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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Freakonomics and Thinking, Fast and Slow, here is a book by Hans Rosling, the scientist called "a true inspiration" by Bill Gates, that teaches us how to see the world as it truly is. 

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of carrying only opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends - what percentage of the world's population live in poverty; why the world's population is increasing; how many girls finish school - we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. 

In Factfulness, professor of international health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two longtime collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective - from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don't know what we don't know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. 

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn't mean there aren't real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future.

©2018 Hans Rosling (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great Read not for Listening

The book shows supporting and supplemental graphs and images that are lost in thought when trying to listen through this book. I would prefer to read this book and validate the graphs/scenarios at play.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Really simple, Really Slow

I only listened to 3 chapters but I have to say I've never set the speed at 3x before without missing anything.. I love Hans Rosling, but the interactive charts do so much better than this. The narrator is so slow, it's like he reads ellipses between every sentence. ... It's interspersed with irrelevant memories and anecdotes, a lot of repetition, and casual comment. Even some questionable advice on statistics: 10% differences are usually real, less than that, usually not.

For something serious on trends try Steve Pinker's Enlightenment Now, and on errors in judgment Dan Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow. I love Rosling's Gapminder. Great delivery in person; this was disappointing.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful

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I really, really wanted to like this book.

Best book Bill Gates ever read. Okay. Best book I ever read? I'll never know because I found it excruciating to listen to. The author spent so much time patting himself on his back for his brilliance that his message got lost in the self adulation.

And the narrator...please, dude. This isn't an audition for a melodrama. It's a book. Just read the freaking book and leave out the acting, would you?

Returning it. Just cannot believe that I wouldn't get more out of a 20 minute Ted talk than I would trying to slog through this nightmare.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Really good, not flawless,

But what should anyone expect of anything?

I found it uplifting and inspiring in contrast to what I generally hear reading the news. The primary take-away for me is that-regardless of the constant 'world is going to hell in a handbasket' drum-beat coming from news sources, politicians and other salespeople who benefit from panicked and thoughtless decision making- the world is in fact improving dramatically for almost everybody. Toward the end of the book, the author admits to hasty decisions that he was part of that cost lives. Wow. Very tough stuff to own and share. I think the author is a good guy, maybe cheering a bit too much for America to get knocked off the top of the heap for my tastes, but what do you want? He's Swedish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Williamb
  • Fox Chapel, PA, United States
  • 05-26-18

Read this twice!

While Richard Harries' narration is a bit slow, this is a well read delivery. (Listen at 1.5.) The balance of anecdote and facts is very nicely balanced. Anecdotal illustrations are personal and meaningful. I have retold many of Hans Rosling's stories many times to illustrate the misunderstanding he was addressing most of his life. His reflective style that confesses his own erroneous outlook is a great way to build empathy. Rosling offers excellent advice about being suspicious of numbers without comparisons. Ratios are strong comparisons. Two valuable takeaways: there is no "them" and "us", and question your own cultural assumptions. Read or listen to this book twice - you will be wiser for it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Factfullness

The book reveals what is versus generalized false assumptions. Cabbies, Police Officers, Unbiased Scientists, Unbiased Teachers, Volunteers for most Non-profit Organizations already have an idea of. E.g. Medical doctors in low income communities, Peace Corp. Officers etc. Data driven policies are critical for all our endeavors. Great Book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brain upgrade available!

an amazingly enjoyable discussion to help you upgrade your brain with the latest statistics in forming a fact-based worldview

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THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK OF THE CENTURY

What an incredibly relevant and much needed book in this day and age. An age in which we have more information than ever at our fingertips, yet also live in a time of some of the greatest misinformation and distortion of facts in history.

They don't make them like Hans Rosling anymore. A man who dedicated his life to bettering societies, who had incredible knowledge and insight of the brutality of our world, but who all-the-while an amazing perspective on life's realities and a hopeful and realistic vision of our future.

If you want the best source for the most clear picture of our modern world on a variety of issues, and if you want to re-vamp your way of thinking to better your life and be more confident and accurate in understanding reality today using reason, logic and the scientific method... FACTFULNESS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU!! 🌎🌍🌏

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MUST READ

This should be required reading for all school kids - and anyone who wants to be productive in society

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Should be required reading for everyone on Level 4

I found this to be one of the most compelling, comforting, and challenging books I’ve ever read. Dividing the world into income levels rather than “developed” and “developing” is an important paradigm shift. We need this perspective to become more accurately engaged as problem solvers in the evolving global economy.