Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari


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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.

#1 New York Times Bestseller

The Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg,  now available as a beautifully packaged paperback

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062316110
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/15/2018
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 155
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in history from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. His first book, Sapiens, was translated into more than forty languages and became a bestseller in the US, the UK, France, China, Korea, and numerous other countries.

Table of Contents

Timeline of History viii

Part 1 The Cognitive Revolution

1 An Animal of No Significance 3

2 The Tree of Knowledge 20

3 A Day in the Life of Adam and Eve 40

4 The Flood 63

Part 2 The Agricultural Resolution

5 History's Biggest Fraud 77

6 Building Pyramids 98

7 Memory Overload 119

8 There is No Justice in History 133

Part 3 The Unification of Humankind

9 The Arrow of History 163

10 The Scent of Money 173

11 Imperial Visions 188

12 The Law of Religion 209

13 The Secret of Success 237

Part 4 The Scientific Revolution

14 The Discovery of Ignorance 247

15 The Marriage of Science and Empire 275

16 The Capitalist Creed 305

17 The Wheels of Industry 334

18 A Permanent Revolution 350

19 And They Lived Happily Ever After 376

20 The End of Homo Sapiens 397

Afterword: The Animal that Became a God 415

Notes 417

Acknowledgements 429

Image credits 431

Index 433

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
sababob More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. It follows the lecture, by the same name and last taken by 38K student, given on Coursera. The author has a very unique and well balanced view of history, and instead of merely listing events, he explains how and why they happened. Everyone will get a very good history lesson from this book, and learn a number of facts that are uniquely presented in this text. A must for everyone interested in the history of us sapiens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes I skim a history or science book that is a bestseller, but this book was so interesting that I read every word If you are a deeply religious person, only the first quarter of the book may interest you because as the book progresses it is clear that the historian is an atheist. That is no problem for me because I am more interested in his other ideas and his take on past periods in human history and possible human future. Some chapters are devoted to what makes humans happy and the author's twist on Existentialism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book, written by an amazing man who has the wonderful ability to take very complicated issues and explain them as very simple ideas. Every Sapient on earth should read this book. It is a stunning book Which explains how we humans got here and where we are headed. It deserves our greatest respect for it's author and should be required reading in every classroom on Earth. This is the story about us,you and me and every human on Earth. Please read this and share it with everyone you know and pass it on to your Grandchildren for it is their generation to decide what will become of us.
Anonymous 6 months ago
While giving a good, quick surmise of sapien history, the author neglects the built in quality that humans contain which give them hope for a future life, a reason for being other than for procreation. That nameless thing that we all posess, an internal urge for self preservation beyond our day to day needs and a knowledge thst there is more to life on earth thsn we can imagine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and informative!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, there is only so much we know scientifically about our past. Any author would need to fill pages with some personal opinions and theories. But this was one of the worst books I've ever tried to read. Others commented on reading the first 100 psges. Don't even bother. Find another source. The author quickly dives into speculation and tries to convince the reader that we(homo sapiens) are the worst thing in all of existence. Are we perfect? No. Is the past full of terrible events? Yes But things could be a lot worse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Superb and thought provoking book, love his (Noah) chain of thought, I think I need to read the book over again from the beginning. Super book 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If this book doesn't stop and make you think nothing will.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is vey insighrful and offers a fresh insight on the major developments in history. It is right up there with Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel. I did feel the Author copped out on trying to explain why most societies are patriarchal.
Anonymous 25 days ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Read it twice and led a discussion on it. Wonderful, thought provoking insights!
Anonymous 10 months ago
What about Egypt? Not much on this but more focus on everything else.
SigmundFraud More than 1 year ago
Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind is just that. It begins with the earliest humans and there were several. We seem to think we have a monopoly on humanship but it is not true. There were many humans who did not make it. Homosapiens may have crowded them out. In the earliest years men were hunters and gathers. You will learn about the monkeys who are our closest relations. I enjoyed the book and think it is worth a detour.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THe first half of the book was excellent. Then it turned into a mere history book, although a potent history exploration. I found the history too many names and dates. Lots of ancient cultures and events like the Romans, Sumerians, and it was not the scope I cared for. The objective observations at the other half were very interesting and helped to apply to today's Homo Sapiens and understand why we are as such.
Brodk More than 1 year ago
Wish I could give it 4 stars, but then the book would have to earn it. Yes, some of the author’s assumptions and conclusions are breathtaking and make you hope that someone would try to confirm or refute his hypotheses. Definitely the first 100 pages are the highlight of the book, but even there I felt that his sweeping generalizations were unwarranted and maybe even contradicted by researchers (who knows exactly who did what in small bands 100,000 years ago, yet the author makes assumptions.). The second part of the book seems to me to be more polemical than the first and can be safely disregarded. Not recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brightCS More than 1 year ago
I agree with all of the previous readers in that Harari delivers an insightful exciting first third of the book. The phrase  that something or other was to be accepted because it was a "proven fact" marked a point where facts went out the window and Harari's opinions and speculations took over. From the first part of the book I know that he is a better author than that phrase, "it's a proven fact" led too. Everything after that became suspect and moved my skeptic level up quite a bit. And not a moment too soon. The arrangement of thought and delivery becomes sloppy and drips with loopy philosophical meanderings that should have been edited from this book. Jared Diamond should not be used as a comparison, as Diamond is consistent and believable, staying with topics he masters and is respectful of his audience. Not so in this book. If you have the discipline to read 100 pages and discard it, by all means buy the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just one look at the table of contents alone made it worth buying for me.   Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by renowned historian Dr. Yuval Noah Harari is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history – from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. 100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?  These are some of the questions Dr. Harari answers in this book. Though I must warn you that they will not be what you expected. You will find his answers provocative and controversial but incredibly stimulating and thought provoking no matter what your views are. It’s sure to start a debate.   It is without a doubt, simply the best book I have read so far this year. It’s not some boring history book. And it is not a book trying to preach any political views. In fact it’s very hard to classify this book – it is science, history, anthropology, sociology, and evolution, it is engaging, highly original and addictive.  Dr. Harari has a great sense of humor and his writing forces you to stay engaged. It will likely be the one of the best books of the year; it was already a bestseller overseas. If you like Jared Diamond’s books, you’ll have to put this book on your list. Though Dr. Hariri’s book is far bolder than Dr. Diamond’s. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first hundred pages are among the most insightful I have ever read.  The next hundred I read diligently, hoping the author would get his mojo back. Very dis appointing.  After that I started flipping pages looking for A nugget.  I have now put it down and doubt I'll pick it back up. Strongly recommend you read the first part - well worth it.  Then put it down!
jimmynook More than 1 year ago
Very poor on humanism and atheism
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book begins and then descends into tribal ignorance. Professor Harari should stick to his tasks at Hebrew U and avoid announcing to the world he is just another political hack.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago