."
    Juliette Powell, author of 33 Million People in the Room
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    Slowdown is a new standard for visually understanding human history and social change. Using beautifully illustrated graphs, Danny Dorling provides a broad perspective on long-term social changes, the limits of growth, and widening inequalities, and emphasizes the importance of adapting to this slowdown."
    Tomoki Nakaya, author of The Atlas of Health Inequalities in Japan"
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    Blinded by a cult of progress, many of us can't see the slowdown that Dorling makes clear. A true public intellectual, he shows that, if we survive, life will be slower--and possibly better."
    Paul Chatterton, author of Unlocking Sustainable Cities: A Manifesto for Real Change
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    This challenging and provocative book casts a wide net as it finds evidence everywhere of slowing growth. Most notably in population and life expectancy, but also in economic living standards, the halcyon era of rapid growth lies in the past.”
    —Robert J. Gordon, author of The Rise and Fall of American Growth
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    Ever since Malthus, stories about the future have been stories of rapid growth. That’s what makes Danny Dorling’s Slowdown such a revelation. It challenges our vision of the future and our fundamental assumptions about the nature of change.”
    —Alex Soojung Kim Pang, author of Shorter: Work Better, Smarter, and Less—Here’s How
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    In this counterintuitive and eye-opening book, Dorling explodes the prevalent myth of acceleration and shows a beneficial slowdown is already happening—and needs to happen.”
    —Vanessa Baird, New Internationalist
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    Is the world spinning out of control? I thought so until I read Slowdown. Dorling's human vision of a slower, more stable future gave me new hope."
    —William Powers, author of Hamlet's Blackberry 
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    Dorling’s optimism is infectious as he brilliantly explores the huge challenges of a slowing pace of growth while the world transitions to a new ‘normal’ of stable and then shrinking populations.”
    —Vicky Pryce, author of Women vs Capitalism 
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    Dorling has – once again – written a fascinating book challenging our contemporary world and our current way of life. Exploding the false idea of limitless growth in a world of limited natural resources, this is a thoughtful and entertaining call to slow down!”
    —Markku Löytönen, University of Helsinki
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    Powerful, thought‑provoking, and timely. Professor Dorling brilliantly exposes how spiraling work intensity, alongside bumper profits and freedoms for capital, cannot sustain people and planet. From stronger unions to a greener economy, he compellingly shows how we can choose a more hopeful and humane future.”
    —Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress