Bill Gates calls it one of the most important books he's read in his life.
"People often ask me what is the best book I’ve read in the last year. Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined stands out as one of the most important books I’ve read – not just this year, but ever."
"Taleb shows no signs of having read Better Angels with the slightest attention to its content. Instead he
has merged it in his mind with claims by various fools and knaves whom he believes he has bettered in
the past. The confusion begins with his remarkable claim that the thesis in Better Angels is “identical” to
Ben Bernanke’s theory of a moderation in the stock market. Identical! This alone should warn readers
that for all of Taleb’s prescience about the financial crisis, accurate attribution and careful analysis of
other people’s ideas are not his strong suits."
* the Flynn Effect
* various points of human psychology (victim vs perpetrator bias)
* the crime spike in the 90's and its causes
* a critique of Freakonomics' hypothesis that abortion caused the decline of the 90's crime wave
* Sections on bullying, animal rights, gay rights, women's rights, etc.
* The various types of wars and their individual proximate causes for decline.
* An interesting section on self-control, how it works and how its lack contributes to crime. Even fascinating pragmatic information on how one's own self-control can be improved.