Releasing a book with the subtitle “a hopeful history” during a pandemic that has led to thousands of deaths, put millions out of work and threatens to undermine the global financial system is a brave choice.

But Dutch historian Rutger Bregman’s latest work has enough research and anecdotes to make even Hobbesian cynics feel a little less jaded about humanity, even if they may not be fully convinced by every anecdote or example he offers.

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