Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

eBook, 466 pages

English language

Published Sept. 4, 2014 by Vintage.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we …

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4 stars

Lots to think about... I loved some of it, and many of the ideas presented made me question my outlook of the world! He also, however, threw a few curved balls, and let myth sit as fact in places. One of my favourite stories from the book, the one about Buzz Aldrin and the Native American, looks to be a myth for example. Other sections just didn't come to much (the chapter on gender for example, although it was written 2011 and these debates develop quickly). It is interesting to see how the book has aged... sometimes well, sometimes not so much. Overall worth the read, and helpful for reflecting on these things.