The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read."
—Bill Gates (May, 2017)
Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year
The author of Rationality and Enlightenment Now offers a provocative and surprising history of violence.
Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?
This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.
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THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: Why Violence Has DeclinedUser Review - Kirkus
Frightened of your own shadow? Worried about lone gunmen and psycho killers? Pinker (Psychology/Harvard Univ.; The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, 2007, etc.) encourages ... Read full review
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A FOREIGN COUNTRY
THE HUMANITARIAN REVOLUTION
THE NEW PEACE
THE RIGHTS REVOLUTIONS
ON ANGELS WINGS
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20th century African Americans aggression American animals attacks Batson battle deaths Baumeister behavior bonobos brain called chapter Civilizing Process cognitive conflict Correlates of War correlation cortex counter-Enlightenment countries crime culture Daly & Wilson dataset death toll decades decline of violence democide democracy developed emotional empathy escalator ethnic Europe European evolutionary evolutionary psychology fight figure Flynn Flynn Effect force frontal lobe genes genocide Gleditsch graph harm historian homicide homicide rate homosexuality hunter-gatherers ideology infanticide justice killed leaders less lives Long Peace military million mirror neurons modern moral Mueller murder nations norms nuclear weapons one’s participants people’s percent perpetrators person Pinker police population psychology punishment Quoted rape reason relational model revenge Rummel self-control sexual shows social societies statistics taboo terrorism terrorist testosterone theory things torture trends United victims wars women World War II York