Author(s): Steven Pinker
Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible?If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. Yet, as Steven Pinker shows, if you follow the trendlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident- it's the gift of a coherent value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment- of reason, science, humanism and progress. The challenges we face today are formidable. But the way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved other problems in the past. This is the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century.
Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations * Independent * He writes like an angel -- Matt Ridley * Economist * Praise for The Better Angels of our NatureBrilliant, 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' * The 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 * Sunday Times * A salutary reality-check...Better Angels is itself a great liberal landmark * Independent * 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 * The New York Times *
Steven Pinker is one of the world's most influential thinkers and writers on the human condition. His popular and highly praised books include The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, the Guardian and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals," Foreign Policy's "100 Global Thinkers," and Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today."