The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

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9780007378906: 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.

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From the Back Cover:

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. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people’s lives as never before. The pessimists who dominate public discourse insist that we will soon reach a turning point and things will start to get worse. But they have been saying this for two hundred years.

Yet Matt Ridley does more than describe how things are getting better. He explains why. Prosperity comes from everybody working for everybody else. The habit of exchange and specialization—which started more than 100,000 years ago—has created a collective brain that sets human living standards on a rising trend. The mutual dependence, trust, and sharing that result are causes for hope, not despair.

This bold book covers the entire sweep of human history, from the Stone Age to the Internet, from the stagnation of the Ming empire to the invention of the steam engine, from the population explosion to the likely consequences of climate change. It ends with a confident assertion that thanks to the ceaseless capacity of the human race for innovative change, and despite inevitable disasters along the way, the twenty-first century will see both human prosperity and natural biodiversity enhanced. Acute, refreshing, and revelatory, The Rational Optimist will change your way of thinking about the world for the better.

About the Author:

Matt Ridley is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books, including The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves; Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters; and The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. His books have sold more than one million copies in thirty languages worldwide. He writes regularly for The Times (London) and The Wall Street Journal, and is a member of the House of Lords. He lives in England.

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Ridley Matt
Published by Fourth Estate, London (2010)
ISBN 10: 0007378904 ISBN 13: 9780007378906
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Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2010. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. 438 pages. Book is in Very good condition throughout. Ridley Does More Than Describes How Things Are Getting Better.He Explains Why. Bookseller Inventory # 132388

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Matt Ridley
Published by Fourth Estate, London (2010)
ISBN 10: 0007378904 ISBN 13: 9780007378906
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Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2010. Book Condition: Good. N/A (illustrator). First. PB 1st GB Ed. See my pic. 23.3 x 15.4cm. 438 pages. Covers human history from the Stone Age to the internet. From the stagnation of the Ming empire to the likely consequences of climate change. From this sweep of history, it appears that life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income & lifespan are up. Disease, child mortality & violence are down all across the globe. Condition: Book has slight lean. Slight wear cover corners. Few page corner tips curled or folded. In the main, little wear, tight binding, good colour. Bookseller Inventory # 001292

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Ridley, Matt.
Published by Fourth Estate, London (2010)
ISBN 10: 0007378904 ISBN 13: 9780007378906
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Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2010. 1st p/b ed.. Paperback thick octavo, very good condition, few tiny dents front cover, pages faintly toned, covers little creased, minor edgewear, sticker mark front cover. 438 pp. Describes and then explains why human society is getting better. The book covers human history, from the Stone Age to the internet, from the stagnation of the Ming empire to the invention of the steam engine, and the recent population explosion to climate change. Bookseller Inventory # 28635

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