The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
Ridley writes with panache, wit, and humor and displays remarkable ingenuity in finding ways to present complicated materials for the lay reader. -- Los Angeles Times 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.
From the Back Cover 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.