About the Book

Getting Better

Getting Better

Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More
December 2012
Trade Paperback · 272 Pages
$17.99 U.S. · $21.00 CAN · £11.99 U.K. · €12.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780465031030
Basic Books


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As the income gap between developed and developing nations grows, so grows the cacophony of voices claiming that the quest to find a simple recipe for economic growth has failed. Getting Better, in sharp contrast, reports the good news about global progress. Economist Charles Kenny argues against development naysayers by pointing to the evidence of widespread improvements in health, education, peace, liberty—and even happiness.

Kenny shows how the spread of cheap technologies, such as vaccines and bed nets, and ideas, such as political rights, has transformed the world. He also shows that by understanding this transformation, we can make the world an even better place to live.

That's not to say that life is grand for everyone, or that we don't have a long way to go. But improvements have spread far, and, according to Kenny, they can spread even further.

About the Author

Charles Kenny is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is a senior economist at the World Bank. Kenny is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy and has written for Time, Washington Monthly, South China Morning Post, and the Globalist, as well as numerous academic journals.