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The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Today we may be living in the most peaceful time in human existence. The ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism makes it seem as if the world is getting bloodier. But in this book the author shows that violence has in fact declined over long stretches of history. How has this happened? Here the author examines the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that pull us away, and shows  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Steven Pinker
ISBN: 9780143122012 0143122010
OCLC Number: 942539081
Notes: Originally published in hardcover in 2011 by Viking.
Awards: Commended for Cundill Prize 2012
Description: xxviii, 802 p. : illustrations, maps, charts ; 23 cm
Contents: A foreign country --
The pacification process --
The civilizing process --
The humanitarian revolution --
The long peace --
The new peace --
The rights revolutions --
Inner demons --
Better angels --
On angels' wings.
Responsibility: Steven Pinker.

Abstract:

Today we may be living in the most peaceful time in human existence. The ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism makes it seem as if the world is getting bloodier. But in this book the author shows that violence has in fact declined over long stretches of history. How has this happened? Here the author examines the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that pull us away, and shows how changes in ideas and practices have allowed our better angels to prevail. In the process he explodes many myths about violence and presents a new defense of modernity and enlightenment. This exploration of human nature blends psychology and history to provide a picture of humanity's gradual conquest of violence.

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