B>An ambitious, discussable, big-think book by an influential economist, about the power of diversity and humanitys growth, considered through a multidisciplinary approach that examines exactly what sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, charting humanitys rocketing journey from subsistence in two centuries--a relative blink of the eye./b>br>br>For most of our existence, since our emergence as a distinct species nearly three hundred thousand years ago, the basic thrust of human life was defined by the pursuit of survival and reproduction. It has long been the prevailing wisdom that prosperity rose gradually.br> br>In actuality, the astounding ascent in living conditions in the past two centuries has been the product of an abrupt transformation rather than of a process that gained momentum incrementally. Most people in the eighteenth century led lives more comparable to those of their distant ancestors than to those of their present-day descendants.br> br>Over this two-hundred-year periodb>--/b>a split second in human existenceb>--/b>per capita incomes have soared in the most developed regions and on Planet Earth as a whole. And yet, growth in the past two hundred years has been defined by inequality, with a large divergence in per capita income across world regions.br> br>What explains those gaps? And what defines our future? This interdisciplinary approach weaves together economics, but also history, archaeology, anthropology, mathematics, and the natural sciences to make an encompassing case for the power of diversity in the human journey.