I read Stephen Pinker's "Better Angels of Our Nature" some years ago. I think I bought it because Bill Gates had said it was his favourite book of all time.
I can't count the number of times I've quoted it to counter assertions that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. (Not that it's always had an effect, mind, as people hold to beliefs for emotional, not always rational or fact based reasons).
Pinker even has a YouTube on progressives denying progress. (And it's always progressives, especially of the regressive Left, who hew to such views.). https://youtu.be/PnitLNObR7c
Here's Bill Gates' new favourite book: Stephen Pinkers follow up, "Enlightenment Now".
[Thanks to Jerry Coyne. ]