pessimism

Nancy Pearl has worked as a librarian and a bookseller for more than three decades, she is regularly featured on NPR’s Morning Edition talking about her favorite books.

The author of several works on non-fiction, she has now written her first novel, George & Lizzie, an emotional novel about an unlikely marriage as a crossroads.

Civil unrest. War. Terrorism. Epidemics. Inequality. Environmental degradation. Famine and poverty. When you read the news, it looks like the world is falling apart, but is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Harvard Psychology Professor and New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases, and instead, follow the data.

In his new book, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason, science, and humanism can enhance human flourishing. The title of Pinker’s new book is “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.”