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Summary

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of carrying only opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. 

When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how many young women go to school; how many of us live in poverty - we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. 

In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and a man who can make data sing, Hans Rosling, together with his two longtime collaborators Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens and reveals the 10 instincts that distort our perspective. 

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. 

Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2018 Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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8 hours that will change your world view!

If you do not know of Hans Rosling go to youtube and view a few of his lectures, brilliant lecturer whom will update your world view. This book will most probably update you on long held beliefs attained from an outdated high school and university degree.
Hans, Ola and Anna Rosling takes you through an interesting story of how the world has changed from developed/developing to a multi-tiered system that actually exist in societies all over the world.

With a multitude of anecdotes and facts they beautifully weave a story that will both enhance your world knowledge and intrigue you in how the world works.

You will not regret spending the 8 hours it takes to listen to this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A must for anyone interested in world events!

This book is essential for todays world. The world IS getting better despite what the news would have you believe. This book gives some great examples of this along with some excellent advice to help the reader/listener critically evaluate the facts and news presented to us.

In this world of social media giving loud voices to people who are often misinformed of the facts and who often have extreme views one way or another I genuinely think this book should be read or heard by each and ever one of us.

Aside from that the narration is great and the book keeps the subject matter interesting. Just remember to download the accompanying PDF. This helps understand some of the charts in the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I'm a very serious possibilist.

What a joy to listen to Hans Rosling's analysis and dismantling of common biases and myths about the modern world. For those who get too bogged down on the statistics, you can skip forward some of the numbers. To me the book is supposed to crack open the status quo and how we think about the world, be better informed when forming opinions, question gut feelings and popular consensus no matter how right it seems. I'll be revisiting it regularly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Inspirational

How not to be ignorant about the world. How to be smarter than a chimp.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspirational

A great book that made me think twice about my assumptions. Everyone should listen to this. Now I understand why Bill Gates is buying this book for 30 million people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shakti
  • United Kingdom
  • 05-06-18

Eye opening piece of work. Fact.

Beautifully narrated capturing the essence of the writer's genius. This is the best and probably the most useful non-fiction I have read this year. Fact.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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awesome & essential.

A fact based journey starting from less than ignorant to seeing the enlightenment at the end of the tunnel!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Important book

One of the most important books you will ever read - you will find yourself reaching for the facts before forming a reactionary opinion.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • Camberwell, Australia
  • 18-08-18

Essential reading

This book should be compulsory reading for teachers, anyone involved in or interested in public policy, anyone working for an international company, and anyone interested in understanding the world better.
The premise is simple; let's base our thinking on current facts rather than old facts or new prejudices. Very clearly articulated. An important book.

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  • Ben
  • Great Britain
  • 17-08-18

This is a book that should be on every bookshelf

Every once in a while you find a book that makes a significant difference to the way you see the world. This is one of those books

Should be read and discussed in schools and boardrooms. And among politicians too.

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  • Hassan
  • 13-04-18

Awakening book

This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It wakes me up and make me more humble about my knowledge of the world and my analytical capability.

It is well-written and the concepts are beautifully demonstrated.

The most important part of the book is that it is based on real life experiences that the author himself lived while he traveled to different parts of the world.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-18

A masterpiece!

Great content, better than I expected. The story was really good and I loved the examples from Hans life. It made the book more authentic.

The narrator did a great job, and made the experience very pleasant.

I can therefore recommend this book to everyone who want's to broaden there perspectives, become more sceptical, but in the same time, understand the world with a new set of eyes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Neuron
  • 09-06-18

An antidote to panic-driven worldviews

I put this book in the same category as Pinker’s recent Enlightenment Now and the earlier Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. The book provides a lot of facts about the world and how the world has changed over the last five decades, and the facts are indeed encouraging. Hans Rosling is careful to point out that he does not like being called an optimist because it insinuates some degree of naivety. Hans Rosling prefers to be called a realist, and I think – he sees the world as it is, including both problems and solutions. The fact that the world is getting better does not mean that it is perfect or that we can lean back and watch the show. However, it does mean that we are probably doing some things right and it is essential to identify those things so that we can keep doing them.

