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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Hardcover – Illustrated, 10 February 2015
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|Hardcover, Illustrated, 10 February 2015|| |
Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.
New York Times Bestseller
A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution--a #1 international bestseller--that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human."
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one--homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
"Sapiens tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language."--Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and The World until Yesterday
"Ambitious and illuminating ...the wonderful and terrifying saga of the human species on earth."--Christian Science Monitor
"In Sapiens, Harari delves deep into our history as a species to help us understand who we are and what made us this way. An engrossing read."--Dan Ariely, New York Times Bestselling author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty
"It is one of the best accounts by a Homo sapiens of the unlikely story of our violent, accomplished species....It is one hell of a story. And it has seldom been told better.... Compulsively readable and impossibly learned."--Michael Gerson, Washington Post
"Yuval Noah Harari is an emerging rock-star lecturer at the nexus of history and science.... Sapiens takes readers on a sweeping tour of the history of our species.... Harari's formidable intellect sheds light on the biggest breakthroughs in the human story...important reading for serious-minded, self-reflective sapiens."--Washington Post
"Yuval Noah Harari's celebrated Sapiens does for human evolution what Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time did for physics.... He does a superb job of outlining our slow emergence and eventual domination of the planet."--Forbes
"[I]nteresting and provocative...It gives you a sense of perspective on how briefly we've been on this earth, how short things like agriculture and science have been around, and why it makes sense for us to not take them for granted."--President Barack Obama
"I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history...you'll have a hard time putting it down."--Bill Gates
"Thank God someone finally wrote [this] exact book."--Sebastian Junger
From the Back Cover
One hundred thousand 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, Professor 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, and incorporating full-color illustrations throughout the text, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behavior from the legacy of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging, and provocative, Sapiens integrates history and science to challenge everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our heritage...and our future.
- Publisher : Harper; Illustrated edition (10 February 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062316095
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062316097
- Dimensions : 4.32 x 15.49 x 23.11 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 81,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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This is the best book I've read on our 'imagined orders', money, religion, politics, law etc, their clash with the discoveries of science, and how we try to find meaning in it all.
The author says that liberalism is the dominant religion today, I would say it's consumerism. Either way, or another way, can't wait to get into the authors next book
There are some errors in the book which are disappointing as it may undermine your faith in the rest of the book and there is a reasonable dollop of the authors opinion. By and large though I feel the author is pragmatic in his writing at the risk of upsetting many, which makes the book even more enthralling. No holds barred as they say.
It should be mandatory reading for most schools if not just for encouraging educated debate.
Thank you Yuval for this wonderful book. I will make reference to it regularly for many years I imagine.
Firstly I want to tell you that this is a history book. You might think that this is a boring book, but it's actually a fascinating book with lots of important events such as 2011 Egyptian evolution.
Throughout this amazing book, I learned that we, Homo Sapiens, had so many things in the world and how they survived against all the other types of humans. Because of this book, I started thinking that we have to stop doing some crazy war to take someone’s happiness and not achieve anything, and we know that from all those histories of the war.
One thing that I really liked about this book is that unlike the other boring history books Sapiens is more like an action book, to be honest. I got this feeling of excitement when I was reading this book because I was curious about what is gonna happen and why the event has occurred.
One thing I prefer for you to do is get a notebook or something that you can take the note and maybe get a dictionary as there some really hard scientific words.
I bet that you have never read something like this before. I believe that this is a great book because whilst learning history you will have so much excitement and everything.
I recommend this book to people aged 13 and over. I am 12 right now and I get a bit confused about some bits in this book.
Now you have read my whole review but I don’t think everyone will love this book as there are some hard words and scientific diagram but this will make you get A+ in History
I did find the book actually a bit disappointing towards the end; the first 2/3 were a fascinating read, with great insights, fresh perspectives, and well-written reflections on where we came from and how we got here. After that, however, the tone set in the first part of the book didn't work for the topics being discussed, and the narrative was lacking in the kind of surprising insights that made the first part such an enjoyable read.
Certainly a book I would recommend reading, but ultimately not as satisfying as it at first promised to be.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in India on 6 September 2018
Unfortunately, this enormous task is the book's own undoing. There is no room for any indepth discussions about the various complex issues, and no room to discuss the evidence. The book is filled with assertion after assertion, and virtually nothing to back them up. I looked in the reference section and I was shocked to see how few citations there were. Such a massive subject derserves ten times more citations. If you think you're getting a good scientific description of the facts, don't buy this book. This book is essentially his opinions, and not much else.
Any person who has strong knowledge within any of the subjects in the book will quickly realise that Harari is not an expert on much of what he writes about. He does not just make many claims. He makes many wrong claims. And many, many more misleading ones. It's one of those books that are popular with the layman, but not so much with the expert.
When he leaves the topic of evolutionary biology, premodern history, and starts talking about modern history the book gets slighter better. Or is that just because I'm not as well-versed in those topics? Do I just not see his errors there, just like a layperson would not see his errors in his account of evolutionary biology, intelligence research, and more? I won't know. The problem is I can't put much trust in him, because there are so many things wrong or misleading stuff elsewhere. And he doesn't provide sufficient evidence.
Even in the better parts of the book, it is ultimately somewhat dull. Not much new to learn for me, unfortunately. There are so many books about humans, many of them much better than this.
I wouldn't claim that this is the worst book ever, obviously. But to say that it is overhyped is to put it mildly. If you want to read a story, then perhaps you might find it interesting. If you want a factual account that is supported by an honest look at the available evidence, then go somewhere else.
Unfortunately, I also have to agree with many of the one star reviewers, that the books downfall is the almost constant speculation he engages in, without providing further evidence.
As an example, he states 'the creators of the cave paintings at Chauvet, Lascaux and Altmira almost certainly intended them to last for generations.'
This kind of statement is endemic of the sloppy thinking he engages in, where he will assume something for the sake of the narrative.
This wouldn't be a problem if it were in isolation, but it is a pattern repeated throughout the book, where he will base a conclusion off an assumption, then proceed to build a whole story off it. This relegates the book to a speculation rather than a historical account.
I would also advice Christians that he is rather condescending about religion in general and Christianity in particular. He describes Christianity as a 'myth' to be put in the same category as belief in Odin or in Wood Spirits. AS a Non-Christian I was annoyed over his presumptive anti-theism so I have no doubt that many believers will find him infuriating.
To sum up, this is an interesting and infuriating speculation of the humankind. Take it all with a shaker of salt.