The Lavin Agency is a speakers bureau, based in New York City and Toronto. We exclusively represent leading thinkers, writers, and doers who inspire ideas and dialogue that make the world a better place.
"Violence, in many ways, has plunged over the course of history. Half a century without a great power war is unprecedented. It is a profound message that we have been doing something right. Unless you actually look at the numbers, over time, you don’t realize that even if things are bad—they used to be worse. What we can do does make a difference."
"How effective is violence? Political scientists have recently tried tallying the successes and failures of violent and nonviolent movements. The evidence is piling up that Gandhi was right—at least on average…Just think of the failed independence movements in Puerto Rico, Ulster, Quebec, Basque Country, Kurdistan, and Tamil Eelam. The success rate of terrorist movements is, at best, in the single digits."
Lavin speaker Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, writing about why violence doesn’t work in The Atlantic.
"If music confers no survival advantage, where does it come from and why does it work? I suspect that music is auditory cheesecake, an exquisite confection crafted to tickle the sensitive spots of at least six of our mental faculties."
Steven Pinker, quoted in the New York Timesarticle “Pinkerisms: Selections from Steven Pinker’s writings on language, evolution and the mind.”
Steven Pinker’s latest, The Better Angels of Our Nature, has already received widespread acclaim and was named as one of The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of the Year. In fact, it’s Nicholas Kristof’s pick to win the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
Steven Pinker is one of the world’s foremost cognitive scientists and a widely respected (and in-demand) speaker. Joining the likes of Jimmy Carter and Umberto Eco, Pinker will speak at an Intelligence Squared special event on November 1st, 2011, to discuss his upcoming book, The Better Angels of our Nature, which is due in October. The book is a provocative and counterintuitive look at why humanity is less violent today than perhaps we’ve ever been. Mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world, Better Angels continues Pinker’s groundbreaking work into the true nature of humanity.
Harvard Psychology professor, Blank Slate author, and Lavin speaker Steven Pinker returns this October with a provocative and counterintuitive new book that looks at why we are less violent today than perhaps we’ve ever been.
From the publisher:
Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’s existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?
This groundbreaking book continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away-and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind’s inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.