Humankind: A Hopeful History

Humankind: A Hopeful History

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Overview

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. "The Sapiens of 2020."—The Guardian
 
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Utopia for Realists comes "the riveting pick-me-up we all need right now" (People), the #1 Dutch bestseller Humankind, which offers a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink), "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet.
 
"Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." —Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens
 
If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.
 
But what if it isn't true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens.
 
From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic—it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316418539
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 4,571
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Rutger Bregman, a historian and writer at The Correspondent, is one of Europe's most prominent young thinkers. His last book, Utopia for Realists, which was translated into thirty-two languages, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Holland.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

1 A New Realism 1

2 The Real Lord of the Flies 21

Part I The State of Nature 41

3 The Rise of Homo puppy 49

4 Colonel Marshall and the Soldiers Who Wouldn't Shoot 73

5 The Curse of Civilisation 93

6 The Mystery of Easter Island 113

Part 2 After Auschwitz 135

7 In the Basement of Stanford University 139

8 Stanley Milgram and the Shock Machine 159

9 The Death of Catherine Susan Genovese 179

Part 3 Why Good People Turn Bad 195

10 How Empathy Blinds 201

11 How Power Corrupts 223

12 What the Enlightenment Got Wrong 241

Part 4 A New Realism 251

13 The Power of Intrinsic Motivation 263

14 Homo ludens 279

15 This is What Democracy Looks Like 297

Part 5 The Other Cheek 319

16 Drinking Tea with Terrorists 325

17 The Best Remedy for Hate, Injustice and Prejudice 347

18 When the Soldiers Came Out of the Trenches 365

Epilogue Ten Rules to Live By 379

Acknowledgements 399

Notes 401

Index 453

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