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)

  • @ananavarro @ChrisEvans Ana and Chris, I just finished Harari 's riveting book but won't spoil it for you by tellin…
  • 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…
  • Sapiens is a pretty interesting book. I think absolutely everyone will have part of their beliefs attacked by it.
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is also the best book I’ve ever read. Every page makes me smarter. I think it should b…
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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • What I LikedThe breadth of information. As I mentioned in the intro, some of my favorite nonfiction titles of all time take the same approach to history that Sapiens does. They cover a lot of ground (in this case hundreds of thousands of years), while tying different historical occurrences together through continuous threads that incorporate theories from biology, economics, sociology, psychology and politics. If you enjoyed Sapiens, you might also enjoy Bill Bryson’s A Short History Of Nearly Everything or his At Home: A Short History Of Private Life. Harari’s Sapiens felt epochal in its span while still bringing each step in humankind’s development down to more accessible level of single tribes, civilizations, countries and individuals to provide specific examples of the themes he discusses. Harari will make you think about what has influenced the development of humans to what we are today, whether he’s discussing the myths or stories on which our societies are built (like money, corporations, religion and other social constructs), or the recent shift from nationalism to individualism (which was interesting to read about because we may be experiencing a partial reversal of this trend back to nationalism in the last decade).The details. Just as I enjoy the sweeping narrative of books like Sapiens, I also look for the author to provide contextual examples of the themes he addresses, and hopefully ones that are at least in part new to me. I love interspersed unexpected facts or vignettes of human history like the ones Harari offers in this book, from his explanation that chimps and humans are only able to organize in groups of 150 or more before organizational order breaks down to the fact that the U.S. population today actually spends more money on diets than the amount that would be needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world (ugh). Whether these hidden gems of information are thought-provoking, funny, surprising or all three combined, I found a wealth of them in this book that will keep you turning the pages.It’s broadly accessible. Even if you’ve never read a book on anthropology before or are not a huge history fan, I think that Sapiens can still be a title you would enjoy. There’s nothing more fundamentally important to us as humans than the story of our origins, after all. If you’ve wondered about how civilization has developed the structure and components with which we are familiar today, from family units to nation states, from credit to writing, Sapiens would be an excellent starting point. You don’t really need to have read much beforehand about our origins as humans or similar theoretical concepts as the ones covered in this book. Even if you have strong religious beliefs that may clash with Harari’s staunchly athiest viewpoints, Sapiens will help you explore how those beliefs can still fit within a scientific and historically accurate understanding of where we’ve come from.What I Didn’t LikeHarari’s agenda showed through his writing. Each time Harari mentions the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of early sapiens or their subsequent agricultural evolution, he ends up going on a ranting rampage about the clear superiority of the first compared to the second. To Harari, early humans traipsed through gorgeous woods a la Red Riding Hood, innocently free of societal restrictions and just enjoying the nice weather (not really), and the bounties of nature. During the agricultural revolution, on the other hand, Harari argues that humans were shackled to their farms, with longer working hours, a depleted diet, aching backs from manual labor and increasing conflicts between tribes due to their newly stationary habits. The reality is that life was also brutal for our ancestors who lived as hunter-gatherers and were subject to famine, the cruelty of nature and the not unlikely risk of being eaten by a lion. Harari seems bent on convincing all of us to go paleo, get some loin cloths and return to our ‘natural state’ in the forest, which of course is a pointless endeavor to dedicate so much ranting to, because here we are.Final VerdictAside from the attemps at paleo indoctrination that permeate some sections of the book, I found Sapiens a completely engrossing, encompassing and thought-provoking introduction to our development as humans. Just ignore the paleo-romanticism.
    • 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.
    • "Big History" type of book with the serious probing of a historian who examines what might have happened. Where we are now is full of paradoxes and stresses and strains, but also a lot more underlying stability than might have been expected. A number of counterintuitive insights offered about our current status as a species. Some serious dangers and opportunities on the horizon. How will Sapiens evolve culturally? Will tragic conflicts and ecologic damage be avoided? Will we invent our future successors? There is a little speculation of the future -- how could you resist after reviewing 60,000 years of history.
    • I bought the book based on high rating but was disappointed. The beginning part was ok but later I felt more and more not reading actual (scientific) facts but only the author's own opinions REPEATEDLY which were presented in a bad way. I tried to continue to finish the book but it was not an easy task. Anyway, not a good book for me,