Good Ancestor
Roman Krznaric

Book cover image

Narrated By: Roman Krznaric

Duration: 7 hours and 52 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

'This is the book our children's children will thank us for reading'
The Edge, U2

How can we be good ancestors?


From the first seeds sown thousands of years ago, to the construction of the cities we still inhabit, to the scientific discoveries that have ensured our survival, we are the inheritors of countless gifts from the past. Today, in an age driven by the tyranny of the now, with 24/7 news, the latest tweet, and the buy-now button commanding our attention, we rarely stop to consider how our actions will affect future generations. With such frenetic short-termism at the root of contemporary crises, the call for long-term thinking grows every day – but what is it, has it ever worked, and can we even do it?

In The Good Ancestor, leading public philosopher Roman Krznaric argues that there is still hope. From the pyramids to the NHS, humankind has always had the innate ability to plan for posterity and take action that will resonate for decades, centuries, even millennia to come. If we want to become good ancestors, now is the time to recover and enrich this imaginative skill.

The Good Ancestor reveals six profound ways in which we can all learn to think long-term, exploring how we can reawaken oft-neglected but uniquely human talents like ‘cathedral thinking’ that expand our time horizons and sharpen our foresight. Drawing on radical solutions from around the world, Krznaric celebrates the innovators who are reinventing democracy, culture and economics so that we all have the chance to become good ancestors and create a better tomorrow.

Genre

Popular psychology, Popular philosophy, The environment

Listen to a sample

A great antidote to the short-term thinking that comes easily to us all. If you want to be a good ancestor, start by reading this book

Nigel Warburton, author of A Little History of Philosophy

I judge a book’s usefulness by how many pages I’m compelled to dog-ear and underline. This book on the pragmatics of long-term thinking earned 50-plus dog-ears

Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founder of The Long Now Foundation

A philosopher's contribution to saving the world

Andrew Anthony, Observer

An important and fascinating book that asks whether we’ve got what it takes to become citizens rather than consumers and create an ecological civilisation. The Good Ancestor is a triumph

Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project

Beautiful to read, heartfelt and persuasive The Good Ancestor is one of those landmark books with the power to shift a mindset. One turns the pages feeling a growing compulsion for change. Krznaric’s clarion call for long-term thinking makes him an ancestor all future generations can be proud of