Download The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined Audiobook

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined Audiobook, by Steven Pinker Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Steven Pinker Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781455839605
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We’ve all asked, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the bestselling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era yet.

Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: the genocides in the Old Testament and crucifixions in the New; the gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm; the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals.

Now the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. Tribal warfare was nine times as deadly as war and genocide in the 20th century. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were unexceptionable features of life for millennia, then were suddenly abolished. Wars between developed countries have vanished, and even in the developing world, wars kill a fraction of the numbers they did a few decades ago. Rape, hate crimes, deadly riots, child abuse—all substantially down.

How could this have happened, if human nature has not changed?

Pinker argues that the key to explaining the decline of violence is to understand the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away. Thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, we increasingly control our impulses, empathize with others, debunk toxic ideologies, and deploy our powers of reason to reduce the temptations of violence.

Pinker will force you to rethink your deepest beliefs about progress, modernity, and human nature. This gripping audiobook is sure to be among the most debated of the century so far.

This updated edition include bonus reference material provided as a PDF.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “My favorite book of the last decade is [Steven] Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature. It is a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time.”

    Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

  • “For anyone interested in human nature, the material is engrossing, and when the going gets heavy, Pinker knows how to lighten it with ironic comments and a touch of humor…A supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An extraordinary range of research…a masterly effort.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • "Better Angels is a monumental achievement. His book should make it much harder for pessimists to cling to their gloomy vision of the future. Whether war is an ancient adaptation or a pernicious cultural infection, we are learning how to overcome it.”

    Slate

  • “A brilliant, mind-altering book…Everyone should read this astonishing book.”

    Guardian

  • “This long, well-researched, comprehensive tour de force provides a helpful look at the human condition.”

    Booklist

  • “Classic Pinker, jammed with facts, figures, and points of speculative departure; a big, complex book, well worth the effort for the good news that it delivers.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • One of the 2011 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

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About the Author

Steven Pinker, a New York Times bestselling author,is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won many awards for his research, teaching, and books. Hhe has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and Foreign Policy’s 100 Global Thinkers.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards, and his work has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed him as a finalist for two Audie Awards. He has acted in a number of productions, both off Broadway in New York and off Loop in Chicago. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. His plays and songs have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Milan, where he has also performed.