FACTFULNESS by Hans Rosling


Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
Email this review


An influential thought leader puts a positive spin on global awareness.

In his posthumous collaborative book poised to “fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview,” Swedish physician, global health lecturer, and academic statistician Rosling (1948-2017) parts the dingy curtains of global pessimism to reveal an alternate and uplifting perspective on the state of world issues today. Co-written with Rosling’s son and daughter-in-law, the book effectively educates, uplifts, and reassures readers through chapters reinforced by focused, statistically sound research studies. Rosling presents 10 theoretical concepts, or “instincts,” which are basic human impulses that often cause the general public to misinterpret and hyperbolize critical information about the contemporary world. Among the behaviors he cites that drive people to manifest an “overdramatic worldview” are the tendency to divide everything into two aspects (“us vs. them,” the “developing” vs. the “developed” world), blaming one indicator for a myriad of troubles, and cultivating a negative mindset. Adding to the dynamically designed presentations of charts, images, data analysis, and personal anecdotes, the author also breaks up his succinct chapters with humor and common-sense reasoning bolstered by statistical data. Multiple choice questions on world knowledge are sure to surprise and enlighten readers curious about their own awareness levels and susceptibility to rush judgments, misconceptions, and defeatist mindsets. With unfailing optimism, Rosling administers a fact-based antidote to apocalyptic statistics like world population overgrowth, rampant infant deaths, and soaring crime rates, none of which are ballooning out of control but are fearfully perceived as such. He also examines five pressing real-world “risks” that demand attention: poverty, global warming, financial collapse, global pandemic, and a catastrophic third world war. In compelling readers to comprehend the positive aspects of world changes using practical thinking tools, Rosling delivers a sunny global prognosis with a sigh of relief.

An insistently hopeful, fact-based booster shot for a doomsaying, world-weary population.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-10781-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Review Posted Online:


NonfictionUTOPIA FOR REALISTS by Rutger Bregman
by Rutger Bregman
NonfictionTHE PLUNDERED PLANET by Paul Collier
by Paul Collier
NonfictionEAARTH by Bill McKibben
by Bill McKibben