The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

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The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

by Steven Pinker

Viking USA | July 23, 2013 | Hardcover

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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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 848 pages, 9.55 × 6.4 × 1.6 in

Published: July 23, 2013

Publisher: Viking USA

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670022950

ISBN - 13: 9780670022953

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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– More About This Product –

The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

by Steven Pinker

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 848 pages, 9.55 × 6.4 × 1.6 in

Published: July 23, 2013

Publisher: Viking USA

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670022950

ISBN - 13: 9780670022953

Read from the Book

Praise for Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our NatureA New York Times Notable BookA Library Journal Best Book of the YearOne of Amazon’s 100 Best Books of the YearA NetGalley Best of 2011“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“It is quite a story, and Pinker tells it ably. There are stimulating thoughts on nearly every page.”—New York“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.com“Classic Pinker, jammed with facts, figures, and points of speculative departure; a big, complex book, well worth the effort for the good news that it delivers.”—Kirkus Reviews“This long, well-researched, comprehensive tour de force provides a helpful look at the human condition.”—Booklist“A hugely important work and major contribution to historiography.”—Niall Ferguson, professor of history, Harvard University, andauthor of Civilization: The West and the RestPENGUIN BOOKSTHE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURETa
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

Steven Pinker is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching, and books, he has been named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and Foreign Policy's 100 Global Thinkers.

Editorial Reviews

"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.com