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The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
Ebook596 pages11 hours

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

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About this ebook

“A delightful and fascinating book filled with insight and wit, which will make you think twice and cheer up.” — Steven Pinker

In a bold and provocative interpretation of economic history, Matt Ridley, the New York Times-bestselling author of Genome and The Red Queen, makes the case for an economics of hope, arguing that the benefits of commerce, technology, innovation, and change—what Ridley calls cultural evolution—will inevitably increase human prosperity. Fans of the works of Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel), Niall Ferguson (The Ascent of Money), and Thomas Friedman (The World Is Flat) will find much to ponder and enjoy in The Rational Optimist.

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.

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.

Editor's Note

Human Ingenuity Prevails...

An exultant tribute to centuries of human ingenuity, Ridley’s investigation of the ideas that have shaped civilization argues for an inventive past & an even better future.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherHarperCollins
Release dateJun 1, 2009
ISBN9780062025371
Author

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley's books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 31 languages and won several awards. His books include The Red Queen, Genome, The Rational Optimist and The Evolution of Everything. His book on How Innovation Works was published in 2020, and Viral: the Search for the Origin of Covid-19, co-authored with Alina Chan, was published in 2021. He sat in the House of Lords between 2013 and 2021 and served on the science and technology select committee and the artificial intelligence select committee. He was founding chairman of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle. He created the Mind and Matter column in the Wall Street Journal in 2010, and was a columnist for the Times 2013-2018. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives in Northumberland.

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