Popular economic literature has been overcome by competition for trendy titles and unique subject matter. After all, authors dealing with topics other than the current financial crisis must provide publishers a reason to put out the book, and prompt readers to want to look at it. Yet, Matt Ridley seems to rise above it all in his most recent book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (excepting, perhaps, his provocatively titled prologue). Ridley, a journalist by trade, has previously written about the fields of genetics and evolution and his skills make him a natural at answering two questions: how did we get to such prosperity as we have today, and where are we going? His title asserts his straightforward approach to the subject at hand: he offers a view of the future through the lens of the past. Ridley’s tone gives evidence of his journalism background; he uses the assembly of facts as a platform, from which he offers a cohesive explanation. Avoiding spiraling intrigue, Ridley’s research leads us to answers about our future.
"Against Doom and Gloom,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 4
, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol4/iss1/10