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1 Local Warehouse Economics- General

The Rational Optimist

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The Rational Optimist Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 peoples 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.

Review:

"Ideas 'have sex,' in Ridley's schema; they follow a process of natural selection of their own, and as long as they continue to do so, there is reason to retire apocalyptic pessimism about the future of our species. Erstwhile zoologist, conservationist, and journalist, Ridley (The Red Queen) posits that as long as civilization engages in 'exchange and specialization,' we will be able to reinvent ourselves and responsibly use earthly resources ad infinitum. Humanity's collective intelligence will save the day, just as it has over the centuries. Ridley puts current perceptions about violence, wealth, and the environment into historical perspective, reaching back thousands of years to advocate global free trade, smaller government, and the use of fossil fuels. He confidently takes on the experts, from modern sociologists who fret over the current level of violence in the world to environmentalists who disdain genetically modified crops. An ambitious and sunny paean to human ingenuity, this is an argument for why 'ambitious optimism is morally mandatory.' (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

“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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About the Author

Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics, and society. His books have sold over 800,000 copies, have been translated into twenty-seven languages, and have won several awards.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061452055
Author:
Ridley, Matt
Publisher:
Harper
Author:
Ridley Matt
Subject:
Business Communication - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Wealth
Subject:
Optimism
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
Business-History and Biography
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
How Prosperity Evolv
Publication Date:
20100518
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.37 in 20.8 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » History and Biographies
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Future Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » Western Civilization

The Rational Optimist Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages HarperCollins - English 9780061452055 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ideas 'have sex,' in Ridley's schema; they follow a process of natural selection of their own, and as long as they continue to do so, there is reason to retire apocalyptic pessimism about the future of our species. Erstwhile zoologist, conservationist, and journalist, Ridley (The Red Queen) posits that as long as civilization engages in 'exchange and specialization,' we will be able to reinvent ourselves and responsibly use earthly resources ad infinitum. Humanity's collective intelligence will save the day, just as it has over the centuries. Ridley puts current perceptions about violence, wealth, and the environment into historical perspective, reaching back thousands of years to advocate global free trade, smaller government, and the use of fossil fuels. He confidently takes on the experts, from modern sociologists who fret over the current level of violence in the world to environmentalists who disdain genetically modified crops. An ambitious and sunny paean to human ingenuity, this is an argument for why 'ambitious optimism is morally mandatory.' (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , “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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