This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Xmas Legs Small Present Present
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
AU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Mar-18 > Best of all possible worlds

Best of all possible worlds

According to a compelling new manifesto for optimism, the planet is becoming a better place, says Philip Ball—despite all appearances to the contrary
Let there be light: An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright of Derby (1768)
© PHOTO12/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Enlightenment Now: A Manifesto for Science, Reason, Humanism and Progress

by Steven Pinker (Allen Lane, £25)

Anyone can see that the world is going to hell in a handcart. The great European project looks sick; war and fundamentalism ravage the Middle East; and we’re running out of clean water and usable antibiotics. Most worryingly, a pathological liar in the White House is taunting a nuclear-armed North Korean despot with schoolboy tweets.

But the Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker has a cure for your despair. In his new book Enlightenment Now, Pinker claims that in the long view things are getting better on pretty much every front. To prove his argument, he offers a profusion of graphs that show positive trends in life expectancy, crime, poverty, the global spread of democracy and all manner of other metrics of progress. For much of the world today, life is better than it has ever been. Enlightenment ideals of tolerance, reason and humanism are winning.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Prospect Magazine - Mar-18
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - Mar-18
$7.99
Or 799 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 6.50 per issue
SAVE
32%
$64.99
Or 6499 points

View Issues

About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s March issue: A series of writers turn their thoughts to the developing war over words in the UK and the US. Lionel Shriver, Afua Hirsch, Simon Lancaster, Hugh Tomlinson, Tom Clark and two students ask if free expression is truly compromised? What’s really going on in our universities? And what do voters think? Elsewhere in the issue: Michael Ignatieff questions why today’s left-wing leaders can’t live up to the high mark set by FDR, Sameer Rahim shows how western powers have been trying to dictate what Islam should be, and Mary Beard asks “How do we look?” as our perceptions of what is beautiful have changes over the centuries.