Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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Harper Collins, Feb 10, 2015 - Science - 464 pages
123 Reviews
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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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - steve02476 - LibraryThing

"A Brief History of Humankind" is a pretty tall order for a book. The first half or so was pretty good: putting humans in context with our fellow animals on earth, and then in context with the other ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ashishg - LibraryThing

This book is "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond told in simpler language and in less scientifically rigourous way. Having read the other book, it was quite a let down, since author largely ... Read full review

All 10 reviews »


The Cognitive Revolution
An Animal of No Significance
The Tree of Knowledge
A Day in the Life of Adam and
The Flood
The Agricultural Revolution
Historys Biggest Fraud
Building Pyramids
The Secret of Success
The Scientific Revolution
The Discovery of Ignorance
The Marriage of Science and Empire
The Capitalist Creed
The Wheels of Industry
A Permanent Revolution
And They Lived Happily Ever After

Memory Overload
There is No Justice in History
The Unification of Humankind
The Arrow of History
The Scent of Money
Imperial Visions
The Law of Religion
The End of Homo Sapiens
The Animal that Became a
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About the author (2015)

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History. His books have sold over 35 million copies in 65 languages, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today. The Guardian has credited Sapiens with revolutionizing the non-fiction market and popularizing “brainy books”.In 2020 Harari joined forces with renowned comics artists David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave, to create Sapiens: A Graphic History: a radical adaptation of the original Sapiens into a graphic novel series. This illustrated collection casts Yuval Noah Harari in the role of guide, who takes the reader through the entire history of the human species, accompanied by a range of fictional characters and traveling through time, space and popular culture references.Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He originally specialized in world history, medieval history and military history, and his current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?

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