The latest news often brings stories of violence or tragedy. There always seems to be somebody randomly shooting and killing other people. It's downright depressing.
That's why reading Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined has been so refreshing. He carefully documents the decline in violence through the centuries. After being reminded of just how acceptable torturing and killing people has been in the past, it's clear we've come a long way.
He explores how violence against children has declined as part of the human rights movement. No longer is it acceptable to kill a baby or child that isn't wanted for some reason. Beating misbehaving children is now against the law in most developed countries.
If you'd like to understand how far we've come in reducing violence, you'll enjoy this book.