Bryce delights in mocking the pessimists of the past and the present, with their anxieties over the prospects of environmental collapse and resource depletion, and deploys plenty of hard data to support his sunny view of the future. The reason for his confidence is summed up in his title. For the past two centuries, people have produced the necessities of life in far greater abundance and much higher quality because we’ve gotten so good at making things smaller, faster, lighter, denser, and cheaper.

Boston Globe, May 14, 2014, by Hiawatha Bray