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Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind

Every once in a while, a book comes along that challenges many of the assumptions about the “way things are”. For instance, I had never contemplated the existence of more than one kind of human on the planet at one time. And yet Harari suggests that there were as many as 15 kinds of human—homo erectus, Neanderthal, etc.—alive at the same time. Then, about 70,000 years ago, Sapiens became the dominant, and then the only species of human on the planet. How did they manage to take over and wipe the other species off the map? And how does that information relate to our origin stories contained in the Bible, Koran and other holy works?

Harari spans the whole of human history, and then takes it further, into the future. He talks about several different “revolutions”: cognitive; agricultural and scientific. He talks about the effect each had on the planet and our species, and the ramifications of them. For instance, how did we succeed in dominating the planet? Why did foragers and hunter-gatherers come together to form cities? How did we come to believe in our Gods and in nations? What will our world be like in the years to come? And the most important question: What does it mean to be truly human in the face of personal technology that is progressing at light speed?

Harari challenges everything we know about being human. If you want your mind blown, please, read this book. It will have you looking differently at just about everything.

Author:

Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher:

Harper Perennial; Reprint Editon

Published:

2018

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