Hans Rosling begins this video by saying, "Having the data is not enough. I have to show it in ways that people both enjoy and understand." And boy, does he ever. Really, Rosling is amazing. Just watch this 4-minute video.
I can't think of a better way to encapsulate the gist of The Secret Peace than with this video. It clearly and creatively shows the progress of the world, at least in terms of two of the most compelling facets of the story, wealth and health.
Other facets are available on Rosling's web site, Gapminder. This is a list of indicators - a long list - that includes everything from countries' birth rate, to unemployment, to the average marriage age, to cell phone adoption, to working hours. On any of them, by selecting "Visualize", you have control to move the slider and advance forward and back through the decades at a whiz, watching the countries of the world dance like carbonation, all slowly drifting toward peace.