Remember how last time I was whining about Zuckerberg and needing to know his time management skills. Well, now I really need to know. This bad boy of a book was approximate 856 pages long!
I’m not going to front with you, the book is still at 64% on my Kindle. I’m sorry Zuckerberg, but my time management skills must be far below yours because I have a lot to do in my life like watching reruns of Dexter and try to predict impending snow storms so I can stay home and watch more of Dexter.
ANYWAY, Steve Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature is a convincing and entertaining writer. He manages to explore the topic of violence and expose it amidst vast times of history and sociological context. It starts off from the very beginning, the beginning of humanity as we know it and he takes us along a very informative journey through old age until modern times and demonstrates how violence has declined.
Pinker’s premise for the book is that violence, although atrocious and apparent in everyday life (yes, ISIS you are the reason why people might be skeptical about Pinker’s thesis) has declined over a steady period of time and will continue to do so. He reigns this idea into context by explaining that when you have the time of medieval knights and so called chivalry, hacking peasants and ugly damsels left and right against modern times were beheadings are considered to be a savage act, he proves a point that sure compared to BCE we’ve got it pretty good. Our significant others aren’t being taken into slavery, our moms are able to live long lives instead of being taken down due to their age being detrimental to their ability to make say pyramids or structures. Giant civilizations aren’t being destroyed in violent ways. It’s a good time to be a human right now.
Pros: Genuine, funny and entertaining read while learning a lot about basically all aspects of violence. Perfect for history lovers. Pinker takes time to introduce you to the topic first, transforming a skeptical thesis to a believable concept.
Cons: Length, not because it’s boring or redundant but realistically it’s harder to fit into your schedule. Although if you have it, it’s an informative and challenging book to accomplish.
Not recommended for the faint of heart or those who dislike long, lengthy reads.
Next Book Below!
Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
Photo Source: Heritage.utoronto.ca