Jb's Reviews > The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
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Jan 09, 2012

really liked it


A long but enthralling tide through a thousand (or more) years of history, documenting first the statistical and anecdotal evidence for the decline of violence, then the psyco-analytical view for why it might be so, why it might last (and why it might not). An excellent antidote to the ‘things were better in the good old days when we’ [e.g. lived in tight communities in small villages and didn’t need to worry about corporate greed or subway muggings]. I highly recommend this book. A small caveat for those not coming from his ‘Salvation lies in classic liberalism’ school of thought: He makes some loose swipes at some traditional schools of thoughts in amongst his well substantiated and thought out ones, and in my opinion he fails to fully account for how future humans might judge our barbarity in some key areas. But for this group, who will easily be able to adjust to his worldview, a very good read, and one I think you will thoroughly enjoy.
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