The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity – Stephen Pinker

This book was a necessary read because of the culture of violence I experienced in South Africa, why, who, what, needed to be answered. I got some answers but not all.

Hefty in both volume and messaging, this books chronicles our (human) proclivity for violence with some sobering ideas about how far we have come since we decided that collective collaboration was better than all out violence. Peace is more prosperous than war is.

Wasn’t the twentieth century the most violent in history? In his extraordinary, epic book Steven Pinker shows us that this is wrong, telling the story of humanity in a completely new and unfamiliar way. From why cities make us safer to how books bring about peace, Pinker weaves together history, philosophy and science to examine why we are less likely to die at another’s hand than ever before, how it happened and what it tells us about our very natures.

‘May prove to be one of the great books of our time … he writes like an angel’ Economist

‘Masterly, a supremely important book … For anyone interested in human nature, it is engrossing’ The New York Times

‘Marvellous … riveting and myth-destroying’ New Statesman

‘A marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling, written in Pinker’s distinctively entertaining and clear personal style … I was astonished by the extent to which violence has declined in every shape, form and scale’ Financial Times

‘An outstandingly fruitful read, with fascinating nuggets on almost every page’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year

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