The review (and summary) of The Rise and Fall of American Productivity in the New York Review of Books is excellent, although pessimistic.
It argues that economic progress is generally terrible and that 1870 – 1970 was wonderfully exceptional… and that the party is now over. The author’s somewhat counter-intuitive explanation is that the pace of technological advancement has slowed since 1970.
I prefer to think that modern economics is as bad at measuring today’s progress as the author suggests it was in his 1870-1970 “special century.”
Just as electricity wasn’t properly accounted for in records of progress over that special century, access to all the worlds information isn’t today. And so on and so forth.
Still, the review is well worth reading.