The Better Angels of Our Nature

Why Violence Has Declined

By Steven Pinker
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143122012, 832pp.)

Publication Date: September 25, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Description

A provocative history of violence—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stuff of Thought and The Blank Slate

Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.




About the Author

Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind. His popular and highly praised books include Words and Rules, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching and scientific research, Pinker is Peter de Florez professor of psychology in the department of brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.




NPR
Friday, Oct 7, 2011

Considering the Norway shootings, drug wars in Mexico and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, this era may seem as violent as any. But as Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker argues in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, this may actually be the most peaceable period in human history. More at NPR.org

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Praise For The Better Angels of Our Nature

"My favorite book of the last decade is [Steven] Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature. It is a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time."--Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

"For anyone interested in human nature, the material is engrossing, and when the going gets heavy, Pinker knows how to lighten it with ironic comments and a touch of humor. . . . A supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement."
-The New York Times Book Review

"An extraordinary range of research . . . a masterly effort."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Better Angels is a monumental achievement. His book should make it much harder for pessimists to cling to their gloomy vision of the future. Whether war is an ancient adaptation or a pernicious cultural infection, we are learning how to overcome it."

-Slate

Praise for THE STUFF OF THOUGHT
“The majesty of Pinker’s theories is only one side of the story.  The other side is the modesty of how he built them.  It all makes sense, when you look at it the right way.”


-The New York Times Book Review

 “Packed with information, clear, witty, attractively written …”

-The New York Review of Books

“Engaging and witty …Everyone with an interest in language and how it gets to be how it is—that is, everyone interested in how we get to be human and do our human business—should read THE STUFF OF THOUGHT.”

-Science

Praise for THE BLANK SLATE

“An extremely good book—clear, well argued, fair, learned, tough, witty, humane, stimulating.”

-Colin McGinn, The Washington Post

“Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read…also highly persuasive.”

-Time

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