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sociology
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
 
 
Author
Steven Pinker.
Publisher Viking  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780670022953
Pages/Publication Date 802/2011
Daedalus Item Code 36264
This item is not available.
Description
(A New York Times Notable Book of 2011) The author of The Stuff of Thought and The Blank Slate, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Steven Pinker here offers an intelligent and provocative history of violence as a component of human culture. 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 Pinker reveals that violence has actually been diminishing for millennia. War, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide, once ordinary features of human life, have all dwindled and are now widely condemned were—we may well be living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence. The key, Pinker 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.

"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."—NYTBR

"A monumental achievement ... [Pinker's] 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

 
 
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