Pinker does an amazing job weaving together ideas from extremely far ranging fields of psychology, sociology, and biology to present a case that whatever our future in terms of peace and war, statistics would have it that we are progressing towards a more peaceful existence. I found the ideas of humanism and religion to be most compelling and interesting. Will probably give this one another listen as there is lots of information to take in.
Retired. Have been listening to book since 1977.
Steven Pinker is one of the foremost thinkers of this era. This book demonstrates his ability to synthesize so many disciplines to write this remarkable book.
While the topic could be interesting, the way this book is written and read is a non-drug cure for insomnia.
"A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition", "Power, Faith, and Fantasy", Don Quixote, 1434 or The Prince
Audible carries a large number of books narrated by Arthur Morey. From the number and genres of the writings I must assume that he has done well with them. But, until this tome I had not been exposed to him. Perhaps the author, editor or publisher instructed him to read in a monotone – I don’t know. But, I do know that I kept finding myself dozing off or waking up from his rendition of this text.
If sure that there were some passages or concepts that could be considered "Redeeming Values", but I must have slept through them.
I'd recommend a rewrite - a total rewrite
Pinker's take on the reduction of violence, backed up with a good statistical backing, is heartening. Understanding the history of violence lets us better interpret the new we receive about the world around us.
Thirty-six hours of fixed attention became a meditation that laid out the world I live in and who the liberal I am is. I am more ready than ever to live it.
Gotta say I have been trying to get through this book for some time, am glad I finished it. Has been tough going with all the horrific details of past practices. Don't know which is more amazing the attitudes of the past or the present. Despite the liberal bend it is pretty well balanced and an incredible history lesson of stuff you didn't learn in school. Agree with other reviewers this is most important trend regarding human kind that you never heard of! A must listen for anyone interested in history, sociology, criminal science, etc. Great narration!
Learned a lot but perhaps also too many anecdotes, so I should have had the abridge version.
The book had some good and interesting information, but it was way too long and had too many statistics.
I would have condensed it.
Basic, ok, adequate.
I had to break up the book by listening to about 3 hours and then switching books for a while before going back to it. Many times I considered not finishing it.
Steven Pinker provides great insights backed with data. The points are well structured and argued. The book is written in a very easy to understand language - no surprise that it comes from an expert in language. Arthur Morey's narration of the book makes the book come alive in the minds of the reader.
Because it was presented in a manner that made listening to the telling of events that still leave questions in my mind an enjoyable experience. The most interesting thing I learned is that though cataclysmic events in recent history are not comparable to those in early human history.