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The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity
by Steven Pinker

ISBN: 9780141034645
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books Ltd
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 96
PUBLICATION DATE: 4.10.2012
DIMENSIONS: 198mmX129mmX44mm 716grams

DESCRIPTION:
This title is shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2012. This acclaimed book by Steven Pinker, author of "The Language Instinct" and "The Blank Slate", argues that, contrary to popular belief, humankind has become progressively less violent, over millenia and decades. Can violence really have declined? The images of conflict we see daily on our screens from around the world suggest this is an almost obscene claim to be making. Extraordinarily, however, Steven Pinker shows violence within and between societies - both murder and warfare - really has declined from prehistory to today. We are much less likely to die at someone else's hands than ever before. Even the horrific carnage of the last century, when compared to the dangers of pre-state societies, is part of this trend. Debunking both the idea of the 'noble savage' and an over-simplistic Hobbesian notion of a 'nasty, brutish and short' life, Steven Pinker argues that modernity and its cultural institutions are actually making us better people. "One of the most important books I've read - not just this year, but ever...For me, what's most important about "The Better Angels of Our Nature" are its insights into how to help achieve positive outcomes. How can we encourage a less violent, more just society, particularly for the poor? Steven Pinker shows us ways we can make those positive trajectories a little more likely. That's a c

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