Published: September 2016
A Book of the Year for The Economist and the Observer
It's all over our televisions, newspapers and the internet. Every day we're bludgeoned by news of how bad everything is - Brexit, financial collapse, unemployment, poverty, environmental disasters, disease, hunger, war. Indeed, our world now seems to be on the brink of collapse, and yet:
We've made more progress over the last 100 years than in the first 100,000
285,000 more people have gained access to safe water every day for the last 25 years
In the last 50 years world poverty has fallen more than it did in the preceding 500
Contrary to what most of us believe, our progress over the past few decades has been unprecedented. By almost any index you care to identify, things are markedly better now than they have ever been for almost everyone alive.
Examining official data from the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, Johan Norberg traces just how far we have come in tackling the issues facing our species. While it's true that not every problem has been solved, we do now have a good idea of the solutions and we know what it will take to see this progress continue. Counter-intuitive, dramatic and uplifting, Progress is a call for renewed hope in defiance of the doom-mongering of politicians and the media.