Where We Live: The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Psychologist Steven Pinker on the decline of violence.

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Cover of "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined"
Photo:Chion Wolf
Where We Live: The Better Angels Of Our Nature
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Where We Live: The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Yesterday more protestors were killed in Syria, Turkey bombed rebels in Iraq and the Greek protests turned violent...again.

The news looks pretty violent these days. But renowned psychologist Steven Pinker says that our ancestors were far more violent than we are today.

It is those stories of violence and mayhem that enter our homes on TV or even here on public radio. Those extraordinary stories get seared into our memory and we forget about the countless numbers of people who die of old age every day.

Pinker’s new book is called “The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” and he joins us to discuss his book and research.

Are we safer today than our ancestors were? Is the threat of nuclear weapons provoking violence or promoting peace?