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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by…

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 139 mentions

English (107)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  French (3)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Finnish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
This is a very interesting book, which I assumed, when I started reading it would be about pre-history of Homo Sapiens, but which in reality covers the whole history plus a bit of future. The story starts with many relatives of Homo we already found and asks why say Homo Erectus was present for 2 million years without notable wandering around the globe while Homo Sapiens suddenly (in evolution time terms) starting from 70`000 years ago was able to achieve the world dominance. The answer in language, which is able to describe abstract things.
After speaking a bit about pre-history, the author shifts to agriculture revolution (domestication of human by wheat) and three forces that driven the later history: money, empire and religion. He delves in detail on each of them and their interconnectedness and sets a lot of questions from why patriarchal societies dominate, why monotheists are dominant nowadays, why modern ideologies are actually religions, etc
A very thought provoking book, I enjoyed it even if sometimes I disagree with the author.
( )
1 vote Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
This book had gotten a lot of acclaim for some time in the press and by celebrity endorsement. I was expecting interesting reading and it certainly delivered. I also was anticipating focus on the early anthropological angle. That was certainly there but so much more.

The array of topics covered by Harari were dizzying and fascinating. There were very few slow spots in this evolving story as you tend to get in such books.

Yuval Harari has a way of interjecting his personal insights and predictions that were thought provoking and intriguing. Just a captivating read and I look forward to his follow up book that is out there. ( )
  knightlight777 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Loved it. Together with homo deus,two of the most thought provoking books I have read. ( )
  MickBrooke | Jan 2, 2019 |
Shoddy generalisations, mistakes, ignorance, confusion and vagueness. An almost totally worthless book. ( )
  Caomhghin | Nov 13, 2018 |
(51) This was incredibly intriguing. The history of our species and thus civilization. The beginning was biology, anthropology - really interesting stuff about the evolution of Homo Sapiens and then it was really a treatise of the formation and propagation of civilization - agriculture, industry, religion, empires, ideologies, money, capitalism. It really boiled things down to the basics and made me say . . Hmm? many times. For instance -- Duh? Western Culture dictates that 'all men are created equal,' and for some reason we buy that hook, line, and sinker when it is clearly not true, right?

This was non-fiction that actually packed a bit of psychological tension and story-telling into the mix. I thought some things were a bit hyperbolic and intentionally provocative. But overall, I loved it. I loved the exploration of monotheistic religion, in particular, Christianity. I loved equating 'liberal humanism,' 'collective humanism', and 'evolutionary humanism' with Western doctrine, Communism, and Naziism respectively and assigning all good or all evil to none of these 'religions' or 'ideologies' (In Hariri's mind these words are interchangeable) I loved the audacity of saying despite advances in technology and biology no one has ever found a single shred of evidence for the human 'soul' and that "as far as we can tell, human life has no meaning." No, really, this is great stuff. . .

Anyway, I was mostly mesmerized by this book. To me the arguments seem iconoclastic but irrefutable. It made me feel simultaneously better and worse about the world and life in general. And good news . . possibly in my lifetime humans may be a-mortal - meaning we could still die from accident but we would be able to cure any illness and reverse or halt the aging process. Occasionally, the parts about economies and empires were a bit dull and repetitive, but overall - a great, maybe even a profound, read. ( )
1 vote jhowell | Nov 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Much of Sapiens is extremely interesting, and it is often well expressed. As one reads on, however, the attractive features of the book are overwhelmed by carelessness, exaggeration and sensationalism.
added by Jozefus | editThe Guardian, Galen Strawson (Sep 11, 2014)
Jared Diamond hoort met Simon Schama, Bill Bryson en Charles Mann tot die zeldzame auteurs die inderdaad het grote verhaal vertellen. [...] Zijn recente werk, De wereld tot gisteren, is een brede vergelijking tussen de laatste primitieve samenlevingen, en de eenheidsworst die we nu 'beschaving' noemen. Diamond laat zien hoe 'primitief' we eigenlijk nog zijn, en hoe veel we van die volken kunnen leren. Hij zet aan tot denken. Harari laat de lezer in verwarring achter. [...] Harari beheerst de techniek, maar een 'groot verhaal' komt niet van de grond.
added by Jozefus | editde Volkskrant, Marcel Hulspas (Apr 12, 2014)

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harari, Yuval NoahAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gower, NeilMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Purcell, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watzman, HaimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In loving memory of my father, Shlomo Harari
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About 13.5 billion years ago, matter, energy, time, and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang.
We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"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."--… (more)

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