Unfortunately, the media are terrible at identifying things that work in the world, and they are especially poor at identifying gradual improvements in the world. Rather the media feeds on a disaster, crime, panic, and drama and since a world with 7 billion people will always have enough drama for 30 minutes of news, then that is what the media focus on, and that is what people see. Giving the media all the blame is probably not fair. The media, after all, live in symbiosis with media consumers – they tend to show what people watch and people like to attend a drama. There has been peace in Sweden for 200 years, and guess what, no war broke out today either! Amazing! No, that is not news. So how can we get out of this eternal loop of increasingly gloomy worldviews in a world where progress has never been more evident. Well, reading this book is probably a step in the right direction.

The books begin with some questions about the world. In low-income countries, how many girls finish primary school? Does the majority of the world population live in poor or middle-income countries? What is the life expectancy in the world today? What percentage of the world population are vaccinated today? People, because of their gloomy worldview, tend to get these questions completely wrong. Hans Rosling likes to compare the accuracy of different groups (including politicians and people working at the world bank who really ought to know the answer), to that of chimps. The chimps almost always outperform us because they don’t know anything about the world and therefore guess. But guessing turn out to be better than systematic pessimism, which seems to be the default among humans.

In the remaining part of the book, Rosling revisits each of these questions and based on data from undisputed sources he explains why, in all except one case, the correct and is also the most favorable answer. Poverty is going down drastically. Most people in the world live in middle-income countries. The percentage of girls finishing primary school is almost the same as for boys etc. Intermingled with these more data-driven passages, Rosling includes personal anecdotes from his long career as a public health worker. These anecdotes are fascinating and add to the appeal of the book as well as to my admiration for Rosling.

There are a few surprises in the book. One is Rosling’s claim (based on hard data), that progress does not depend on democracy. Countries such as South Korea, the home of LG, Samsung, Kia, etc., had enormous growth while it was still a military dictatorship. Only later has it become a well-functioning democracy. Rosling is also ambiguous when it comes to activists. He says that activists do drive changes, often in the right direction. However, he also argues that they are prone to exaggerations. Women’s activists, for example, tend to spread the news about how women suffer, but not about the progress such as the fact that girls today are almost as well educated as boys, globally speaking.

For a book that is relatively short, Rosling has managed to include a great deal of data that I think every person in the world should know. Again, not so that we can pad our shoulder and call it a day, but rather so that we can identify what works and continue to do what works. The book is also an enjoyable read with a good flow and a nice mix of anecdotes and data to back up those anecdotes. I think that Bill Gates did a wise thing when he made this book available to all college graduates in the US, and I hope that all college graduates grasp their opportunity to read this excellent book!

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  • Alexandru
  • 01-05-18

A must read for everybody

No matter how well informed you are Factfulness is a useful book. It is not only about facts but also about approaching the world with critical thinking even to contradict this book, I am sure Hans would not mind. I think that under all the modern noise, under all the fake news, all the manipulating politicians, a bit of factulness is exactly what the people need.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mikko Hiltunen
  • 16-08-18

Hans Rosling's magnum opus.

Excellent. Informative, thought-provoking, a wakeup call for those stuck in obsolete thinking patterns. Hans Rosling cleans your world view of old stains of misconceptions and provides a cleaning kit for the future.

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  • Aaron
  • 15-08-18

A Wonderful Reading Experience

The critical-thinking framework proposed here put was brilliantly researched, elegantly-crafted, balanced, and effortless to read. And not only are the tools useful, but the real-world reality that these help us uncover, I think, makes it a rewarding experience.

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  • Nikola Somlev
  • 10-08-18

A call for sense and action.

Written with passion and wisdom both earned from a life well lived. An honorable monument of Hans Rosling's life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-18

"Possibilist" for life.

One of the most eye opening reads. Hans is extremely compassionate in looking at the world problems, but he is neither optimist nor a pessimist. A man who has worked all his life till his last breath to create a more fact based narrative, fighting the fear mongers and ignorants like us. I recommend everybody to give this book a try to have more calmer, hopeful future vision.

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  • Visnja Zeljeznjak
  • 07-08-18

I learned how to maintain a fact-based world view

The narrator was engaging and succeeded in communicating in the spirit of Dr. Rosling. I enjoyed every minute of the book, especially the many stories. Definitely recommended!

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  • Cinzia
  • 07-08-18

Sharp, enlightening, inspiring, entertaining

This is a book I will read again and again until factfulness will become a natural part of my everyday thinking. This will be my next Christmas present for all my friends and relatives. Thank you Hans