Destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Sapiens is a lively, groundbreaking history of humankind told from a unique perspective.
100,000 years ago, at least six species of human inhabited the earth. Today there is just one.
How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical -- and sometimes devastating -- breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power...and our future.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you’ve ever lamented the state of the world and the environmental and political chaos swirling all around us, this book is for you. Israeli historian Yuval Harari argues that the roots of humanity’s current problems can be found by tracing our footsteps way, way back in time. A breakaway hit, Sapiens explores our species’ history by following a series of revolutions—cognitive, agricultural, and scientific—that occurred over the course of 100,000 years and up to the present. His fascinating book uses critical insights and philosophical reflections to deliver takeaway lessons about the past that could help shape our future.
Writing with wit and verve, Harari, professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, attempts to explain how Homo sapiens came to be the dominant species on Earth as well as the sole representative of the human genus. He notes that from roughly two million years ago until about 10,000 years ago, we were not the only humans on the planet; many species preceded us, and some overlapped our tenure. Harari argues persuasively that three revolutions explain our current situation. The first, the cognitive revolution, occurred approximately 70,000 years ago and gave us "fictive" language, enabling humans to share social constructs as well as a powerful "imagined reality" that led to complex social systems. The second, the agricultural revolution, occurred around 12,000 years ago and allowed us to settle into permanent communities. The third, the scientific revolution, began around 500 years ago and allowed us to better understand and control our world. Throughout, Harari questions whether human progress has led to increased human happiness, concluding that it's nearly impossible to show that it has. Harari is provocative and entertaining but his expansive scope only allows him to skim the surface.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Consolidates many perspectives in one book in an easily digestible manner. Excellent read
Perspective and thought.
This book really helped broaden perspective on who we are and the decisions we make, as sapiens.
One of the best reads ever. Every paragraph brings new information, yet you never feel overloaded with data. Perfect balance between facts and commentary.