A terrific book…[Pinker] recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life.
—Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
For years, I’ve been saying Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature was the best book I’d read in a decade. If I could recommend just one book for anyone to pick up, that was it. … I’m going to stop talking up Better Angels so much, because Pinker has managed to top himself. His new book, Enlightenment Now, is even better….I was already familiar with a lot of the information he shares—especially about health and energy—but he understands each subject so deeply that he’s able to articulate his case in a way that feels fresh and new….The world is getting better, even if it doesn't always feel that way. I'm glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture. Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker’s ever written. It’s my new favorite book of all time.
A bold, wonderfully expansive and occasionally irate defence of scientific rationality and liberal humanism.
—William Davies, The Guardian
Gripping, provocative and (many will find) infuriating…. An important and timely book.
—David Wootton, The Times Literary Supplement
With Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker has written the best book on progress that is currently in print. Or e-book. Or audiobook.
—Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed
Steven Pinker’s book is full of vigor and vim, and it sets out to inspire a similar energy in its readers. .... Enlightenment Now strikes me as an excellent book, lucidly written, timely, rich in data and eloquent in its championing of a rational humanism that is — it turns out — really quite cool.
—Sarah Bakewell, New York Times Book Review
An exhaustive, compelling, and uplifting account of human progress…Beautifully written.
—Charles Kenny, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
Pinker’s gift is to challenge us not only to update the Enlightenment but to think beyond it.
—Caroline Winterer, Washington Post
Vindication has arrived in the form of Steven Pinker’s latest book. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress is remarkable, heart-warming, and long overdue.
—Rayyan Al-Shawaf, The Christian Science Monitor
Pinker is a paragon of exactly the kind of intellectual honesty and courage we need to restore conversation and community, and the students are right to revere him.
—David Brooks, New York Times
[Enlightenment Now] is magnificent, uplifting and makes you want to rush to your laptop and close your Twitter account.
[A] magisterial new book…Enlightenment Now is the most uplifting work of science I’ve ever read.
—Michael Shermer, Science
Steven Pinker’s mind bristles with pure, crystalline intelligence, deep knowledge and human sympathy. And he writes as he thinks, with a sinewy mot-justery of language which I find irresistible.
Pinker defends progressive ideals against contemporary critics, pundits, cantankerous philosophers, and populist politicians to demonstrate how far humanity has come since the Enlightenment…In an era of increasingly “dystopian rhetoric,” Pinker’s sober, lucid, and meticulously researched vision of human progress is heartening and important.
[An] impeccably written text full of interesting tidbits from neuroscience and other disciplines…The author examines the many ways in which Enlightenment ideals have given us lives that our forebears would envy even if gloominess and pessimism are the order of the day. ... For those inclined to believe that the end is not nigh and who would like to keep up with recent science, this book is a…well, not a godsend, but a gift all the same.
Enlightenment Now will increase the chances of long-term success in the human project if it is widely read and discussed, which seems likely. Anyone interested in the actual current facts bearing on those chances, and how we might best act to improve them, can do no better than take Pinker’s sharp, witty and (no exaggeration) encyclopedic instruction.
—Tom Clark, Naturalism.org
Elegantly [argues] that in various ways humanity has every reason to be optimistic over life in the twenty-first century…. A defense of progress that will provoke deep thinking and thoughtful discourse among his many fans.
—Colleen Mondor, Booklist
If 2017 was a rough year for you, look no further than Steven Pinker’s engaging new book, Enlightenment Now, to cheer you up. Conceived before Donald Trump even announced his candidacy, it could not have been better timed to clarify — and, for some, refute — the habits of mind that brought Trump and the GOP to power.
—Caroline Winterer, The Washington Post
A passionate and persuasive defense of reason and science…[and] an urgently needed reminder that progress is, to no small extent, a result of values that have served us - and can serve us - extraordinarily well.
—Glenn C. Altschuler, The Philadelphia Inquirer
A meticulous defense of science and objective analysis, [and] a rebuttal to the tribalism, knee-jerk partisanship and disinformation that taints our politics.
—Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicle
Brimming with surprising data and entertaining anecdotes.
—Jan-Werner Müller, Financial Times
As an intellectual case, Enlightenment Now is formidable.
—Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
[Pinker] makes a powerful case that the main line of history has been, since the Enlightenment, one of improvement.
