The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature : The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes

4.15 (26,565 ratings by Goodreads)
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Do we really care about each other less than we did in the past? This myth-destroying book shows that, contrary to popular belief, humankind has become progressively less, not more, violent from prehistory to today. Even the twentieth century, commonly perceived as the most brutal, is part of this trend. Debunking both the idea of the \'noble savage\', and the Hobbesian notion of a \'nasty, brutish and short\' life, and ranging over everything from the Enlightenment to warfare, art to religion, Steven Pinker argues that modernity and its cultural institutions is actually making us better people.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 800 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 44mm | 885g
  • Allen Lane
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Open Market ed
  • w. figs.
  • 9781846140945
  • 63,302

Review quote

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 *
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About Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is one of the world's most influential thinkers and writers on the human condition. His popular and highly praised books include The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, the Guardian and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals," Foreign Policy's "100 Global Thinkers," and Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today."
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Rating details

26,565 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 47% (12,432)
4 32% (8,556)
3 13% (3,582)
2 5% (1,210)
1 3% (785)
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