Bloomsbury presents Humankind by Rutger Bregman, read by Rutger Bregman and Thomas Judd.
The Sunday Times best seller.
A Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times summer listen.
It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest.
Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too.
In this major book, internationally best-selling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world’s most famous studies and events and reframes them, providing a new perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the Blitz, a Siberian fox farm to an infamous New York murder, Stanley Milgram’s Yale shock machine to the Stanford prison experiment, Bregman shows how believing in human kindness and altruism can be a new way to think – and act as the foundation for achieving true change in our society.
It is time for a new view of human nature.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A listen we found both necessary and comforting. The ideas wrestled with here appear more vivid in light of our current global situation, with phenomena unique to it— from panic-buying to rule-breaking—filed away as evidence of our inherent selfishness. Dutch firebrand Rutger Bregman hands himself the task of fighting against these conclusions and does so by sticking the cynics at their own game. Unlike the tenets of Bregman’s wider outlook (universal basic income, tax haven crackdowns, open borders) often characterised as idealistic, here he takes a solid historical approach to great effect. Bregman excels at highlighting the limitations and laziness that surrounds our everyday-cynicism towards human nature. Understanding that good faith in one another should be a central part of the world we always return to, Humankind is a bold reminder not to lose sight of reality.