The Better Angels of Our Nature, by Steven Pinker
Taking a long look back through human history, Steven Pinker draws an overarching conclusion: human beings are becoming less violent. To make his case, he draws from work in many areas of history, philosophy, sociology and psychology. He casts a very wide net, trying to think on both the scale of millennia and the scale of the individual human. By the time I finished The Better Angels of Our Nature, I wasn’t so much convinced as overwhelmed. I felt like I had been at a dinner party where one guest had done all the talking about everything he knows.
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.