Is Life Improving? Documenting the Remarkable Progress of Humankind

Laurence Articles

The rise of populism has been fueled by rhetoric bemoaning the downward plight of the middle class, and that chorus has been joined by many from the left. But are we really worse off than we were a generation or a century ago? Not according to Steven Pinker, whose new book documents the dramatic improvement in lives across the globe.

Pinker, a psychologist and linguist and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature, has written an entertaining and challenging follow-up book: Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. In his latest volume, Pinker makes the case that, in Barack Obama’s words, “if you had to choose any time in the course of human history to be alive, you’d choose this one. Right here…right now.” Bill Gates calls Enlightenment Now his “new favorite book of all time.”

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