New edition introduced by Andrew Bone of the Bertrand Russell Research Centre at McMaster University, Canada, home of the Bertrand Russell Archives. Dr Bone is the general editor of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell and co-editor of Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies. Three related texts and an index have been added.
Russell’s original blurb:
This book, which is based upon the broadcast lectures, “Living in an Atomic Age”, is concerned with methods of curing three kinds of conflict which have afflicted mankind. They are the conflicts of man with nature, with other men, and with himself. Of these, the first is the concern of science, the second of politics, and the third of religion and psychology.
Modern techniques have made poverty unnecessary, and have provided the possibility of a much higher level of general well-being than has ever existed at any former time. Failure to realize this possibility is due to the persistence of beliefs, principles, emotions, and habits of thought that were appropriate in earlier ages, but which should now be obsolete. The new techniques have made co-operation more important and competition is less desirable than at any earlier time. The gloomy fears by which our time is oppressed are unnecessary, and if men in general would realize the happiness that modern knowledge and skill render possible, they could within a very short time remove the main causes of fear and hopelessness.
The book is concerned to emphasize reasons for hope, in the expectation that if these reasons are widely understood self-interest and self-preservation will lead the world into wiser courses, and the individual into a more harmonious inner life.
First published in 1951.