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Civilized to Death

The Price of Progress

The book critiques the narrative that human progress, particularly since the Agricultural Revolution, has led to better lives, arguing that many aspects of modern civilization have actually caused more harm than good to human health and happiness. It contrasts the simplicity and well-being of hunter-gatherer societies with the stress, disease, and dissatisfaction prevalent in contemporary life, questioning whether modern advancements have truly led to a better quality of life.

Key points:

1. Romantic Primitivism: Ryan argues early human societies were healthier, peaceful, and more equal than today's societies, contradicting the belief of a harsh primitive life.

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