Harper Academic

The Rational Optimist

How Prosperity Evolves

by Matt Ridley

On Sale: 06/07/2011

Price: $16.99

The Rational Optimist

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The Rational Optimist

How Prosperity Evolves

by Matt Ridley

On Sale: 06/07/2011

Format:

Price: $16.99

About the Book

The Rational Optimist is a bold and provocative interpretation of economic history from the New York Times-bestselling author of Genome, Matt Ridley. Making the case for an economics of hope, Ridley argues that the benefits of commerce, technology, innovation, and change-what Ridley calls cultural evolution-will inevitably increase human prosperity.

This bold book covers the entire sweep of human history, ending 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 the way students think about the world for the better.

“Dr. Ridley provides a grand unified theory of history from the Stone Age to the better age awaiting us in 2010. It’s an audacious task, but he has the intellectual breadth for it.”—New York Times

Critical Praise

“A superb book…Elegant, learned, and cogent…a far-reaching synthesis of economics and ecology, a triumphant new demarche in the understanding of wealth and poverty…Inspiring.” - George Gilder, National Review

“A very good book…a rich analysis…Ridley is a cogent and erudite social critic…He bolsters his argument with an impressive tour of evolutionary biology, economics, philosophy, world history.” - Washington Post

“A fast-moving, intelligent description of why human life has so consistently improved over the course of history, and a wonderful overview of how human civilizations move forward.” - John Tierney, New York Times

“A delightful and fascinating book filled with insight and wit, which will make you think twice and cheer up.” - Steven Pinker

The Rational Optimist teems with challenging and original ideas…No other book has argued with such brilliance and historical breadth against the automatic pessimism that prevails in intellectual life.” - Ian McEwan

“Ridley eloquently weaves together economics, archeology, history, and evolutionary theory…His words effortlessly turn complicated economic and scientific concepts into entertaining, digestible nuggets.” - Barrett Sheridan, Newsweek

“Invigorating…For Mr. Ridley, the market for ideas needs to be as open as possible in order to breed ingenuity from collaboration.” - Trevor Butterworth, Wall Street Journal

The Rational Optimist will give a reader solid reasons for believing that the human species will overcome its economic, political and environmental woes during this century.” - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“This inspiring book, a glorious defense of our species…is a devastating rebuke to humanity’s self-haters.” - Sunday Times (London)

“Original, clever and …controversial” - The Guardian

“A dose of just the kind of glass-half-full information we need right now…A powerful antidote to gloom-n-doom-mongering.” - Washington Examiner

“A mesmerizing book.” - Los Angeles Times

“Ridley’s dazzling, insightful and entertaining book on the unstoppable march of innovation is a refresher course in human history...Great ideas spring up unexpectedly from every direction, with each new one naturally coordinating with others...” - New York Post

A fabulous new book... I was so delighted, amused and uplifted by it that I bought a couple hundred copies and sent one to all my clients. - Donald Luskin, Smart Money

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780061452062
  • ISBN 10: 0061452068
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 06/07/2011
  • Trimsize: 5.313 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 1.081 in (d)
  • Pages: 480
  • List Price: $16.99
  • BISAC1 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
  • BISAC2 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
  • BISAC3 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History