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
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.