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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