The Rational Optimist

How Prosperity Evolves

Ranked #18 in Singularity, Ranked #20 in Libertarianismsee more rankings.

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... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Rational Optimist from the world's leading experts.

Bill Gates CEO/MicrosoftIts subject is the history of humanity, focusing on why our species has succeeded and how we should think about the future. (Source)

Mark Zuckerberg Founder/FacebookMy next book for A Year of Books is The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. Two of the books I've read this year -- The Better Angels of Our Nature: and Why Nations Fail -- have explored how social and economic progress work together to make the world better. The Better Angels argues for that the two feed off each other, whereas Why Nations Fail argues that social and political progress ultimately controls the economic progress a society makes. This next book argues the opposite -- that economic progress is the greater force is pushing society forward. I'm interested to see which idea resonates... (Source)

Marc Andreessen Co-Founder/Andreessen HorowitzSparkling explanation of how the economy evolves, producing the glorious cornucopia of goods and services available all around us. How to feel good about the future even in dark times. (Source)

Naval Ravikant CEO & Co-Founder/AngelListGetting into the more evolution, science kind of books, I really highly, highly recommend picking up [...] The Rational Optimist. (Source)

Rupert Murdoch CEO/News CorporationRe-read Matt Ridley's great book The Rational Optimist after 5 years. As stimulating as ever. Hope next book coming soon. (Source)

James Altucher Founder/StockPickrBasically if you want to know the future, read Bold. Supplement it with “Abundance” by the same two and “Tomorrowland” by Steven Kotler” and even “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley. I feel “Abundance” is like a sequel to “The Rational Optimist”. So I’m giving you four books with one recommendation. (Source)

John Arnold [John Arnold said this is one of his most-recommended books.] (Source)

Joe Bastardi matt has a great book The Rational Optimist. He is truly one of the best out there on laying facts out that counter what we are seeing today (Source)

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