—Gareth Cook, Scientific American
Let’s stop once in a while to enjoy the view—I’m glad Pinker is pushing for this in a world that does it too rarely… It’s hard not to be convinced.
—Jacy Reese, Quartz
As a demonstration of the value of reason, knowledge, and curiosity, Enlightenment Now can hardly be bettered.
—Robert Wilson, The Boston Globe
With a wealth of knowledge, graphs and statistics, a strong grasp of history, and an engaging style of writing…Enlightenment Now provides a convincing case for gratitude.
—James Lanigan, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
A forceful defense of the democratic, humanist institutions that [Pinker] says brought about these changes, and a declaration that reason, science and humanism can solve the problems to come.
—Bo Emerson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A masterly defense of the values of modernity against ‘progressophobes’.
—Biancamaria Fontana, Times Higher Education
Enlightenment Now strikes a powerful blow against the contemporary mystifications being peddled by tribalists on both the left and the right.
—Ronald Bailey, Reason
Pinker presents graphs and data which deserve to be reckoned with by fair-minded people. His conclusion is provocative, as anything by Pinker is likely to be.
—Martin E. Marty, Colorado Springs Gazette
Exhilarating, magnificent, uplifting
This is the biggest story of our time. It’s about the many ways in which the world is improving, and why we don’t believe it
—Fraser Nelson, Spectator
Pinker is right. Not just a bit right, but completely, utterly, incontrovertibly right
—Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
Extols the amazing achievements of modernity, and demonstrates that humankind has never been so peaceful, healthy and prosperous
—Yuval Noah Harari
Awesome. The confidence with which Pinker tears through the issues that cause such deep anxiety today is compelling
—William Davies, Guardian
A characteristically fluent, decisive and data-rich demonstration of why, given the chance to live at any point in human history, only a stone-cold idiot would choose any time other than the present
—Sam Leith, Spectator
Everyone should read this book and, just for once, be enthralled by what humankind has achieved
—Iain Macwhirter, Herald
Today we are living healthier, wealthier lives – and it’s thanks to the values of the Enlightenment … a passionate book in praise of Enlightenment values
—David Aaronovitch, The Times
A new, optimistic view of the world … Things are not as bad as your Facebook news feed makes them seem ... a cheerful, contrarian tract for dark times
—Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times
A deep and important critic of the visceral hostility to nature and science now so sadly prevalent on the left and right, a defender of reason and the Enlightenment ... Pinker is right
—Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine
Modern life has gotten much better despite ever-present complaints. Technology has reduced the need for physical labor. Mortality rates are down. IQ scores are on the rise. Wars are less frequent and less deadly ... the Enlightenment's championing of reason, science, humanism and moral progress is a model for our own times
—David Lay Williams, Washington Post
A careful and deeply researched piece of work ... Pinker is bravely prepared to be the bearer of good news
—Andrew Anthony, Guardian
Pinker is ahead of his critics ... To accuse him of smugly sipping cocktails at the End of History café is simply to ignore his repeated calls to work for the better future that is there for the taking, but also for the losing’
—Julian Baggini, Literary Review
Shock therapy for pessimists
—Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times
In essence, Pinker thinks we are reaping the reward for the colossal advances we have made since the great scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was then, in countries including France, Holland and, above all, England and Scotland, that thinkers came up with a new way to understand our world, characterised by reason, science and individualism. Ever since, the world has been getting better. When I picked up Pinker's book, I had my doubts. But by the time I finished it, I was converted
—Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
Pinker is right ... Human beings today lead longer, safer, healthier, wealthier and indeed happier lives than at any point in recorded history ... Pinker surveys the stupendous advancements that the human race has made in modern times according to a dizzying range of metrics
—David A. Bell, The Nation
An engaging, compelling set of reasons to be cheerful ... it is a welcome antidote
—Ian Goldin, Nature
A substantial and wide-ranging book on the state of our world today ... In forensic detail, Pinker enumerates the myriad ways in which life is getting better ... The book is packed with statistics vaunting the gifts of progress
—Paul Cullen, Irish Times
After devouring all 453 pages and 75 graphs of psychologist Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now, I admit defeat. The defeat of defeatism. This man has done the math. Since the 18th century things have been getting better in pretty much every dimension of human wellbeing
—Jason Gots, Big Think
Compelling ... At a moment when liberal Enlightenment values are under attack, from the right and the left, this is a very important contribution
—Alison Gopnik, Atlantic