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.
  • @ZacharyLevi If you're enjoying 'Sapiens', a book I read earlier this year and loved, I'd highly recommend 'A Brief…
  • 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…
  • @ananavarro @ChrisEvans Ana and Chris, I just finished Harari 's riveting book but won't spoil it for you by tellin…
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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is quite extensive in its scope despite the sub-title. Harari covers the entire history of the species he calls Sapiens, from their unexceptional rise in Africa to their domination, and ultimate transformation of the world.Harari is so inclusive that he often runs two lines of thought without trying to rectify them. He stresses, quite correctly, that human evolution and dominance of the planet was an accident, and is by no means secure. But in other areas, he writes as if it is the destiny of Sapiens to grow more complex in their social arrangements; that it is fated.He juggles these two balls throughout the book. The author often treats Sapiens as animals, no more special than any others. At other times, he presents Sapiens as destined creatures, so unique that they will surpass natural selection entirely with intelligence and technology.This has been the cleavage that runs through our species self-conception since the rise of natural science. In this book, the two streams can be a bit distracting, even annoying at times. But Harari is presenting a work that is vast in its scope and aims; in a way, it seems fair to leave this part of the human experience unanswered and contradictory. In the end it is the best approach to examine the history of our troubled species.
    • A standard history of the human race begins with Paleolithic proto-humans, traces the development of modern man or homo sapiens sapiens, then chronicles the beginnings and expansions of human civilization from agriculture to the present. Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens follows that path, but with several intriguing twists. The result is a fascinating book which will challenge pre-conceptions and occasionally annoy or even anger the reader, but will always intrigue.Harari focusses on the three great revolutions of human history: Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific. He asks how "An Animal of No Significance" managed to become the dominant life form, and whether that animal's learning to produce his own food and then to further harness the natural world to his will through science were boons or setbacks, both for that animal and for the rest of the biosphere. In 20 brilliant chapters Harari asks his readers to consider not only what did happen, but what might have occurred had things turned out slightly differently (the roles of chance and accident are given a lot of attention.) He reveals the mutually agreed upon "stories" that helped shape human societies and questions their validity, not to disillusion but to challenge his readers. At times the tone is unavoidably cynical, but at others there's a real optimistic air (leavened by some cautions here and there). I found Harari's ideas fascinating, especially those in his final chapter "The End of Homo Sapiens" and in his brief but important "Afterword: The Animal That Became a God."Readers who are looking for detailed chronicles listing, for example, the Emperors of China, Kings and Queens of England, or Presidents of the United States should look elsewhere. But readers who want to be challenged and enlightened will find Sapiens a most enjoyable work. I'm a retired AP World History teacher, and while I was reading there were many moments which made me wish I was back in the classroom so I could share Harari's ideas with my high school students. That's high praise indeed, but Sapiens deserves it and much more.
    • The history of ancient humankind (ie Homo sapiens) is fascinating and the book hums along at a breathless pace in its lively description of what has been. Around the middle of the book, Harari descends into a paean to secular humanism and the book loses steam quickly into polemics rather than sociology and history.
    • 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.
    • wish I could get my money back, not an inexpensive book and not worth the cost. first 25% of the book was interesting then it veered off the rails by becoming an opinion based book on the authors biases on everything from gender, race, politics, religion. He uses twisted logic to explain why good is bad and bad is good and then uses these same terms to characterize things he is for or against. In the end this is the authors attempt to cloak his biases in a book that is sold under a false pretense. don't waste your money would be my guidance.