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

Author(s): Steven Pinker

Critical Thinking

"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)

A provocative history of violence--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, and Enlightenment Now.

Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.


Product Information

Shortlisted for Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2012.

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2012. 

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 contribution, not just to historical scholarship, but to the world - Bill Gates 

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Until 2003, he taught in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as The New York Times, Time and Slate, and he is the author of six books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate and The Stuff of Thought.

General Fields

  • : 9780141034645
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : October 2012
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 44mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : English
  • : 303.609
  • : 1026
  • : Illustrations, maps
  • : Steven Pinker
  • : Paperback
  • : 213