Stefan Zweig

Zweig was one of Europe's greatest authors and is not read enough today. In his book, The World of Yesterday he says the following: "In its liberal idealism, the nineteenth century was honestly convinced that it was on the straight and unfailing path toward being the best of all worlds." Zweig discusses how idealistic notions of 'progress' overwhelmed deeper thinking about how to achieve even a limited set of goals. Sound familiar? "One began to believe more in this progress than in the bible, and its gospel appeared ultimate because of the daily new wonders of science and technology." Zweig's book should be required reading for those advocating an uncritical acceptance of the idea that all progress is good and that change comes from innovation without careful critical, social and historical framing.