It’s on the televisions, in the papers and in our minds. Every day we’re bludgeoned by news of how bad everything is – financial collapse, unemployment, growing poverty, environmental disasters, disease, hunger, war. But the rarely acknowledged reality is that the economic and social progress of the past few decades has been unprecedented and that by almost any index you care to identify, things are markedly better now than they have ever been for almost everyone alive.

Examining official data from the world’s most trusted institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, political commentator Johan Norberg traces just how far we have come in tackling the greatest global problems. None of them have been eradicated, but as Norberg shows we now have a good idea of the solutions and have started to implement them in most areas. We know what it will take to see this progress continue. Dramatic, uplifting and sure to be divisive, Progress is a call for optimism in our pessimistic, doom-laden world.