Magazine March 19, 2018, Issue

Seizing the Future

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, 640 pp., $28.95)

A new Volvo ad sums up the theme of this book: “There are two types of people in the world: those who fear the future, and those who embrace it.” In Charles Mann’s new book, the Wizards are thinkers who push technological innovation to confront the world’s biggest challenges, while those who fear the future, the Prophets, devote themselves to (in Mann’s words) “decrying the consequences of our heedlessness” in advocating technological solutions, whether they seek to feed the planet’s faceless masses or to deal with climate change.

In Mann’s view, the clash between these two sets of visionaries is epitomized

To Read the Full Story
Arthur Herman is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the author of, most recently, The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World (Houghton Mifflin, 2021).

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Books

Seizing the Future

Arthur Herman reviews The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, by Charles C. Mann.

Sections

Letters

Letters

Rejecting Despair While admitting that William F. Buckley Jr. himself would probably have a more optimistic take, Richard Brookhiser writes: “The conservative movement is no more. Its destroyers are Donald Trump ...
The Week

The Week

• We don’t even want public-school teachers teaching our kids. • Historically, the National Rifle Association has derived its political power from two sources. The first is the broad popularity of ...
Poetry

Poetry

Sometimes the frost comes early when it might have held its crystallizing of the leaves.
Happy Warrior

Brushing Alone

Your views on Delta Airlines and Hertz rental cars now correspond to how compelling you found the cable-news appearances of a survivor of the Parkland school shooting.

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