With vignettes from business, politics, sports, art, and science, this book teaches us a great deal about progress in human societies while also being an entertaining read. The author makes the distinction (p. 48) between high-level objectives (accomplishments, such as self-fulfillment, contributing to society, or the creation of a fine business), intermediate goals (described by achievements, for example, wealth or a comfortable home), and basic actions (associated with momentary feelings, such as pleasure or reward). He compares the direct and oblique approaches to decisions and problem solving with regard to objectives and goals, interpersonal interactions, complexity level, and tolerance of uncertainty (p. 74). The oblique approach involves multidimensional high-level objectives. The path to accomplishing these objectives is not easily predictable, and it may need to be mapped in the process (i.e., the means help us discover the end). Some ambiguity has to be tolerated, and interpersonal interactions are nuanced and meaningful.