The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

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Harper Collins, Jun 7, 2011 - Business & Economics - 480 pages
6 Reviews

For two hundred years the pessimists have dominated public discourse, insisting that things will soon be getting much worse. But in fact, life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

In his bold and bracing exploration into how human culture evolves positively through exchange and specialization, bestselling author Matt Ridley does more than describe how things are getting better. He explains why. An astute, refreshing, and revelatory work that covers the entire sweep of human history—from the Stone Age to the Internet—The Rational Optimist will change your way of thinking about the world for the better.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DLMorrese - LibraryThing

The short answer to the question implied by the subtitle (according to the author) is specialization and the exchange of goods, services, and ideas. He goes on to show that once our ancestors learned ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

Imagine a reasoned argument that states, in spite of all the Chicken Littles constantly bemoaning "This Is The End" with regard to whatever change du jour is trending in the news, humans are in fact ... Read full review

Contents

when ideas have sex
1
trade after 5000 years ago
157
population after 1200
191
energy after 1700
213
pessimism after 1900
279
rational optimism about 2100
349
Index
427
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About the author (2011)

Matt Ridley is the author of several award-winning books, including Genome, The Agile Gene, and The Red Queen, which have sold more than 800,000 copies in twenty-seven languages worldwide. He lives in England.

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