Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided that in 2015, he’d read a book every two weeks and get the Facebook community involved as part of the discussion.
Anyone expecting a program akin to a techie’s version of Oprah Winfrey’s famed selections of literary classics and memoirs got a surprise with his first pick for “A Year in Books,” the dense political study “The End of Power.” His second selection is another heavy intellectual exploration.
Earlier this week, Zuckerberg announced his second pick is “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” an 830-page book by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. In a 2012 blog post, Bill Gates wrote it “stands out as one of the most important books I’ve read — not just this year, but ever.”
Zuckerberg announced his pick on his personal Facebook page:
It’s a timely book about how and why violence has steadily decreased throughout our history, and how we can continue this trend.
Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence — even terrorism — is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.
A few people I trust have told me this is the best book they have ever read. It’s a long book, so I plan on taking a month to read it rather than two weeks. I’ll add a third book in two weeks that will be a shorter read to complement this.
If you want to follow along with the books I’m reading and participate in conversations with the authors, you can like the page A Year of Books.
The week that Zuckerberg announced his first pick, “The End of Power,” it sold out in paperback on Amazon. “The Better Angels of Our Nature” is already in Amazon’s top 20 for books on the social sciences.
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