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 is a pretty interesting book. I think absolutely everyone will have part of their beliefs attacked by it.
  • @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👇
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is also the best book I’ve ever read. Every page makes me smarter. I think it should b…
  • @ZacharyLevi If you're enjoying 'Sapiens', a book I read earlier this year and loved, I'd highly recommend 'A Brief…
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    0 neutral comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • First off I am not familiar with anthropology. This is my first foray into the field so things that might appear to me to be novel and specific to the author Harari might be part of anthropology lore or dogma. However, my reading material can be considered very eclectic—I read books on a very wide range of topics.When I say this is an Amazing book I mean that on almost every other page I would find myself highlighting something that I found eye-opening.Here are some examples of what I consider remarkable ideas. The first has to do with the 3 great revolutions that have had a major effect on the lives of humans and their social revolution/evolution: The Cognitive Revolution, The Agricultural Revolution and The Industrial Revolution.What skill did we gain which resulted in a major change the direction of the development of humans? Read it and you will be surprised and impressed. It has to do with storytelling – kind of.Then there is Credit and Money. I now look at the world in a very different way with awe and also with fear. What can you imagine that could be so awesome and yet can also create a lot of fear?Oh yes, what about linking empire building with the Scientific Revolution and the appearance of capitalism! Harari sees links that I find really surprising.There is also a warning about wishing for the good old days and what it was really like in terms of very basic and simple things (like bathing and clothes) we take for granted today that were nonexistent 300 years ago.For me I would have preferred the second part of the title as the main title. Sapiens sounds like a biology book, and the second part could be made to be more intriguing reading material for anyone as “A Short History of Humans”.I hope you enjoy the book and find it as fascinating as I did!
    • I was disappointed in this book. I expected it to catch me up on all new discoveries in Anthropology now that the new fossils are being defrosted and made accessible with global warming. The beginning chapters made me feel I had the right book. As I read more, the book seemed to be more about the author's opinions. He seems to feel that the quality of life of our ancestors chasing down large mammals, harvesting wild berries and grains was better than that of the poor soul who has to wake to an alarm clock, drive in traffic to a boring job and worry about being down-sized. Harari didn't seem to back up his opinions with his facts. Maybe it is more fun to live 40 years with death and abandonment possible at any moment - but Harari didn't convince me. I'm still looking for some books to tell me why Neanderthals never made it to Africa and why everyone who left Africa kept going to the farthest reaches of the world.
    • Finally, we are introduced to the facts ( in layman's terms) about the long, long existence of our pre-sapien predecessors and a fascinating stroll through the past 250,000 years or more of humans inhabiting our planet. I liked this book completely because it is well-researched, analyzed by experts and scholars of pre-history of our species. This depth of exquisite information which has now become knowledge is astounding for the uphill battle that's been waged against science by religious doctrine. Nowhere in this book is the idea that people are descended from other anthropoids -- apes and so on -- because other anthropoids are of a completely different species.Personally, I learned more about our predecessor beings by reading this, than I've learned from any other book on the subject. The consistency and scholarly method of expounding information and new knowledge about our unique species and our distant ancestors is a source of wonder.I recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about our species and how we came to be what we are today, and the distinct possibilities explored about what our species may yet become.
    • Never before have I reviewed a book after 2300 others have done the same. Who's going to read 2300 reviews and who will read this? Surely a waste of time for a lot of people including me. Now that I am past that let me state that Harari gives a heckeva good read. This is not the usual rise and fall of empires and kingdoms but a broad ranging overview of how we got here. Parts of it were downright fascinating such as "imagination" being a keystone to human activity, e.g. corporations, money, and religion.Something I found really different and pleasing was his discussion of things where he had no real answer. In the case of all cultures being patriarchal he gives three or four possible reasons. That's good enough for me as there is still no real answer. I find that fair and enlightening. He also does something different as he uses the pronoun "she" throughout the book instead of the previously required male pronoun. Finally he keeps touching on the fact that animals have paid a terrible price for the rise of sapiens. From hunter-gatherer days to the factory farms of today they have suffered. He's right. Incidentally our family has a farm background and I eat no chicken, turkey, pork, or beef. Ever been in a confinement barn?Now I didn't give the book five stars because he makes positive references to the misguided but widely read Jared Diamond. He borrows a fair amount from Diamond, for example, in that hunter-gatherers were happier than folks today. Let me emphasize that on this snowy March day the cat and I are both glad we don't need to go out and scavenge something off the frozen earth.Finally, beware of the paper back edition. It has incredibly cheap paper and tiny print. If you purchase the book look for a hard cover. I now consign this review to oblivion. . .still I liked the book.
    • I decided to read this book after seeing the stellar Amazon reviews from so many other readers, but was pretty disappointed after reading it.While the author makes some interesting and thought provoking points about culture and society, I found most of the book to be a tedious mish-mash of so-called revelations about obvious facts, cursory recitation of selective scientific research on various issues, and mostly the author's personal views on various issues which he tries to pass off as "the truth".One example: the author goes on and on about how humankind made a foolish but voluntary decision to transition from hunting/foraging to agriculture--the happy-go-lucky hunter became the toiling peasant, on a purely voluntary basis--ie, if the hunter/forager knew what was good for him (the author clearly believes that he did not), then mankind would have continued as hunter/foragers forever, living what the author considers to be an idyllic existence. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the book, the author notes that most large animals became extinct shortly after Sapiens moved into their habitat... Hello, maybe hunter/foragers had no choice but to move to agriculture because hunting/foraging had become unsustainable--hunter/foragers had already devoured all of the resources (large game, berries, fish, whatever) within their range, and so had the choice of transitioning to agriculture or starving.I'm no expert, but I lost confidence in the author when he did not even raise the scenario above as a possibility but rather prefers to deride the disastrous but avoidable move to agriculture...many of his arguments seemed to be based on his personal beliefs/ideology rather than science or even common sense.The author makes many similar arguments in the book, but I won't recount them all. Generally, I would rate most of this book as two stars, but have tacked on a star because he does make some interesting points.