Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 20, 2001 - Science - 448 pages
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In his bestselling The Moral Animal, Robert Wright applied the principles of evolutionary biology to the study of the human mind. Now Wright attempts something even more ambitious: explaining the direction of evolution and human history–and discerning where history will lead us next.

In Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Wright asserts that, ever since the primordial ooze, life has followed a basic pattern. Organisms and human societies alike have grown more complex by mastering the challenges of internal cooperation. Wright's narrative ranges from fossilized bacteria to vampire bats, from stone-age villages to the World Trade Organization, uncovering such surprises as the benefits of barbarian hordes and the useful stability of feudalism. Here is history endowed with moral significance–a way of looking at our biological and cultural evolution that suggests, refreshingly, that human morality has improved over time, and that our instinct to discover meaning may itself serve a higher purpose. Insightful, witty, profound, Nonzero offers breathtaking implications for what we believe and how we adapt to technology's ongoing transformation of the world.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - snarkhunt - LibraryThing

It's brilliant. Like Guns, Germs, and Steel, examines all of human history through a single lens, in this case win-win games. The thesis is that human life and all progress comes about as a series of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Davidicus - LibraryThing

Having just finished Nonzero for the second time, I've got to admit it is seriously one of the best and most important books I've ever read. Why did I have to read it a second time? The first was a ... Read full review


Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twentyone

Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Twentytwo
APPENDIX 1On Nonzerosumness
APPENDIX 2What Is Social Complexity?

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About the author (2001)

Robert Wright is the author of Three Scientists and Their Gods and The Moral Animal, which was named by the New York Times Book Review as one of the twelve best books of the year and has been published in nine languages. A recipient of the National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism, Wright has published in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Time, and Slate. He was previously a senior editor at The New Republic and The Sciences and now runs the Web site He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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