Reviews

  • The human mind soaks up the images and narratives conveyed by the press, but they are a highly nonrandom sample of reality: the lurid, the sudden, the photogenic. Smil's title says it all: to understand the world, you need to follow the trendlines, not the headlines. This is a compelling, fascinating, and most important, realistic portrait of the world and where it's going

    Steven Pinker
  • The best book to read to better understand our world. Once in a while a book comes along that helps us see our planet more clearly. By showing us numbers about science, health, green technology and more, Smil's book does just that. It should be on every bookshelf!

    Linda Yueh, author of The Great Economists
  • Important

    Mark Zuckerberg, on Energy
  • One of the world's foremost thinkers on development history and a master of statistical analysis . . . The nerd's nerd

    Guardian
  • A book for anyone confused by statistics or dubious of data in a world where numbers seem to mean everything and nothing. Vaclav Smil's new book reveals why diesel isn't as bad as you think, how much food is really being wasted, what actually makes people happy, and much more.

    BBC Science Focus magazine

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