Review Excerpts for Enlightenment Now

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.
—Bill Gates

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, 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.
The Economist

[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.
Richard Dawkins

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.
Publishers Weekly

[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.
Kirkus Review

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,

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