As part of a series of tweets packed with useful life lessons as advice for the new graduates, the philanthropist and founder of Microsoft told his Twitter followers that if he could “give each of [them] a graduation present” he would give them copies of The Better Angles of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity by Steven Pinker.
Since Bill Gates posted a series of tweets, the book surged in popularity, moving into Amazon’s Movers & Shakers chart—a collection of the company’s biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours.
The book, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2012, an annual British prize for the best non-fiction writing in the English language, is described as a history of violence and humanity. Steven Pinker’s publisher, Penguin, states on its website that the book “argues that, contrary to popular belief, humankind has become progressively less violent, over millennia and decades.”
In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind’s inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.
Along with the book present Gates advised them: “Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self.” (“As Melinda Gates does for me,” he added.). Among couple other tweets he wrote that if he was starting out today, he would work in artificial intelligence, energy, or biosciences, which he described as “promising fields where you can make a huge impact.”