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  • The Better Angels of Our Nature

  • Why Violence Has Declined
  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 36 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (316 ratings)

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The Better Angels of Our Nature

By: Steven Pinker
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
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Publisher's Summary

“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this - the most inspiring book I've ever read." - Bill Gates (May, 2017)

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

The author of Enlightenment Now and The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence.

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 as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?

This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he 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. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2011 by Steven Pinker. (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Better Angels of Our Nature

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ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Pinker's tome trudges the layways, highways and byways of history to shine light on a path that appears to lead always upward. Flying ever in the face of the popular misconception that the contemporary world is tumbling into a Gotham City scale abyss of crime and destruction, Steven Pinker outlines an arc of growing redemption for our kind

What other book might you compare The Better Angels of Our Nature to, and why?

Similar in tone to the recent works of historian Yuval Noah Harari, The Better Angels of Our Nature outstrips his contemporaries in its display of exhaustive research and rigorous analysis.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Pinker makes the freshest theories of criminology and sociology comprehensible and directly applicable to the theme of reduction in violence. Employing ideas of 'self-help justice' among marginalized groups, his assessment of the causes of conflict is both enlightening and astute.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The detailed study of a disturbing array of sadistic punishments employed throughout the ages by our species made for moments of nausea and disgust, nevertheless, the events related are neither gratuitous nor sensationalized.

Any additional comments?

This is an extraordinary work that reveals a life-time's commitment to truth rather than assumption. The author has taken a flow specimen at every bend in the river of human history to examine whether the discharge shows a greater or lesser propensity for fatal toxicity. The conclusions he comes to give reason for cautious optimism as well as motivation to redouble our efforts as a society to value the life of all beings.

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7 people found this helpful

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Epic

Vast, enlightening and beautifully read.
This book has actually changed the way I see the world, and appreciate the age in which we live. Maybe humanity is going on the right direction after all.

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5 people found this helpful

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A Keeper

Well organised, brilliantly read. Depressing. But ultimately illuminating and hopeful. Contributes significantly to my understanding of how we came to be where we are.

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3 people found this helpful

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Enlightening

37 hours seems awfully long to make a point I agree with. The argument, however, flows effortlessly and is fascinating in it’s complexity.

Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended.

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great massive book

it is such a big listen but totally worth it a fantastic detailed meditation on violence.

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Outstanding book

Eye opening and very enjoyable, regardless of people opinions on the statistical analysis fragments...
I love it!

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Essential reading for everyone

I got so much out of this book. It covers enormous ground but every minute is informative and interesting with good examples. The author is certainly very knowledgeable. So glad I read it.

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Gratitude

If nothing, it is thorough. Made me grateful for my life. Changed my life and perspective on society for the better. Made me reconsider how I interact with the news media. Improved my mental health too.

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Read This Book

Everyone who is interested in understanding history and psychology should read this. It's breathtaking.

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a long and hopeful read

This book turns clinical numbers into an uplifting story about how hopeful we can be for the future of humanity.

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