Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$6.04
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean. Great Binding. Cover Shows Light Wear. Interior is clean and crisp.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World Paperback – July 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$0.49 $0.01

Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bradley R.E. Wright, PhD is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. After receiving tenure, he switched his academic focus from crime to religion in order to research American Christianity. Brad received his PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, the top-ranked sociology graduate program in the United States. He has a popular blog (brewight.com) based on his research. His first book, Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told received the 2011 Christianity Today Book Award. He's appeared on numerous national media outlets including USAToday.com, Foxnews.com, Moody's Chris Fabry Live!, and the Drew Marshall Show. Brad is married with two children and lives in Storrs, Connecticut.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764208365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764208362
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,701,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I recently heard a well-known pastor say, "The world is broken and it's getting worse." Not long ago, I would have agreed without hesitation. But after reading UPSIDE by Bradley R.E. Wright, PhD, I found myself disagreeing, and even upset that the idea is so common in our culture.

At the suggestion of his editor, Wright wrote a book that answers the question, "Is the world getting better?" As an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, he was more than qualified to examine the data and come to an objective conclusion. (And UPSIDE is not the only book he's written that examines and challenges widespread and commonly held beliefs. Wright also wrote CHRISTIANS ARE HATE-FILLED HYPOCRITES . . . AND OTHER LIES YOU'VE BEEN TOLD.)

To be honest, I chose to review this book because I didn't believe it was possible to write a book that said our world is actually improving rather than getting worse. Not to mention I was sure that even if he could write that book, it wouldn't have an ounce of credibility. Choosing this book was essentially my way of saying to Wright, "Oh yeah? Prove it." Surprisingly, he did.

Wright followed the data--he didn't exaggerate the improvements or tone down the negatives. He briefly traced the reasons people are so pessimistic about the state of our world and showed there has been significant improvement in most of the areas people worry about on a regular basis. He did an excellent job showing that, even though things have gotten worse in certain areas in recent years, it's important to look at change over time. That's what his research focused on--how is today's data different from past data? Have things improved, or gotten worse?
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Upside seeks to evaluate life as it really is and to compare that to life as people believe it to be in order to determine whether or not current perceptions are accurate about the things that most people think matter most. The upside of Upside is so incredible that it should be a must read for anyone who is discouraged by the way things are in the world today. Additionally, it should be required reading for those involved in advocacy and fundraising for nonprofits who so often intentionally paint an incomplete and overly negative picture of both the current situation and recent progress in order to solicit volunteers and funds.

Upside looks at a limited number of issues that Wright views as "important to most people" with the goal of providing "accurate perceptions of the world in both the ways that it's getting better and worse" (p.31). Chapter after chapter, the data clearly indicates that things are better than most people assume them to be currently in America and that the trends over the last several decades show we are making progress or improvement in most of the areas considered. This general conclusion is significant since chapters cover topics including finances, intelligence, health, stress, marriage and families, and the environment. While there is good news about each larger category, some subcategories that don't fare as well.

In the concluding chapter, Wright displays these findings in a chart that compares life in the United States today to what it was 30 years ago and 60 years ago for each subcategory using the following choices for each: substantially better, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse, and substantially worse (p. 201-204).
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book is a great combination of enjoyable reading and practical ways to view statistical evidence and apply it to our world today. So many times we focus only on the negative aspects of life and this world. We leave out related statistics that may help us to see everything in a bigger, better picture and enjoy the progress we have made over the years. Dr. Wright combines these two things to create a book that is really worth reading. We are always going to have problems in this world, but it helps to keep them in perspective and see how far we have come in finding solutions to previous problems that plagued our world and at one time seemed unsolvable. I also like the way Dr. Wright sometimes formulates and other times does not, the connection and meaning of the statistical relevance of the numbers he presents. For those of you who like numbers and facts this is a great book for you! I totally enjoyed it and will be passing it along to a coworker of mine for her to read.

I was provided a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review no other compensation was given

.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author writes from a Christian perspective, but this book will be of great interest to those of other or no faiths as well.

On the one hand, Dr. Wright has documented that many things in our world are improving. The following, he argues, are improving: lifespan, health, the environment, violent crime, war deaths, or poverty. He backs up his assertions with well-docmuneted facts figures and statistics. He deals with both the American and world-wide arenas.

On the other hand, Wright argues that a few things are getting worse (particularly in America), including the gap between the wealthy and others, matters of sexual morality and sexual behavior. Some things -- like the abortion rate and the divorce rate -- are improving modestly. Again, let me remind readers that his perspective is from an evangelical viewpoint, one which I share.

This book corrected a number of misconceptions in my mind. With so many voices lamenting that the world's condition and the notion that it is getting worse by the day, I myself had fallen prey to the lop-sided reporting that makes for highly rated news. Thank you, Dr. Wright!

The author is neither Pollyanna nor Eeyore; this is a good, balanced, yet surprising account documenting that most things are, in fact, getting better. A good read for all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews