SAPIENS

by Yuval Noah Harari

How Homo sapiens became Earth’s dominant species.

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3 positive comments

1 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is also the best book I’ve ever read. Every page makes me smarter. I think it should b… https://t.co/BdRF0Kf1Cg
  • Sapiens is a pretty interesting book. I think absolutely everyone will have part of their beliefs attacked by it. https://t.co/DScdPYo8yB
  • Sapiens: 'A Brief History Of Human Kind' by Yuval Noha Harari is very interesting book. Open The Thread👇
  • @ZacharyLevi If you're enjoying 'Sapiens', a book I read earlier this year and loved, I'd highly recommend 'A Brief… https://t.co/I6HCmul5er
  • @ananavarro @ChrisEvans Ana and Chris, I just finished Harari 's riveting book but won't spoil it for you by tellin… https://t.co/0f0uLwqkVA
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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • This is one of the best-written "history" books I've ever read. I concur with the bulk of the reviews provided elsewhere. it really explores the macro trends of human history and human evolution and provides a setting for a better understanding of the world both in the past and today. It's not just all about dates, inventions, technologies, and who conquered whom, but more about what developments occurred to make us contemporary "humans". Haran takes a rather interesting turn in the last chapters when he decides to look at what he seems to feel is the most important question in human history: "But are we happy?" He seems to feel that it is just possible that we would have been better off (or at least happier) if we had not evolved past the hunter/gatherer stage. In the last chapter he lays out the outline and questions he raises in more detail in his sequel book, "Home Deus".
    • I don't know what Bill Gates and Barack Obama saw in this book, but what I encountered is neither history, nor evolutionary psychology, nor really anything worthwhile. What I encountered was a very long progressive political screed.The Kindle sample is misleading, and makes it appear as if the book might be interesting. It's not.I really should have known better when Harari asserted that humans were probably happier as hunter-gatherers. I thought, "would I want to be a hunter-gatherer?" Uh, no, not so much.Harari then goes on to attempt to tear down just about every human institution of the last few thousand years as being fictional or "imaginary". Well, sure, they were all invented by humans. But that doesn't make them prima facie "bad" ideas. In Harari's world, though, they're all suspect.If you're unlucky enough to have already bought this book, call Amazon for a refund. I did.
    • I really don't get why this book is getting so many good reviews. It starts excellently and I learned a lot about early human history and Homo Erectus, Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens, and why and how we became the dominant species. Once you get past that and into more recent human history the book goes off the rails. It's pretty obvious the author has an ax to grind against religion. I'm not religious myself but I found it extremely off putting. I'm not even sure I can finish this book. I ended up scanning pages and pages to get past the vitriol against Catholics, Buddhists, whatever. I have no problem with someones opinion on religion but I wanted a history lesson not chapters telling me how stupid our ancestors and us are for believing in religion or faith. Not to mention the complete lack of context for historical events and using randomness to explain everything. I'm sorry but not every historical even is random and we can predict things based on current events. But the scientific revolution is here to save us all and is going to provide all the answers we will ever need. All of this coming from an uber nerd who loves science and all things related to it.TL;DRStarts good, ends up a diatribe against religion
    • There is great deal positive that can be said about this sweeping history of the human species on Earth. Dr. Harari homes in on key factors of human development such as the impact of economic systems, the building of empires, and the spread of religion. His brief descriptions of different philosophies and religious concepts and his explanations of why some have been more successful than others are highly enlightening. He points out many areas of conflict and contradiction in present society. In one insightful statement he identifies an escalating conflict between liberal humanism and evolutionary humanism (biology), which is coming even more to the forefront with the advent of sophisticated tools for genetic modification.Yet, the reader is frequently reminded that Dr. Harari is an historian and not a scientist and that sapiens are not his favorite species. Some long sections are little more than sermonizing about his pet peeves with the current world order: Western Racism and mistreatment of animals. His long diatribes about rampant racism are aimed exclusively at Europe and the US. He fails to make any mention of the significant minorities in his own country who claim to have been explicitly disenfranchised, an omission that smacks of hypocrisy. And despite pages and pages of editorializing about the supposedly terrible way domestic animals are treated today, he fails to provide any real evidence that treatment of animals has become worse today than it was in past, or that this is a uniquely human flaw. On the contrary, it is easy to find many first-hand accounts of chimps, dolphins, and cats interacting with other species in a manner that clearly fits the definition of torture.With an allusion to another of Dr. Harari’s pet peeves, the agricultural revolution, Sapiens contains a lot of wheat, but the reader also needs to separate out the chaff.
    • Some parts are great, others not so great. His attempts to show how racism, sexism, and homophobia are figments of our imagination with no scientific backing are fine, but it's preaching to the choir for most of us. And that's always boring. Almost wondered if he wanted to earn some PC brownie points.Also he says multiple times that "evolution has no purpose". This is a roundabout way of throwing rocks at organized religion--science's arch enemy for hundreds of years. Scientists like Darwin uncovered something truly miraculous yet they all seem too dull minded to see it! Genes and organisms modifying themselves to best suit their environments? Doing so without any conscious will on the part of the animal? How is this not a purpose in itself? Plants learned how to use the sun as an energy source millions of years ago and invented photosynthesis without taking a single Botany 101 class. You're telling me this isn't a miracle? Not a purpose? Nature itself seems to be driven by an ivisible will to survive and thrive.I'm not saying this proves God--as defined in the Hebrew Bible or the Koran or the Upanishads--is behind all of this. But to say it's all random and meaningless? I don't get that. Most scientists seem like existential philosophers who imposes their somewhat gloomy worldview onto the facts. This is one reason why so many people retreat back to religion. Sometimes you just want to hear a happier song! Even if it's built on pretty lies so often. Science is a wondrous story with a lot of killjoys for storytellers