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

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

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Title:It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear
Author:Gregg Easterbrook
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:161039741X
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages pages

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

  • Barb
    May 12, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

  • Clif Hostetler
    Nov 04, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

  • Andrea
    May 01, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

  • Brian
    Oct 17, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

  • Scott Lupo
    May 31, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

  • David Anthony Sam
    Jun 18, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

  • Amber Lea
    Jun 09, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

  • Melissa
    May 28, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

    Very interesting book and required reading for anyone still fighting off post-2016 election depression. Easterbrook convincingly argues that the general perceptions of world decline regarding food supply and hunger, disease, inequality, violence and crime, etc, are greatly overblown, i...

  • Roozbeh Daneshvar
    Jun 03, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

  • Alvin
    Jan 12, 2019

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

  • Andrew
    Jul 09, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

    Very interesting book and required reading for anyone still fighting off post-2016 election depression. Easterbrook convincingly argues that the general perceptions of world decline regarding food supply and hunger, disease, inequality, violence and crime, etc, are greatly overblown, i...

    Gregg Easterbrook does an amazing job of showing how our politicians and news outlets constantly highlight the negative, which results in a skewed view of reality. As he points out, there are problems in the world now, but the world has never been better and problems are generally solv...

    I had previously read Pincer's book which was also optimistic about the future so"Better than it Looks" was somewhat like a boring retread for the first half. I am some what taken aback that both authors are able to ignore the declining American life expectancy from opiates, suicide, a...

    This was a very insightful book that covered many of today's current issues. I think Gregg Easterbrook did an exceptional job in keeping it bipartisan. I do think he spent a little too much time discussing Universal Basic Income to balance out inequality as opposed to balancing out opp...

    If there is ever a time to need some optimism and hope for the future, it's now. The author lays out why we are living in a golden age with the best in everything, from economics, health, safety, technology, the environment, etc - provides some hard factual data as to why things are be...

  • D.L. Morrese
    Apr 08, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

  • Kolumbina
    Dec 09, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

  • Chris
    Mar 03, 2019

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

    Very interesting book and required reading for anyone still fighting off post-2016 election depression. Easterbrook convincingly argues that the general perceptions of world decline regarding food supply and hunger, disease, inequality, violence and crime, etc, are greatly overblown, i...

    Gregg Easterbrook does an amazing job of showing how our politicians and news outlets constantly highlight the negative, which results in a skewed view of reality. As he points out, there are problems in the world now, but the world has never been better and problems are generally solv...

    I had previously read Pincer's book which was also optimistic about the future so"Better than it Looks" was somewhat like a boring retread for the first half. I am some what taken aback that both authors are able to ignore the declining American life expectancy from opiates, suicide, a...

  • Maynard Handley
    Jan 19, 2019

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

  • Graeme Newell
    Mar 22, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

  • Anna
    May 14, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

  • Daniel
    Apr 03, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Mar 31, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

  • Elizabeth
    Sep 17, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

  • E
    Oct 31, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

  • Josh
    Apr 18, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

  • Sid
    Jun 12, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

  • Roxanne
    Jan 31, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

  • David
    Jun 08, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

    Very interesting book and required reading for anyone still fighting off post-2016 election depression. Easterbrook convincingly argues that the general perceptions of world decline regarding food supply and hunger, disease, inequality, violence and crime, etc, are greatly overblown, i...

    Gregg Easterbrook does an amazing job of showing how our politicians and news outlets constantly highlight the negative, which results in a skewed view of reality. As he points out, there are problems in the world now, but the world has never been better and problems are generally solv...

    I had previously read Pincer's book which was also optimistic about the future so"Better than it Looks" was somewhat like a boring retread for the first half. I am some what taken aback that both authors are able to ignore the declining American life expectancy from opiates, suicide, a...

    This was a very insightful book that covered many of today's current issues. I think Gregg Easterbrook did an exceptional job in keeping it bipartisan. I do think he spent a little too much time discussing Universal Basic Income to balance out inequality as opposed to balancing out opp...

    If there is ever a time to need some optimism and hope for the future, it's now. The author lays out why we are living in a golden age with the best in everything, from economics, health, safety, technology, the environment, etc - provides some hard factual data as to why things are be...

    I think books like this are important. It seems like the current zeitgeist tends to push individuals towards commiserating with one another (and self-aggrandizing) through an easily accessible yet poorly-supported or justified skepticism of progress. Books like this make me feel better...

