Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved this book! As a bookseller who has learned from experience not to say this, I'm going ahead anyway -- I think everyone should read it. Harari's brilliant cross-discipline synthesis of humanity's last 100,000 year story arc is sweeping and brilliant. I would almost use a phrase usually reserved for beach read thrillers -- it's a page-turner. Rarely does a book stir up conversation in academic circles while still being so accessible to a general audience. That a history book like this has been on the recommending reading lists of such big name entrepreneurs as Tim Ferris, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg is worth noting. These are practical get-things-done folks, not dorm room intellectuals.
Even critics of Sapiens (usually complaining that Harari sometimes verges on sensationalist) seem to have mostly acknowledged that it is a well written book that raises important questions. I finished the book feeling both inspired and disturbed. And that's about where homo sapiens sapiens is a species about now -- both inspired and disturbed. Looking forward to reading Harari's sequel to Sapiens, Homo Deus.
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.