Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding--And How We Can Improve the World Even More, published by Basic Books, is now outin paperback, with a foreword by Bill Gates. A summary is available here and in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Felix Salmon, Tyler Cowen, Nancy Birdsall, Jeni Klugman and Bill Easterly were kind enough to provide advance praise. So far, the book has been discussed/reviewed in Time, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Nation, National Review Online, the London Evening Standard, Economic History Net, the Daily Mail, Daily Kos and the China Post. Kirkus Reviews says the book is "an insightful examination... A poignant and optimistic rebuttal to critics of global development." Lant Pritchett, Madeleine Bunting, Matt Collin, Gregg Easterbrook, Terence Wood, Diane Coyle, Jonathan Power, Ed Carr, Chola Mukanga, Dennis de Tray, Andy Sumner, Dennis Whittle, Ignacio Mas, Daniel Skallman, Daniel Ben-Ami, Duncan Green and Matt Yglesias say (mostly) nice things, too. Patcrick Corcoran says nice things in Spanish. Anne-Marie Slaughter tweeted it was a "Must Read." Bjorn Lomborg and Steven Pinker recommended it to Foreign Policy as a best book of 2011 and Foreign Affairs picked it as one of the best international relations books of 2011 (see Richard Cooper's review). Bill Gates said "it's a fantastic way of looking at what has happened over the last 50 years, and really takes the debate about aid is totally good, aid is totally a waste and explains why its worked in some cases and how we can be smart about it." And then he said a bunch of other nice stuff too in a WSJ book review, in a speech to the World Health Assembly and around the launch of his annual letter. The Washington Diplomat did a long writeup of me and the book here. Foreign Policy features Getting Better in its Book Club series here, the Globalist has it as its book of the week here, I discuss the Africa bits with All Africa here, and I did a 'book chat' with David Leonhardt of the NYT here and he was kind enough to name it his book of the year (the LA Public Library system included it in their list, too). I also discussed optimism in general with the NYT's Mark Bittman here.
There was a launch event in Washington at CGD on March 3rd, and I discussed the topic of the book earlier that day at the New America Foundation. On March 10th I presented the book at ODI in London (sound gets better...). I've discussed it on Gates Notes, KERA's Think, the John Batchelor Show, Kojo Nnamdi and Changesurfer Radio. I was at the University of Oklahoma on April 6 where I spoke about it on KGOU,I was at Town Hall Seattle on April 18th and in LA at the Goethe Institute on April 20th --here's the video. I was in Chicago speaking about the book on May 17th and at UNICEF on June 9th. In late June I was at the Aspen Ideas Festival where I discussed global poverty with David Leonhardt and Esther Duflo, and chatted about the book to Felix Salmon. And I talked about the book and progress in Africa with Jeni Klugman on a recent PBS' Ideas in Action, on Gesprek Op 3 (Dutch TV) during the Veerstichting and at St Scolastica's Alworth Center.
For those interested in some of the academic work that underlies the analysis: Chapter Three on what we know about growth draws from this and this. Chapter Four on Malthus draws on this. Chapter Five about global progress in the quality of life draws on this, this, this, and this. In addition to the papers used in Chapter Five, Chapter Six on income and quality of life draws on this. Meanwhile, two CGD essays, Solow's Return: Inventions, Ideas and the Quality of Life (subsequently published here) and Getting Better in Pictures summarize the argument of the book --the first in an (ever so slightly) more technical direction, the second with graphs.