What drew me to the book was the premise of the title and an excellent wired article by the author providing a synopsis of the book and my rational, skeptic and optimist mindset. After reading the book in it's entirety I was left feeling cheated and annoyed by the tone of the book.
This book's author does not take a rational dispassionate view. It is skewed heavily into American republican free-market ideology. If you want to have a fun solo drinking game, take a drink every time the following right-wing keywords and phrases pop up: "Government is bad", "taxes are bad", "academics are elitist", "Media is liberal and elitist", "Environmentalists are wackos", "the only answer is a free and unfettered market", "bureaucrats are parasites", "United Nations is bad"...I guarantee that you will have alcohol poisoning before you finish the book.
The central premise of the entire book is that commerce (trade) is the one and only factor in past, present and future human well being and prosperity. This point is drilled into you over the entire book with many examples and facts. Many of them well written and convincing. However, any point to the contrary, any problems raised by trade and capitalism is refereed to in a derisive, condescending manner with few facts and many unsubstantiated arguments.
All of this is a shame because at the core of the book there is what I believe to be a cogent and true statement, that there are many reasons to be optimistic about humanities future. It's just too bad that the idea is not presented in a rational manner.
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