‘The Lonely Century’ in The Review of Austrian Economics

Great to see this positive review of The Lonely Century in the prestigious The Review of Austrian Economics. See the full review online here

“Long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States, three in five adults considered themselves to be lonely. Elderly persons in Japan were committing petty offenses for the sole purpose of going to jail, where they hoped to be less lonely. People around the world were hiring friends through a company called RentAFriend. Noreena Hertz shares many such provoking stories in her new book, The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart, which explores the origins of our lonely century and proposes solutions along the way. Her driving thesis is that a “particularly harsh form of capitalism,” or “neoliberalism” is the origin of our loneliness (Hertz 2021, p. 14). As Hertz (2021, p. 16) details: “neoliberalism has made us see ourselves as competitors not collaborators, consumers not citizens, hoarders not sharers, takers not givers, [and] hustlers not helpers.” Hertz offers a compelling look at loneliness around the world and gleans insight into why we face this epidemic. Hertz’s solutions, though, rely heavily upon top-down solutions and her thesis overlooks competing explanations of the lonely century.”