A Dose of Optimism

by James & Deborah Fallows

Our Towns – Deborah and James Fallows provide rich and textured profiles of 29 American cities, the results of their four-year tour of the United States via their single-engine propeller airplane. Far from the national narrative of decline, they find many American cities are reinventing themselves, and thriving. The authors paint a beautiful picture of our nation and suggest that perhaps we are in a transition, on the cusp of doing great things.

by Hans Rosling

Factfulness – In Factfulness Hans Rosling explains in clear language how even the smartest among us can hold mistaken beliefs about the state of our world. Using simple charts and graphs the author explains how we all get wrong issues of poverty, education, demographics, and health. Picked by President Obama for his 2018 summer reading list, Factfulness shines a ray of hope on a world that seemed darker by the day.  

by Steven Pinker

The Better Angels of Our Nature – Going off the whole darker by the day assumption mentioned above, psychology professor Steve Pinker explains that in fact violence worldwide has declined, and declined significantly. Blending psychology, history, and hard data, Pinker provides a much-needed perspective on our modern world. 

-Mike M.

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