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Violence Paradox, The 2x60

From suicide bombings to mass shootings, the daily news is enough to convince us that we live in the most violent of times. The last century has seen two world wars and the slaughter of millions by pitiless tyrants, not to mention countless civil wars, insurgencies, and terrorist attacks. For most of us, the proposition that the last century has been the most violent era is irresistible. But according to best-selling author and polymath Steven Pinker, none of this true. In fact, he argues, we’re living in the most peaceful era in our species’ existence. The decline hasn’t been smooth but it is an unmistakable development, visible on scales from millennia to years and from the family to the neighborhood, between tribes and other armed factions, and among major nations and states. In this provocative and surprising two-hour special, NOVA takes viewers on a world tour through history and the human mind, revealing how and why rates of violence have diminished steadily and dramatically since the dawn of civilization and exploring the keys to creating an even more peaceful world in the future.