Live Online Book Forum

Open: The Story of Human Progress

(Atlantic Books, 2020)

November 16, 2020 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM EST

Live Online

Featuring the author Johan Norberg (@johanknorberg), Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; with comments by Tom Palmer (@tomgpalmer), Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network; moderated by Chelsea Follett (@Chellivia), Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute, and Managing Editor, www​.human​progress​.org.

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The ideal of an open world faces many challenges, including infectious diseases like COVID-19 and a rise in economic protectionism and illiberal politics. But, as Johan Norberg argues, openness is critical to human success. The freedom to explore and exchange has led to stunning achievements in science and culture as well as unprecedented wealth and opportunity. Yet humanity has always struggled with a constant tension between its yearning for cooperation and its profound need for belonging to a particular tribe. Norberg will explain why we’re often uncomfortable with openness and why it is nonetheless essential for human progress. He will explain why an open world and an open economy are worth fighting for, now more than ever. Tom Palmer will comment on the book’s sweeping history and relevance.

Open: The Story of Human Progress

Humanity’s embrace of openness is the key to our success. The freedom to explore and exchange — whether it’s goods, ideas or people — has led to stunning achievements in science, technology and culture. As a result, we live at a time of unprecedented wealth and opportunity. So why are we so intent on ruining it? From Stone Age hunter‐​gatherers to contemporary Chinese‐​American relations, Open explores how across time and cultures, we have struggled with a constant tension between our yearning for co‐​operation and our profound need for belonging. Providing a bold new framework for understanding human history, bestselling author and thinker Johan Norberg examines why we’re often uncomfortable with openness — but also why it is essential for progress. Part sweeping history and part polemic, this urgent book makes a compelling case for why an open world with an open economy is worth fighting for more than ever.

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