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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Stephen Pinker


This book is priceless, but loooong!  It's too big for me to summarize, so I have borrowed the summary of it from The Book Reporter and had to summarize that.

Actually the book is much more fun to read than than the summary.


The original summary (100 pages) is posted in the More > Files section above


ALONG WITH MY SUMMARY (15 pages) OF My Summary (30 pages) of the summary (100 pages.)




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  • Marky

    Thanks for the summation of the summation, Richard -- I'll try to read it today. Folks can also Google "steven pinker" and find his 20-minute lectures. I watched one a couple of years ago -- and although I'm not going to argue with statistics, it didn't smell right to me.... something akin to Dubya (Bush) after 9/11 telling America to "go out and shop." As if commerce and consumerism were the civilizing cure for all evils.... Here's a well-penned (and favorable) NYT review of Pinker's book:

    And here is an equally interesting critique of the optimistic American by a pessimistic Brit (whose country was far more affected by the violence of WWII than the US of A):


    December 8, 2012

  • Richard M.

    History is like dodging bullets, the more and worse they are the more likely is disaster. We dodged the Cuban Missile Crisis but got hit between the eyes with George W. Bush. We missed Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney but the bullets are getting worse with this counter enlightenment Tea Party Republican madness.) Sooner or later a Sarah or Ron or Mitt or Rick will get into power, by chance like Caligula and his horse. As Bismarck predicted, sooner or later "some silly thing not worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier will happen in the Balkans" and there will be a big war. Then we are done! Merry Christmas. If the world doesn't end in December, I'm having another party.

    December 2, 2012

  • Christopher G.

    Well it certainly looks like the feel good book of the year. But then I noticed a few troubling things, like this, from the summary: “After a very peaceful ten-year span between 1955 and 1965...” That’s interesting, because the Cuban Missile Crisis happened in the year 1962. And a lot of info has come out about it since the fall of the Soviet Union, nearly all of which indicates that we were much closer to annihilation than anyone realized at the time. For instance, Kennedy didn’t know that Castro had battlefield nuclear weapons that he says he would have used against the invasion force Kennedy was amassing to invade the island. I think we can all imagine the chain reaction that would have led to...lets just say that little Stevie Pinker's career would have ended rather prematurely at about the age of 8, along with everyone else who was alive during this very peaceful span.

    December 2, 2012

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