The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Category: Book
By (author): Pinker, Steven
Subject:  PSYCHOLOGY / Personality
  SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Evolution
  SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: September 2012
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 832
Size: 9.00in x 5.90in x 1.70in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*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.

Review Quote*A Mark Zuckerberg "Year of Books" Pick

"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


"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


"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
Biographical NoteSteven 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.