The Lonely Century
*** THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ***
‘Destined to be a classic’ Nouriel Roubini
‘Brilliant, powerful and hopeful’ Philippa Perry
‘Explosive, timely and urgent’ Daily Telegraph
Even before a global pandemic introduced us to terms like social distancing, loneliness was already becoming the defining condition of the twenty-first century.
But it’s also one we have the power to reverse.
Combining a decade of research with first-hand reporting, Noreena Hertz takes us from a ‘how to communicate in real life’ class for smartphone-addicted university students to bouncy castles at Belgian far-right gatherings, from paying for cuddles in the U.S. to nursing home residents knitting bonnets for their robot caregivers in Japan.
The Lonely Century explores how our increasing dependence on technology, radical changes to the workplace and decades of policies that have placed self-interest above the collective good are damaging our communities and making us more isolated than ever before.
With bold solutions for us as individuals as well as for businesses and governments, Noreena Hertz offers a hopeful and empowering vision for ow to heal our fractured world and come together again.
‘If we could issue a reading list to 10 Downing Street, I’d put this book near the top.’ Guardian
‘Causing a deserved stir’ Financial Times
‘Revealing, empathetic and timely’ Jonathan Freedland
‘Read it, then pass it onto a friend.’ Charlie Brooker
This book is a crucial call to arms: in the wake of the pandemic, Hertz argues, governments have an opportunity to rebuild along better lines . . . If we could issue a reading list to 10 Downing Street, I'd put this book near the top. * Guardian * Explosive stuff. Timely . . . urgent. -- Simon Ings * Daily Telegraph * Causing a deserved stir * Financial Times * An important new book * Economist * For an uplifting and educational read, The Lonely Century is about how we can overcome our divisions to rebuild a society that works as one * Stylist * [Noreena Hertz] delivers an eloquent call to arms: only connect. -- Simon Ings, Daily Telegraph Best Books of the Year, In this timely book, economist Hertz explores the loneliness epidemic that was sweeping the world even before the coronavirus took hold. She looks at the ways tech that's meant to bring us together is driving us apart, the impact isolation is having on our health, and the bizarre 'loneliness economy' that's springing up to fulfil the needs of people desperate for human contact, from lifelike sex dolls to a service offering cuddles for cash. The book is a fascinating look at a key societal question: in an age where technology means we're more connected than ever, why do we feel so alone? * Wired * Revealing, empathetic and couldn't be more timely -- Jonathan Freedland Fascinating, timely and important. Noreena Hertz zeroes in on one of the central problems of our age. Seeing the problem lurking at the back of your head dragged into the light will actually make you feel a tad less lonely. Read it, then pass it on to a friend. If you can find one.' -- Charlie Brooker An indispensable, engaging and brilliant book about the pervasiveness of loneliness in the twenty-first century and its far-reaching impact. It reveals the way that loneliness is political as well as personal, playing a powerful role in everything from the rise of extremist politics to the vibrancy of our communities to how we relate to those we love. With its powerful vision for how we can come together again, ultimately it is a hopeful book that couldn't be more important or timely. -- Philippa Perry, author of THE BOOK YOU WISH YOUR PARENTS HAD READ We are living in an age where we have forgotten a fundamental truth about humankind that is as old as the Hebrew Bible itself: that we were not meant to live alone. In The Lonely Century, Noreena Hertz recognises this and provides an enlightening, engaging and compelling analysis of the dangers posed by the loneliness pandemic not just to our individual health and happiness, but to our collective ability to reinvigorate society and tackle the many challenges we face today. -- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Brilliant and full of captivating stories about the power of human connection in our lives. A truly engrossing and important book that left me feeling both wiser and more hopeful! -- Brian Grazer We're hard-wired to connect, and yet we're in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, which has profound consequences for both our individual and collective well-being. In The Lonely Century, Noreena Hertz delivers a compelling vision for how we can bridge our many divides at this time of great change and disruption. Passionately argued and deeply researched, this book is for everyone who wants to build a healthier and more connected world. -- Arianna Huffington In this hugely stimulating and ambitious book, Noreena Hertz provides a powerful account of the causes and consequences of the loneliness pandemic that has swept across the globe. Filled with terrifying facts, eye-catching stories and bold ideas, it is a must-read for anybody concerned about the post-Covid-19 world that we are building. -- Carl Frey, Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Oxford Social connections are vital for our health and well-being, but loneliness is on the rise globally, especially with the measures introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19. In this captivating book Noreena Hertz describes the physical, mental, economic and societal effects of loneliness, and not only provides a fascinating examination of the evidence, but also a rousing call for action - to governments, businesses, society and individuals to address and mitigate the loneliness crisis and build a more inclusive and kinder world. -- Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London A fascinating and original book about one of the greatest challenges of our time - the growing global crisis of loneliness - and a clear and inspiring vision of how we can respond. -- Daniel Susskind, fellow at the University of Oxford and author of A WORLD WITHOUT WORK The Lonely Century is a book made for this moment. Hertz shows a new generation of leaders how we can turn the age of social distancing into a turning point in our fight against the loneliness epidemic. I highly recommend it. -- Mariana Mazzucato, UCL Professor and author of THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Highly original, persuasive and thought-provoking, The Lonely Century is both a landmark book and a page-turner. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our complex times and understand where we are heading. Destined to be a classic, I couldn't recommend it more strongly. -- Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics, NYU We're surrounded by communication technologies and social media, yet loneliness is taking a huge toll on our economy, our health and our democracy. With a rare combination of rigorous research and powerful insights, Noreena Hertz masterfully explains the many facets of our Lonely Century and how we can do better, as individuals and as a society. Highly Recommended! -- Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor at Stanford University and co-author of THE SECOND MACHINE AGE A renowned economist examines why our hyperconnected world feels so isolating and how we can solve the crisis of loneliness. The takeaways are as relevant to our families and friendships as they are to building bridges in our neighbourhoods, schools, and workplaces. -- Adam Grant, author of Originals
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