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July Food Book Club - In Praise of Slowness

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 220 East Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL, 60611 United States (map)

Join us for a discussion of In Praise of Slowness : Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore. Not only does this book speak to the ideals of the Slow Food Movement, but it also encourages us to look at other aspects of our life where we might benefit from "slowing" down. We will be meeting in the lobby space of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on Tuesday 7/24 at 6pm. Food and drink is available for purchase. All are welcome. Please RSVP to

(Please note, Tuesday's are the museum's free day and throughout the summer they will be hosting "Tuesdays on the Terrace" in the evening. For that reason we will be meeting in the lobby area, by the admissions desk, instead of the free Commons space where there will be live music. By remaining in the front of the building, we will be able to have a quieter conversation.)

We live in the age of speed. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Since the Industrial Revolution shifted the world into high gear, the cult of speed has pushed us to a breaking point. Consider these facts: Americans on average spend seventy-two minutes of every day behind the wheel of a car, a typical business executive now loses sixty-eight hours a year to being put on hold, and American adults currently devote on average a mere half hour per week to making love.

Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time and tackles the consequences of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Why are we always in such a rush? What is the cure for time sickness? Is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down? Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time and slowing down the pace -- and living happier, healthier, and more productive lives as a result. A Slow revolution is taking place.

Here you will find no Luddite calls to overthrow technology and seek a preindustrial utopia. This is a modern revolution, championed by cell-phone using, e-mailing lovers of sanity. The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word -- balance. People are discovering energy and efficiency where they may have been least expected -- in slowing down.

In this engaging and entertaining exploration, award-winning journalist and rehabilitated speed-a-holic Carl Honoré details our perennial love affair with efficiency and speed in a perfect blend of anecdotal reportage, history, and intellectual inquiry. In Praise of Slowness is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream -- in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools. Defining a movement that is here to stay, this spirited manifesto will make you completely rethink your relationship with time.