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On Violence in History

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On Violence in History

Edited by Philip Dwyer and Mark Stephen Micale

150 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-464-3 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (January 2020)

ISBN  978-1-78920-465-0 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (January 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-466-7 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Is global violence on the decline? Steven Pinker’s highly-publicized argument that human violence across the world has been dramatically abating continues to influence discourse among academics and the general public alike. In this provocative volume, a cast of eminent historians interrogate Pinker’s thesis by exposing the realities of violence throughout human history. In doing so, they reveal the history of human violence to be richer, more thought-provoking, and considerably more complicated than Pinker claims.

Philip Dwyer is Professor of History and founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has written on the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, memoirs, violence, and colonialism, and is the general editor (with Joy Damousi) of the four-volume Cambridge World History of Violence, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

Mark S. Micale is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where for many years he taught Modern European history and the history of medicine. He is the author or editor of several books, including Beyond the Unconscious, Discovering the History of Psychiatry, Approaching Hysteria: Disease and Its Interpretations, Traumatic Pasts, The Mind of Modernism, and Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness.

Subject: History (General) Sociology


Mark S. Micale and Philip Dwyer

Introduction: History, Violence, and Steven Pinker
Mark S. Micale and Philip Dwyer

Chapter 1. The Past as a Foreign Country Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Pinker’s “Prehistoric Anarchy”
Linda Fibiger

Chapter 2. Were There Better Angels of a Classical Greek Nature? Violence in Classical Athens
Matthew Trundle

Chapter 3. Getting Medieval on Steven Pinker Violence and Medieval England
Sara M. Butler

Chapter 4. The Complexity of History Russia and Steven Pinker’s Thesis
Nancy Shields Kollmann

Chapter 5. Whitewashing History Pinker’s (Mis)Representation of the Enlightenment and Violence
Philip Dwyer

Chapter 6. Assessing Violence in the Modern World
Richard Bessel

Chapter 7. The “Moral Effect” of Legalized Lawlessness Violence in Britain’s Twentieth-Century Empire
Caroline Elkins

Chapter 8. Does Better Angels of Our Nature Hold Up as History?
Randolph Roth

Chapter 9. The Rise and Rise of Sexual Violence
Joanna Bourke

Chapter 10. The Inner Demons of The Better Angels of Our Nature
Daniel Lord Smail

Chapter 11. What Pinker Leaves Out
Mark S. Micale

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