Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens

By Yuval Noah Harari

  • Release Date: 2015-02-10
  • Genre: Life Sciences
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 501 Ratings

Description

New York Times Bestseller

A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

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. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Reviews

  • 3stars because of gender section

    3
    By HeartMusic666
    This is a very well-written and easy to read book about complicated aspects of human history. In most cases the author has synthesized good evidence to make insightful conclusions that illuminate important things about human history. But the chapters about sex/gender, women, and the nearly universal history of patriarchy were totally inadequate and unacceptable. First of all, to isolate the issues of the history of half the human race into a few chapters is ridiculous. The details there barely scratch the surface of the depth. The author offers three simple theories why patriarchy has been pervasive, then these chapters conclude essentially in, ‘I’m not sure.’ The only chapters to do so. Even though patriarchy is clearly related to one of the bigger themes of the book: that we humans create myths and imagined orders we enforce in culture. When he deals with racism, or classism, etc., he argues that these are clearly imagined orders, and they reinforce themselves in vicious cycles. And yet, this is not mentioned in the brief discussions of gender, though of course the same vicious cycles of reinforcement are occurring. He looks for biological differences, but then so briefly and inadequately covers them. No real discussion of biology or cultural layers of pregnancy, menstruation, birth control, puberty, labor/birth, breastfeeding, motherhood and fatherhood, the commodification of the female body, not enough about sex and sexuality. These are huge aspects of human history! He should’ve consulted more feminist anthropologists or something to overcome his own myopia. I loved the rest of the book but felt such a huge part was missing. And, as such an authority in the field, bestselling author etc, I feel it was his responsibility to do much better on this issue.
  • Amazing book. Simply amazing!

    5
    By ekheyf
    If you want to learn about our story, our customs, our though process while being wildly entertained, this is the book for you.
  • Starts out great but....

    1
    By colloiug;j
    Book starts out great running through the historical evolution of humans but then begins to get political - was hoping for factual story of history on humans not this guys personal opinion on the matter.
  • Great

    5
    By Brendan McKenna
    Great
  • Sapient

    5
    By F-Alpine
    An excellent and very well written book full of insight. I recommend it to be read by everyone from every Walk of life.... It should be noted that the author’s noticeable avoidance or unexpected absence of any references to “Judaism” and/or “Jewish faith”, especially when the subject demands it, is baffling and inexcusable. One may wonder the reason is Mr. Harari has chosen to be politically correct in protecting his status and reputation at Hebrew University in Jerusalem!
  • Sapeins Review

    5
    By b3astsk8er
    One of the greatest books I’ve ever read. It truly makes you think about the fundamental questions of life and self reflection.
  • Sapiens

    5
    By Hacker 2119
    Unique view of history of Homo Sapiens.
  • Everyone should read this book!

    3
    By Mosifur
    One of the best book I have ever read in my life. I could not put it down once I have started. I would really like to thank TED Talk. Otherwise, maybe I would not know about this book. Every line of this book is informative and the way writer put all information together- it’s so pleasure to read. I was totally lost in the book. I bought a hardcover version for my personal library. Planning to buy couple of copies to donate for several community libraries.
  • Amazing!

    5
    By Helen Ohara
    It was a non stop reading! Congratulations to the concise and precise way of teaching world history.
  • Interesting and provocative book

    4
    By mikey12384
    Sapiens does a good job of retelling our past. The information on our history as hunter gatherers, the agricultural revolution and Industrial Age was interesting even though some of the authors conclusions might not be met with agreement. The approximations about the future of Homo sapiens is a tad unbelievable but intriguing nonetheless.

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