and the United Nations
Edited by Michael Marien
World Future Society, Bethesda, Md.
116 pages, $25
Despite today's steady barrage of information, people remain largely incapable of predicting tomorrow's weather, let alone the future. And yet, according to Michael Marien, 50 years after the United Nations was established to rid the world of war, there are no more important questions than in what direction humanity is traveling and what role the UN will play in guiding that future.
"World Futures and the United Nations" provides a comprehensive overview of recent works (published in English) that address these questions. Dr. Marien, the editor of Future Survey, has gathered into one volume some of the best futurist thinking about the most important global problems of our time. Packed into this slim 116-page book are a bibliographic essay Marien originally prepared for the UNESCO Bureau of Studies and Programming, six proposals for improving education about the future, and abstracts of the 250 works by futurists cited in the essay.
For those who are interested in current thinking about the future and the UN (or who question the effectiveness of the UN) but are unable to make a full-time career of sifting through the vast number of works written on the subject, Marien has provided an excellent place to start.