Enlightenment Now

Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, 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 and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525427575
Branch Call Number: 303.44 Pin
Characteristics: xix, 554 pages : charts ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 13, 2018

"lies, damn lies, and statistics"

Apr 14, 2018

I am on pg 266

Apr 13, 2018

To check the other reader's comment on economic growth under Obama out of curiosity, I went back to several years, and here we go: GDP growth in Jan 2015, 3.2%; July 2015, 2.7%; Jan 2016, 0.5%; July 2016, 2.8%.

Mar 14, 2018

I was really looking forward to reading this book, because I love everything else Pinker writes, but this one was a bit disappointing. I regret that I couldn't finish it, mostly because Pinker elevates Obama to godhood and constantly trashes Trump for using the "backward looking phrase" Make America Great Again. Trump so far has done a good job of doing it (In 8 years Obama never had more than 2% growth in GDP and claimed that we would never see it higher than that for the rest of eternity, Trump got it up to 3% in his first year.)
Being a new book it obeys the Kawasaki rule (all new books are rife with errors) where on page 45 he says:
"The statement x>y is different from the statement y=o"
I'm certain that he meant y=0 (zero) not y=o, but I can forgive that minor typo. What I can't forgive is his constant criticism of those of us on the Right.

Jan 10, 2018

It is important to know what science finds out is only true 55% of the times. This is because the model science uses is Mechanical. Living Organism, being uses the Mind, neglected, that is the reason. Unless science incorporates the diffusion of the processes of the human mind, the total picture, true story is difficult to fathom, though try we must. Only by failing, we learn to walk, upright ! Nature is relentlessly Compelling !

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top