It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear

It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear Review

Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever?
Most people who read 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.

Title:It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Anna

    I am so steeped in the culture of fear-mongering that even though this book espouses optimism at every turn I found myself more afraid on some of the issues presented after I read the book than I was ...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    I have many policy disagreements with the author, for example, his take on entitlements but I agree with most of the spirit of the book. Things are not as bad as they look and holding on to an overly ...

  • Roxanne

    This is a Goodreads win review. This book is very relevant to the times we are living in. Every I see the news on any channel it is full of American politics, and what bad shape our country is in. We ...

  • D.L. Morrese

    From the title, I expected this book to be much like those by Steven Pinker, showing how human life has steadily improved from generation to generation, about how we've reduced things like hunger, dis...

  • Graeme Newell

    I loved this book. All of us are continually assaulted with a steady diet of fatalism and bad news. We are evolutionarily predisposed to scan the horizon for threats and it seems like everyone is push...

  • Joseph A Oppenheim

    What first attracted me to this book by Gregg Easterbrook, is the testimonial by Walter Isaacson, since I respect his journalism.The book is a persuasive look at how, despite the dystopian look at Ame...

  • Andrea

    I wish every person would read this book, now.I work as a research scientist. Every day, I see misinterpretation and abuse of research findings for gain in political battle. Published studies are too ...

  • Daniel

    This could also be called something like "The Neoliberal Manifesto" in that it posits market forces as the greatest agent for change in the history of the world. Which is a view to which I very reserv...

  • Barb

    The first half of this book is a lot of stats proving that while we might live in an age of “coveted victim hood,” general life has, in fact, steadily improved over the decades. I tend to think an...

  • Josh

    I loved the statistics aspect of this books and it is heartening for the most part. I love to think about how things really are better than media and even entertainment would have you believe. His con...