Bill Gates Names His New Favorite Book of All Time: A Quick Introduction to Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now

How’s this for a nice book blurb?

In a recent blog post, Microsoft co-founder and phil­an­thropist Bill Gates wrote this:

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. Pinker uses metic­u­lous research to argue that we are liv­ing in the most peace­ful time in human his­to­ry. I’d nev­er seen such a clear expla­na­tion of progress.

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.

Enlight­en­ment Now takes the approach he uses in Bet­ter Angels to track vio­lence through­out his­to­ry and applies it to 15 dif­fer­ent mea­sures of progress (like qual­i­ty of life, knowl­edge, and safe­ty). The result is a holis­tic pic­ture of how and why the world is get­ting bet­ter. It’s like Bet­ter Angels on steroids.

Although the book won’t get offi­cial­ly released until Feb­ru­ary 13th, Pinker’s Enlight­en­ment Now is already one of the 20 best­selling books on Amazon–no doubt part­ly thanks to Bill Gates. If you’re look­ing to get dis­abused of the wide­ly-shared belief that the world is mov­ing in the wrong direc­tion,  you might want to pick up your own copy. (Soon, you could also down­load it as a free audio­book through’s free tri­al pro­gram.)

For a deep­er dive into Enlight­en­ment Now watch the video above, and par­tic­u­lar­ly read Gates’s review of what he calls “my new favorite book of all time.”

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Steven Pinker Explains the Neu­ro­science of Swear­ing (NSFW)

Bill Gates Rec­om­mends Five Books for Sum­mer 2017

Steven Pinker on the His­to­ry of Vio­lence: A Hap­py Tale

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