"Satisfaction Not Guaranteed" is the title of a recently published book by local scholar, Peter N. Stearns, the George Mason University Provost. The book sifts through a question that some people may pose to themselves, "but are we really happy?"
As the book flap for Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society notes; Stearns "examines why the gains of living in modern urban, industrial, affluent societies have not proved more satisfying than they have."
In a recent conversation, Stearns discussed "Satisfaction Not Guaranteed." He spoke of "how we are shaped by powerful forces of modernity. It is important for us to identify and understand these forces and with thoughtfulness."
Stearns's emphasized that "there is a need for a pursuit of balance." He suggested "exploring how we can cope with the demands of modern life." He leaves the reader of Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society with the hope that we continue to search for and "have a richer palette of personal goals" in our lives.
Currently and since 2000, Stearns is the Provost of George Mason University. He is the author of many books and articles. Since 1967, he has also served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History. Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society is published by NYU Press. More on the author is located at: http://provost.gmu.edu/stearns/about/