An edition of The better angels of our nature (2011)

The better angels of our nature

why violence has declined

  • 4.00 ·
  • 8 Ratings
  • 110 Want to read
  • 1 Currently reading
  • 14 Have read
Not in Library

My Reading Lists:

Create a new list


Add an optional check-in date. Check-in dates are used to track yearly reading goals.

  • 4.00 ·
  • 8 Ratings
  • 110 Want to read
  • 1 Currently reading
  • 14 Have read

Buy this book

Last edited by ImportBot
December 25, 2021 | History
An edition of The better angels of our nature (2011)

The better angels of our nature

why violence has declined

  • 4.00 ·
  • 8 Ratings
  • 110 Want to read
  • 1 Currently reading
  • 14 Have read

From Goodreads: Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year The author of 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, pogroms, 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.

Publish Date

Buy this book

Previews available in: English

Edition Availability
Cover of: The better angels of our nature
The better angels of our nature: Why Violence has Declined
2011, Penguin
Cover of: The better angels of our nature

Add another edition?

Book Details

Published in

New York

Table of Contents

A foreign country : Human prehistory ; Homeric Greece ; The Hebrew Bible ; The Roman Empire and early Christendom ; Medieval knights ; Early modern Europe ; Honor in Europe and the early United States ; The 20th century
The pacification process : The logic of violence ; Violence in human ancestors ; Kinds of human societies ; Rates of violence in state and nonstate societies ; Civilization and its discontents --
The civilizing process : The European homicide decline ; Explaining the European homicide decline ; Violence and class ; Violence around the world ; Violence in these United States ; Decivilization in the 1960s ; Recivilization in the 1990s
The humanitarian revolution : Superstitious killing: human sacrifice, witchcraft, and blood libel ; Superstitious killing: violence against blasphemers, heretics, and apostates ; Cruel and unusual punishments ; Capital punishment ; Slavery ; Despotism and political violence ; Major war ; Whence the humanitarian revolution? ; The rise of empathy and the regard for human life ; The republic of letters and enlightenment humanism ; Civilization and enlightenment ; Blood and soil
The long peace : Statistics and narratives ; Was the 20th century really the worst? ; The statistics of deadly quarrels, part 1: the timing of wars ; The statistics of deadly quarrels, part 2: the magnitude of wars ; The trajectory of great power war ; The trajectory of European war ; The Hobbesian background and the ages of dynasties and religions ; Three currents in the age of sovereignty ; Counter-enlightenment ideologies and the age of nationalism ; Humanism and totalitarianism in the age of ideology ; The long peace: some numbers ; The long peace: attitudes and events ; Is the long peace a nuclear peace? ; Is the long peace a democratic peace? ; Is the long peace a liberal peace? ; Is the long peace a Kantian peace?
The new peace : The trajectory of war in the rest of the world ; The trajectory of genocide ; The trajectory of terrorism ; Where angels fear to tread
The rights revolutions : Civil rights and the decline of lynching and racial pogroms ; Women's rights and the decline of rape and battering ; Children's rights and the decline of infanticide, spanking, child abuse, and bullying ; Gay rights, the decline of gay-bashing, and the decriminalization of homosexuality ; Animal rights and the decline of cruelty to animals ; Whence the rights revolutions? ; From history to psychology
Inner demons : The dark side ; The moralization gap and the myth of pure evil ; Organs of violence ; Predation ; Dominance ; Revenge ; Sadism ; Ideology ; Pure evil, inner demons, and the decline of violence
Better angels : Empathy ; Self-control ; Recent biological evolution? ; Morality and taboo ; Reason
On angels' wings : Important but inconsistent ; The pacifist's dilemma ; The Leviathan ; Gentle commerce ; Feminization ; The expanding circle ; The escalator of reason ; Reflections.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. 697-737, 739-771) and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
HM1116 .P57 2011, HM1116.P57 2011

The Physical Object

xxviii, 802 p. :
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
0670022950, 0670023159
9780670022953, 9780670023158

Links outside Open Library

Community Reviews (0)

No community reviews have been submitted for this work.


Download catalog record: RDF / JSON
December 25, 2021 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
August 6, 2021 Edited by New York Times Bestsellers Bot Add NYT review links
August 6, 2021 Edited by New York Times Bestsellers Bot Add NYT bestseller tag
July 27, 2020 Edited by MARC Bot import existing book
November 4, 2011 Created by LC Bot import new book