£11.89
  • RRP: £14.99
  • You Save: £3.10 (21%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
The Better Angels of Our ... has been added to your Basket

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity Paperback – 4 Oct 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 167 customer reviews

See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£11.89
£7.87 £10.24
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
£11.89 FREE Delivery in the UK. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently bought together

  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity
  • +
  • The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (Penguin Press Science)
  • +
  • The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Total price: £26.57
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

Product description

Review

One of the most important books I've read - not just this year, but ever ... For me, what's most important about The Better Angels of Our Nature are its insights into how to help achieve positive outcomes. How can we encourage a less violent, more just society, particularly for the poor? Steven Pinker shows us ways we can make those positive trajectories a little more likely. That's a contribution, not just to historical scholarship, but to the world (Bill Gates)

Brilliant, mind-altering...Everyone should read this astonishing book (David Runciman Guardian)

A supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement. Pinker convincingly demonstrates that there has been a dramatic decline in violence, and he is persuasive about the causes of that decline (Peter Singer New York Times)

[A] sweeping new review of the history of human violence...[Pinker has] the kind of academic superbrain that can translate otherwise impenetrable statistics into a meaningful narrative of human behaviour...impeccable scholarship (Tony Allen-Mills Sunday Times)

Written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style...a marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling (Clive Cookson Financial Times)

A salutary reality-check...Better Angels is itself a great liberal landmark (Marek Kohn Independent)

Pinker's scholarhsip is astounding...flawless...masterful (Joanna Bourke The Times)

Selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 (New York Times)

From the Back Cover

'His book will change the way you see the world ... Pinker's powerful ideas, vivid stories and sparkling prose make this hard to put down' Daily Mail

'May prove to be one of the great books of our time ... he writes like an angel' Economist

Wasn't the twentieth century the most violent in history? In his extraordinary, epic book Steven Pinker shows us that this is wrong, telling the story of humanity in a completely new and unfamiliar way. From why cities make us safer to how books bring about peace, Pinker weaves together history, philosophy and science to examine why we are less likely to die at another's hand than ever before, how it happened and what it tells us about our very natures.

'Masterly, a supremely important book ... For anyone interested in human nature, it is engrossing' The New York Times

'Marvellous ... riveting and myth-destroying' New Statesman

'A marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling, written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style ... I was astonished by the extent to which violence has declined in every shape, form and scale' Financial Times

'An outstandingly fruitful read, with fascinating nuggets on almost every page' Sunday Times, Books of the Year

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderfully written book. Anybody with an interest in human beings (which should be everyone) should buy this book. And more importantly, I've found myself laughing out loud at some of the ingenious comparisons found in the book!
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An attitude-changing book!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very happy and pleased with this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will not summarise the contents of this book, as by now you all know what it's about. Indeed, in view of the many excellent reviews that have already been written, I think that all I can really do is give some very personal impressions of it. Firstly, it is an impressive piece of scholarship. A whizz through the footnotes and references is exhausting. Particularly in the first half of the book, in which Pinker presents evidence that all forms of violence have declined over the course of human history, he makes no assertions that are not backed up by a plethora of facts and figures. The second half of the book, in which he theorises about why this decline might have taken place and gives some pointers as to how we can foster its continuation, is less susceptible to this kind of proof, but is nevertheless very well argued and draws on a wide variety of evidence from researchers in various disciplines. Pinker takes an optimistic view of the world, and one comes to the end of his book tired but happy. In spite of the book's undeniable erudition (and length!) is is very readable, occasionally funny (in spite of its gruesome subject matter), and clearly aimed at the general reader. As long as one is prepared to devote some attention to it, no background knowledge of history, biology or the social sciences is needed.

So why only four stars? I think that the book is too long and repetitive. Is there really a need to quote from the same Paul Simon song twice, or to repeat lists of excruciating mediaeval tortures at regular intervals? Like the old preacher, Pinker tells us what he's gonna tell us, then he tells us, then he tells us what he told us.
Read more ›
2 Comments 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i found this book hard to read.
attempted three times - only ever got as far as 350 pages.
i found it repetitive and long winded.
i have enjoyed a lot of pinker's other books and i thought that the subject matter seemed fascinating.
overworked and under stimulating.
sorry.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book, not only in terms of its sheer volume (over 1,000 pages), but also in terms of its capacity to make the reader think, and to challenge and overturn deeply-entrenched ideas. Many readers will never have read anything as thought-provoking as this, but if they make the effort to do so they will never look at the world in the same way again.

Despite the complexity of some of the issues it discusses, the book is written in a style that makes it very easy to read.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for those who think the world is a terrible place. The author uses clear language and readable data to show that the past was frankly terrifying and brutal. For me it brought home how lucky I was to live now and how truly incredibly counter-culture various political and religious figures were to promote love for animals etc while society was laughing at specticals such as cat burnings. He gets a bit 'religions are evil' in some areas which I didnt like too much as i felt he didnt need to add as he makes it very personal and as he focussed on abrahamic faiths almost exclusively I think that it was an unfair assessment to classify all religions in the same box many (if not all) have some tolerance for non-believers in their founding literature. This is both a depressing and an uplifting book but definitely a great read for an adult, not a children's book in any way though as deals with many adult themes of ethics. Would suggest this book and am planning to read some of his other books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Pages with related products. See and discover other items: data analysis, robert white, new york map, after effects, self compassion