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The Rational Optimist

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About the Author

Matt Ridley is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books, including The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves; Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters; and The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. His books have sold more than one million copies in thirty languages worldwide. He writes regularly for The Times (London) and The Wall Street Journal, and is a member of the House of Lords. He lives in England.


"Ridley's dazzling, insightful and entertaining book on the unstoppable march of innovation is a refresher course in human history...Great ideas spring up unexpectedly from every direction, with each new one naturally coordinating with others..."--New York Post "A mesmerizing book."--Los Angeles Times "A superb book...Elegant, learned, and cogent...a far-reaching synthesis of economics and ecology, a triumphant new demarche in the understanding of wealth and poverty...Inspiring."--George Gilder, National Review "A delightful and fascinating book filled with insight and wit, which will make you think twice and cheer up."--Steven Pinker "Ridley eloquently weaves together economics, archeology, history, and evolutionary theory...His words effortlessly turn complicated economic and scientific concepts into entertaining, digestible nuggets."--Barrett Sheridan, Newsweek "Original, clever and ...controversial"--The Guardian "A fast-moving, intelligent description of why human life has so consistently improved over the course of history, and a wonderful overview of how human civilizations move forward."--John Tierney, New York Times "A dose of just the kind of glass-half-full information we need right now...A powerful antidote to gloom-n-doom-mongering."--Washington Examiner "This inspiring book, a glorious defense of our a devastating rebuke to humanity's self-haters."--Sunday Times (London) "Invigorating...For Mr. Ridley, the market for ideas needs to be as open as possible in order to breed ingenuity from collaboration."--Trevor Butterworth, Wall Street Journal "A very good book...a rich analysis...Ridley is a cogent and erudite social critic...He bolsters his argument with an impressive tour of evolutionary biology, economics, philosophy, world history."--Washington Post A fabulous new book... I was so delighted, amused and uplifted by it that I bought a couple hundred copies and sent one to all my clients.--Donald Luskin, Smart Money "The Rational Optimist will give a reader solid reasons for believing that the human species will overcome its economic, political and environmental woes during this century."--Fort Worth Star-Telegram "The Rational Optimist teems with challenging and original ideas...No other book has argued with such brilliance and historical breadth against the automatic pessimism that prevails in intellectual life."--Ian McEwan

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