The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature
Stephen Pinker
Reviewed by Sarah Gammon
Allen Lane
Thu, 06/10/2011

Steven Pinker delves into mankind’s relationship with violence – from the earliest records and remains of our ancestors through to the modern warfare of the 21st century. Exploring the dramatic decline in barbarism in the last 200 years – encompassing literacy rates, game theory and capitalism – this comprehensive work offers a fascinating analysis of how society can humanise man. Pinker’s atheism does tend to colour his interpretations of religious texts, and some of the accounts of torture are truly stomach-churning, however, these accounts are nicely interspersed with personal anecdotes. Thought-provoking and unsettling, Pinker offers a sign of hope for the future of humanity.

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