America has been through a great financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better. Certainly, the multidecade stagnation is not yet over. As Cowen argues, the economy has enjoyed low-hanging fruit since the seventeenth century - free land, immigrant labor, and powerful new technologies. But during the a period of forty years, the low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and people started pretending it was still there. Cowen aims to reveal the underlying causes of the past prosperity and how it is possible to generate it again. This is a call for a new respect of scientific innovations that benefit not only the powerful elites, but humanity as a whole.