The Microsoft co-founder announced on his blog that Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker, is his new favorite read.

By Nora Horvath
January 30, 2018
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Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and (second) richest man in the world, is a longtime fan of the author and Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. In 2017, Bill Gates tweeted that he wished he could buy all college graduates a copy of Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, in which Pinker argues that our world is becoming less violent over time. 

Now, Gates is claiming Pinker’s forthcoming book, Enlightenment Now, as his new favorite book of all time.

In a post published to his blog Gates Notes, Gates shares with readers why Enlightenment Now is even better than Pinker’s previous works. In Enlightenment Now, Pinker uses a huge body of research to argue that in many ways our society is progressing, despite our inclination to believe the opposite. In the book, Pinker touches on 15 measures of progress, including health, prosperity, and safety, to argue that our world is actually getting better. 

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“Pinker also tackles the disconnect between actual progress and the perception of progress,” writes Gates in the post. “People all over the world are living longer, healthier, and happier lives, so why do so many think things are getting worse? Why do we gloss over positive news stories and fixate on the negative ones? He does a good job explaining why we’re drawn to pessimism and how that instinct influences our approach to the world.”

Gates is so passionate about the book, he is offering a free downloadable chapter to anyone who signs up as a Gates Notes Insider.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker comes out on February 27.