Sapiens

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

Book - 2015
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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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, 2015
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780062316110
9780062316097
0062316095
0062316117
Characteristics: 443 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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e
Einer2
Jun 03, 2019

stopped at page 297 because it was over due on my husbands account!

g
gorgonheart
May 07, 2019

The author makes a lot of claims that are not properly backed up with academic resources, as well as makes general, sweeping statements about how humans thought and felt in the past. Harari has some very fundamental misunderstandings of how global oppression works (like saying the West rejected racism after WWII... no...), and does not seem to have an actual grasp on how capitalism functions other than it being the global economic system.

Although I found some of his ideas useful, such as his ideas about the importance of the myth of credit in building modern capitalism, I found myself skimming and skipping entire pages in the last quarter of the book because his claims became more and more distanced from evidence-based ideas. Harari also comes off as extremely arrogant, making his baseless claims more distasteful.

Skip this one.

7
7626dee
Mar 18, 2019

There can be no brief history of mankind. We have become a failed species endangering the very earth we live on, how we got to this point requires a Britannica level series of books. By the time we understand ourselves it will quite likely be too late for us and our planet. Good background and a place to start.

c
cosmickate
Mar 07, 2019

Now has 3 different bks out.

c
cdsfire
Mar 01, 2019

Walking through human history, like this book does, has never forced me to think in quite the same way about who we are.

l
LenRudner
Feb 26, 2019

I thought the first half of the book was excellent. There, the author provides insights into the competition between Sapiens and other human tribes (e.g. Neanderthals) and provides his thesis for the survival of this relatively unremarkable branch of the human tree. The chapters that talk about the growth of language/writing as factors in the ability of a community to grow beyond a certain size (and ultimately form and empire) was particularly interesting, as was the idea that "myth" (be it religious, national or ideological) is a necessary glue for the establishment and continuity of large scale tribes (nations). The book becomes more tedious in the second half where it feels like one aspect or another of the modern world - religion, economics, capitalism, etc) are presented one after another so the author can say, "see? Just like I said." This was a 400 page book that should have stopped at page 200.

p
pridi_o
Feb 21, 2019

Incredible book: a lot of fodder for thought, brilliant language, zooming from very big ideas to vivid details.

s
SunsetBranch
Nov 30, 2018

From the Earth-centric point of view, we are about the worst thing that has ever happened to this planet (oh! aside from the asteroid.) Scary. Too scary to read the second book about the havoc we're likely to cause in the future

n
nngrey
Nov 12, 2018

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/business/yuval-noah-harari-silicon-valley.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Technology

a
a59038
Jul 20, 2018

Very poorly written. It is mostly a random stream of consciousness and mindless rambling.

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ranvapa
Mar 17, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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empbee
Oct 07, 2017

empbee thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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dano62
Nov 05, 2015

Both scientist and conqueror began by admitting ignorance - they both said 'I don't know what's out there.' They both felt compelled to go out and make new discoveries.

SFPL_ReadersAdvisory Aug 18, 2015

"We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us."

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