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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

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9780670022953: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
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Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

The author of The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial 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 millennia 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, pogroms, gruesome 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 essence 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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Review:

Brilliant, mind-altering...Everyone should read this astonishing book (David Runciman Guardian)

A supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement. Pinker convincingly demonstrates that there has been a dramatic decline in violence, and he is persuasive about the causes of that decline (Peter Singer New York Times)

[A] sweeping new review of the history of human violence...[Pinker has] the kind of academic superbrain that can translate otherwise impenetrable statistics into a meaningful narrative of human behaviour...impeccable scholarship (Tony Allen-Mills Sunday Times)

Written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style...a marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling (Clive Cookson Financial Times)

A salutary reality-check...Better Angels is itself a great liberal landmark (Marek Kohn Independent)

Pinker's scholarhsip is astounding...flawless...masterful (Joanna Bourke The Times)

Selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 (New York Times)

From the Back Cover:

'His book will change the way you see the world ... Pinker's powerful ideas, vivid stories and sparkling prose make this hard to put down' Daily Mail

'May prove to be one of the great books of our time ... he writes like an angel' Economist

Wasn't the twentieth century the most violent in history? In his extraordinary, epic book Steven Pinker shows us that this is wrong, telling the story of humanity in a completely new and unfamiliar way. From why cities make us safer to how books bring about peace, Pinker weaves together history, philosophy and science to examine why we are less likely to die at another's hand than ever before, how it happened and what it tells us about our very natures.

'Masterly, a supremely important book ... For anyone interested in human nature, it is engrossing' The New York Times

'Marvellous ... riveting and myth-destroying' New Statesman

'A marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling, written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style ... I was astonished by the extent to which violence has declined in every shape, form and scale' Financial Times

'An outstandingly fruitful read, with fascinating nuggets on almost every page' Sunday Times, Books of the Year

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780143122012: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0143122010 ISBN 13: 9780143122012
Publisher: Penguin Books, 1900
Softcover

9780141034645: The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity

Penguin, 2012
Softcover

9781846140938: The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes

Allen ..., 2011
Hardcover

9781846140945: The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes

Allen ..., 2011
Softcover

9780670023158: The Better Angels of Our Nature

Riverh..., 2011
Softcover

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