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Numbers Don't Lie


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About the Author

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of over forty books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk asssessment, and public policy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of the Order of Canada.


"The human mind soaks up the images and narratives conveyed by the press, but they are a highly nonrandom sample of reality: the lurid, the sudden, the photogenic. Smil's title says it all: to understand the world, you need to follow the trendlines, not the headlines. This is a compelling, fascinating, and most important, realistic portrait of the world and where it's going."-Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now

"[A] tidy, entertaining collection of brief inquiries into a host of hot-button topics... Throughout, Smil's viewpoint is balanced, and each element of the text is fully backed by research as well as the author's contagious curiosity. Even when examining dire circumstances, Smil keeps readers engaged. A fascinating book to be read straight through or consulted bit by bit."-KIRKUS

"[Smil] presents a robust array of data, at times with devastating acuity."-PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Within an eclectic topical range encompassing energy production, transportation, machines and devices, food production and consumption, and demography, Smil uses numbers to pin down the facts... in each essay, his literary and numeric clarity guarantees that readers will learn new facts and gain new perspectives."-BOOKLIST

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