Ronald Wright

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For other people named Ronald Wright, see Ronald Wright (disambiguation).
Ronald Wright
Ronald Wright Edmonton 2007 cropped.jpg
Ronald Wright speaking at the University of Alberta in 2007
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Writer, historian, novelist

Ronald Wright (born, London, England) is a Canadian author who has written books of travel, history and fiction. His nonfiction includes the bestseller Stolen Continents, winner of the Gordon Montador Award and chosen as a book of the year by the Independent and the Sunday Times. His first novel, A Scientific Romance, won the 1997 David Higham Prize for Fiction and was chosen a book of the year by the Globe and Mail, the Sunday Times, and the New York Times.

Wright was selected to give the 2004 Massey Lectures. His contribution, A Short History of Progress, looks at the modern human predicament in light of the 10,000-year experiment with civilization. In it he concludes that human civilization, to survive, would need to become environmentally sustainable, with specific reference to global warming and climate change.

His latest work What is America?: A Short History of the New World Order continues the thread begun in A Short History of Progress by examining what Wright calls "the Columbian Age" and consequently the nature and historical origins of modern American imperium.

Ronald Wright is also a frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, and has written and presented documentaries for radio and television on both sides of the Atlantic. He studied archaeology at Cambridge University and later at the University of Calgary, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1996. He lives in British Columbia.


Wright has a background in archaeology, history, linguistics, anthropology and comparative culture.[1][2] He has written both fiction and non-fiction books dealing with anthropology and civilizations. His 1992 non-fiction book Stolen Continents: The "New World" Through Indian Eyes Since 1492 was awarded the 1993 Gordon Montador Award from the Writers' Trust of Canada[3] and his 1997 novel A Scientific Romance, about a museum curator who travels into the future and investigates the fate of the human race, won the David Higham Prize for Fiction for first-time novelists. The novel, Henderson's Spear, published in 2001, was about a jailed filmmaker piecing together her family history in Polynesia.

In 2004 he moved from Ontario to one of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia.[4] Wright traces the origins of the ideas behind A Short History of Progress to the material he studied while writing A Scientific Romance and his 2000 essay for The Globe and Mail titled "Civilization is a Pyramid Scheme" about the fall of the ninth-century Mayan civilization.[5]






See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kirbyson, Ron (November 7, 2004). "Unbridled progress a worrisome thing". Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg, Manitoba). p. B.9. 
  2. ^ Drainie, Bronwyn (December 2004). "As we go up, we go down". Quill & Quire 70 (12): 23. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Stolen Continents wins inaugural award (Gordon Montador Award)". The Canadian Bookseller 15 (6): 106. June–July 1993. 
  4. ^ Firby, Doug (July 30, 2005). "Homo sapiens as repeat offender". Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta). p. G.3. 
  5. ^ Martin, Sandra (November 6, 2004). "Our last chance to get the future right". The Globe and Mail. p. F.6. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Congratulations to the Winners of CBA Libris Awards 2005", Canadian Booksellers Association, 26 June 2005, retrieved 18 February 2013 

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