September 28, 2012

Steven Johnson

Harvard Book Store welcomes bestselling author STEVEN JOHNSON for a discussion of his latest book, Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age.


Combining the deft social analysis of Where Good Ideas Come From with the optimistic arguments of Everything Bad Is Good For You, Steven Johnson’s Future Perfect makes the case that a new model of political change is on the rise, transforming everything from local governments to classrooms, from protest movements to health care.

Johnson paints a compelling portrait of this new political worldviewinfluenced by the success and interconnectedness of the Internet, but not dependent on high-tech solutionsthat breaks with the conventional categories of liberal or conservative thinking. Johnson explores this new vision of progress through a series of fascinating narratives: from the “miracle on the Hudson” to the planning of the French railway system; from the battle against malnutrition in Vietnam to a mysterious outbreak of strange smells in downtown Manhattan; from underground music video artists to the invention of the Internet itself.

At a time when the conventional wisdom holds that the political system is hopelessly gridlocked with old ideas, Future Perfect makes the timely and inspiring case that progress is still possible, and that new solutions are on the rise. This is a hopeful, affirmative outlook for the future, from one of the most brilliant and inspiring visionaries of contemporary culture.

About Author(s)

Steven Johnson is the author of seven bestsellers, including Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator’s Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites—most recently,—and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.