  • Chase Metcalf
    Jul 15, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

  • McLovin
    Dec 25, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

    Very interesting book and required reading for anyone still fighting off post-2016 election depression. Easterbrook convincingly argues that the general perceptions of world decline regarding food supply and hunger, disease, inequality, violence and crime, etc, are greatly overblown, i...

    Gregg Easterbrook does an amazing job of showing how our politicians and news outlets constantly highlight the negative, which results in a skewed view of reality. As he points out, there are problems in the world now, but the world has never been better and problems are generally solv...

  • Tim Dahl
    Mar 14, 2019

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

    Very interesting book and required reading for anyone still fighting off post-2016 election depression. Easterbrook convincingly argues that the general perceptions of world decline regarding food supply and hunger, disease, inequality, violence and crime, etc, are greatly overblown, i...

    Gregg Easterbrook does an amazing job of showing how our politicians and news outlets constantly highlight the negative, which results in a skewed view of reality. As he points out, there are problems in the world now, but the world has never been better and problems are generally solv...

    I had previously read Pincer's book which was also optimistic about the future so"Better than it Looks" was somewhat like a boring retread for the first half. I am some what taken aback that both authors are able to ignore the declining American life expectancy from opiates, suicide, a...

    This was a very insightful book that covered many of today's current issues. I think Gregg Easterbrook did an exceptional job in keeping it bipartisan. I do think he spent a little too much time discussing Universal Basic Income to balance out inequality as opposed to balancing out opp...

  • Nick
    Jul 10, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...

    Well, this was quite the read. First and foremost, as a reader, you will have to decide what the word optimism means to you. If the standard is 'Hey, some people die unnecessarily, some people live in miserable conditions they can't control, some people are just greedy and don't care a...

    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 often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized ...

    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 reservedly subscribe. The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at ...

    Actually, a very strong 3 stars almost 4. I like Easterbrook's premise that the fear mongering on the extremes of our political establishment keep us from affirming that things are better than they were. Optimism is not a pollyanna view that the world is perfect, but that we can overco...

    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 anyone can spin numbers so while I found that half somewhat reassuring, I was also skept...

    Wow, it took me three months to read this book. I couldn't make it more than three pages without stopping to google something. I didn't think I was going to make it to the end before one of my coworkers noticed my book was criminally overdue. But I did it! I'm not sure how to rat...

    There's only one real question: "should I read this, or Pinker's book?" If you're anything like me, Pinker is the far better choice. I don't know what Easterbrook's politics are, but the book feels like something written by an America "traditional" conservative (eg the conservativ...

    If you are contented by feeling that this is the worst of all possible times, that hordes of immigrants are destroying our nation, that crazy people of the left or the right are the enemy of all good, that we will run out of everything, that the world is ending soon, this is not the bo...

    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 conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he?s the author, but he also...

    This was one of those books that really made me look at things differently. The author, while maybe leaning just a bit "left", points out the hyperbole and panic that come from both liberal and conservative politicians and especially from the media. We all know "if it bleeds it leads" ...

    I really enjoyed this book! It seems many people have pointed out flaws in the arguments for many policies in the book, which is to be expected. I found that the policies regarding science were oversimplifications at times, since I understand natural science very well (less so economic...

    The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook?s updated argument for dy...

  • Joseph A Oppenheim
    Mar 04, 2018

    This book takes a look at current conditions in comparison to the past and concludes that life is much better now than in the past. It's better in almost every way?we live longer, we are richer, we are less subject to violence, and we are more democratic. Along the way Easterbrook ac...

    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 before! This is why it took me some time to finish the book. Having finally finished i...

    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 pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember ki...

    An interesting and unforgettable book by Gregg Easterbrook. Finally some positive and refreshing facts and thoughts which brought hope and optimism in reader's minds. ...

    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, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is...

    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 also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement...

    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 pushing our buttons these days. New developments like social media and always-on news have...

    Gregg Easterbrook is on solid ground when detailing the outline of his title argument. The agricultural revolution has led to more food than we know what to do with. Life expectancy continues to rise for the most part. The environment is cleaner than it has been in decades. The worldwi...

    If you can ignore the politicians (they want your vote) and the news media (if it bleeds it leads), one can objectively see that never before has civilization looked this promising. Disease control, food production, peace and prosperity have been at record highs. This is the fundamenta...

    This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based ...

    Well written book highlighting the many ways that life today is better than the media and general perceptions would have you believe. This misperception is generally attributed to the reality that bad news sells, the rise of social media echo chambers, and the inherent conservatism/nos...

    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 America as presented by the 2016 campaign of the new president, things are actually n...