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Publisher's Summary

Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever?

Most people who pay attention to the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.

Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.

It's not a coincidence that we're confused - our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of.

©2018 Gregg Easterbrook (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gregg Easterbrook regrets to inform you that the future is a lot rosier than you've heard. Not only are things Not So Terrible, they are actually Quite Good - and Getting Better. The world's citizens are living longer, economies are expanding, and we produce more food than we can eat. He even suggests that our most intractable problems, like economic equality and climate change, can be ameliorated in our lifetimes. It's Better Than It Looks is anything but Panglossian. It serves up persuasive arguments mustered by a trenchant, erudite and consummately un-boring writer. Start reading - you'll become a believer, too." (Alex Beam, Boston Globe columnist)

"It's Better Than It Looks is a welcome corrective to our fashionable pessimism that things are bad and getting worse, by providing a wealth of evidence that the reverse is true. Gregg Easterbrook is clear-eyed nonetheless in facing up to present challenges, and reminds us that there is always a way forward out of seemingly unsolvable problems." (Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University)

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I don't agree with all of it but I loved it all

I've been following the works of Gregg Easterbrook for about 15 years and he never ceases to impress with his consistent well thought-out non-partisan enlightened approach. this book challenge several of my believe Cinemas delightful to read. A difficult combination to Attain

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  • 07-22-18

Finally an optimistic view of humanity

It is great to read a book that is not all gloom and doom about the state of our country and the world. Thanks

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👍

It is difficult to see in our world, where leaders spend their time finding what is wrong and convincing people who is to blame, but life is good for most of us. Poverty, disease, and food shortages are down. Turn off Twitter, fire up this book, and breathe. The world is improving.

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A convincing optimistic view of the future

The author has done a very good job of summarizing a great many issues that affect all people. While I did not agree with all of his opinions, they are well thought out and overall very convincing. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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Too political

Great concept and ideasbut could have done without the ad hominems, especially against Trump. He obviously supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. That would be perfectly fine though had he treated both sides fairly. While he did criticize both sides of the political aisle, those against Trump and other Republicans were personal attacks vs. more constructive criticisms of the left and Democrats. This book contains points everyone needs to understand, but the points would have landed better had he lightened up on the partisan politics and ad hominem attacks.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful