Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 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 t...


Details Sapiens

TitleSapiens
Author
Release DateAug 2nd, 2019
PublisherHarvill Secker
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, History, Science, Philosophy, Anthropology
Rating

Reviews Sapiens

  • Maciek
    2015-07-25
    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a book bound to appear on a large number of coffee tables and favorite lists, and be picked up even by those who normally would not find the time for reading. It will certainly not be the next A Brief History of Time, which is often named as the world's top unfinished popular bestseller.Both A Brief History of Time and Sapiens share a similar, worthy goal - to explain complex issues in a way which can actu...
  • Emily May
    2018-09-23
    Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don't know what they want? What a fantastic book. I can see why everyone from Bill Gates to Barack Obama was raving about it. It's an extremely compelling, accessible history - almost like a novelization - of humankind.I've read a few of these "brief history of the world" books, most notably A History of the World in 100 Objects and Bryson's A Short History of Nearly ...
  • Moran
    2013-09-05
    I believe I am relatively familiar with history in general, and I'm usually not very excited about reading more about it. But this book was something else. Beautifully written and easy to read, this book just made me want to know more and more about how the author thinks the world evolved to what it is today. Revolution by revolution, religion by religion, conception by conception, things were simplified and yet still maintained valid points - an...
  • Liad Magen
    2013-03-30
    This book had changed my life, the way I think, the way I precept the world.I think it should be an obligatory book for everyone on this planet.
  • William2
    2017-05-01
    This book is a superficial gloss on human history. Nice try but it excludes too much data in favor of an overarching conceptual view to be deeply interesting. Stopped reading for reasons detailed below at p. 304 of 416.Considering the outlandishness of some of its claims—the downside of the Agricultural Revolution, the joys of Empire—the book seems weirdly under-sourced. The bibliography is beyond meagre. Don't get me wrong, I like a little i...
  • Marc Gerstein
    2015-05-05
    Had I stopped reading after the first section, I’d have given this a five stars and whined that the Goodreads platform doesn’t aloe reviewers to go higher. But I didn’t stop. I kept reading, . . . until it got so bad, I found myself unable to do more than skim, and eventually, to just skipping large chunks.It starts out as a fascinating discussion of the development and rise of our species, homo sapiens. But starting in the second section o...
  • Adina
    2017-09-26
    It is again unpopular opinion time! It seems it becomes a rule for me not to enjoy a book that everyone seems to love. Well, someone has to. Here we go with the review. Prepare your tomatoes and raw eggs (someone actually threw a raw egg at me once for fun but it bounced from my bum )Sapiens’ beginning was fantastic. I loved the author’s voice and the information about the early days of the human kind was fascinating. I did not read any non-f...
  • Manny
    2019-01-28
    I see many people complaining about the wild leaps of logic and the lack of footnotes - but honestly, what did you expect in a 500 page book, not even with small print, that's supposed to give you a summary of all history from the emergence of Homo sapiens to the present day? Personally, I thought the basic idea was terrific: the author has taken it upon himself to defend the Book of Genesis and show you that it's all true. I have seen creationis...
  • Better Eggs
    2016-07-09
    The book was too much a basic primer for me, at least to start with, but that's probably because I've read too many books on our origins biologically and culturally. Once the author had us settled into the civilization of cities he waxed romantically (as authors on this subject quite often do) on the life of the hunter gatherer and its perfection. (I've just finished Sebastian Junger's Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging and there was more of that...
  • BlackOxford
    2017-12-09
    Choose Your Fictions CarefullyThere are far too many fascinating assertions in this book to even mention. But for me the most fascinating is Harari’s idea of the Cognitive Revolution which took place about 70,000 years ago. "We might call it the Tree of Knowledge mutation. Why did it occur in Sapiens DNA rather than in that of Neanderthals? It was a matter of pure chance, as far as we can tell. But it’s more important to understand the conseq...
  • Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
    2019-01-28
    This is a hugely ambitious book; it takes a very broad approach, condensing huge topics into short chapters in an attempt to provide a basis for the development of our entire species. The parts I found most interesting were regarding ecology and man’s interaction with the ecosystem.Human history is that of ecological disaster. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we fuck up the ecosystem and leave our mark of destruction. This is not a new phenomeno...
  • Petrik
    2019-06-29
    Chris Evans highly recommended this book. When Captain America says so, you listen.It’s been almost three years since I joined Goodreads and this is literally the second non-fiction book I finished reading. The last time I read a non-fiction book was in December 2016, it was an autobiography titled In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park. Anyone who knows my reading taste should know that I don’t read non-fiction, not only I found the majority of the...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2018-02-08
    History and Sociology for Dummies, this book is almost irrecoverably watered down intellectually. Sapiens does make some interesting points and probably opens a few debates, but it disappointed me. There are lots of soundbites here, especially the oft-quoted one about the agricultural revolution being "history's greatest ripoff", but they remain soundbites because they never really reach a conclusion. The book starts out alright was the hunter-ga...
  • Andy
    2015-02-28
    The only parts of this book that really grabbed my attention were the chapters on early humankind, and especially the interaction between Homo Sapiens and other Homo species. The rest of it is a very pedestrian and basic journey through some aspects of human history, with the author making a lot of sweeping assertions and tending towards a rather vague and disembodied explanation of things like culture, money, etc. These sort of general explanati...
  • Tanja Berg
    2015-05-05
    Rating 5* out of 5. This is one of those rare books which is superbly written, intelligent and mind-altering. I am convinced by this author's arguments and my view of the human condition has changed permanently. I thought this would be a book that would delve lavishly in later human evolution, but it is does not. It discusses it briefly and moves on, concentrating its effort on the times of agricultural revolution and forward. It is a masterpiece...
  • Lisa
    2018-11-17
    "Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?"Now, that is a mean cliffhanger on page 466! I am so done with Sapiens, I am willing to enter the realm of posthuman Homo Deus out of spite for my species. During the time it took me to read the "short" history of humankind, written in funny sarcastic prose, painting with broad brush strokes what made us develop into this bizarre population...
  • David
    2016-03-16
    This is an excellent book about the history of humans, covering all aspects; evolution, anthropology, geography, psychology, religion, ideologies, and the future of humans. Physically, the book is beautiful; the glossy paper makes it heavy as well. What really makes the book interesting is the unique points of view that the author, Yuval Harari, brings to life.For example, early in the book, Harari mentions that chimps and sapiens (humans) can on...
  • Manny
    2019-01-28
    - Pssst! Eve!- Who's there?- A friend.- What kind of friend? Come on out, don't be shy.- I'm not Shai-- You are. - I'm not. Who told you that?- I just figured it out myself. Oh, there you are. What are you doing curled round that branch?- Waiting for a chance to talk to you, Eve. So tell me, where are you going today?- I'm gathering. See, Adam and me are hunter-gatherers and we take turns. Today he's hunting and I'm gathering. He's going to catch...
  • Darwin8u
    2017-03-10
    "The ability to speak about fictions is the most unique feature of Sapiens language...fiction has enabled us not merely to imagine things, but to do so collectively."-- Yuval Noah Harari , SapiensThe writing style reminds me a bit of Bob Wright's The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, or Sagan's Cosmos. It is obviously a book directed a...
  • Simon Clark
    2016-10-25
    Fantastic. Absolutely sublime. I don't think I've ever read a book with such grand scope, or a book that promises to cover so much and actually delivers. Dealing with the biggest questions about our species - Why are we here? Why are we the way we are? What does our happiness mean? - Harari writes precisely and with shrewd use of metaphor, providing answers that seem intuitively right but leading us to think further than we have before. The links...
  • ·Karen·
    2014-09-19
    Beginner's guide to sociobiology. And since I am a complete beginner, perfect for me.I finished this some six months ago: interesting to see what has remained: gossip, something I hate and rarely indulge in, is an important factor in creating social cohesion, (so perhaps I should revise my attitude to it). True, when you think about it: you and I can only gossip about someone we both know. And it might be important to know who is forming an allia...
  • Ranjeev Dubey
    2015-02-03
    Every once in a decade, a book comes along that has the capacity to radically change the way we think about matters of substance. This book is one of them. It asks fundamental questions about our evolution as humans and offers counter intuitive, tangential viewpoints. It tests our thinking, provokes new trains of thought. The book is highly readable and an immense provocation. It must be read, whether or not you are particularly interested in man...
  • Dana Ilie
    2018-11-26
    Nothing new! Everything I read in this book to some extent I learned at the anthropology courses taught by academician Balaceanu-Stolnici.Harari is a good writer, but one with a very decided agenda. I had to point out how surprisingly little he seems to have read on quite a number of essential topics. It would be fair to say that whenever his facts are broadly correct they are not new, and whenever he tries to strike out on his own he often gets ...
  • Jim
    2015-11-26
    Very well read by Derek Perkins, I highly recommend this book to everyone. Whatever your beliefs, you'll find plenty of food for thought in this relatively brief outline of our history from a middling animal to whatever the hell we are now. It's about 15 hours long, but never dragged a bit. I made excuses to listen every minute that I could & even downloaded the ebook to reread sections for clarification & to ponder a bit more at length. I highly...
  • Otis Chandler
    2016-05-17
    I haven't read a ton of "history of the world" books, but this was fascinating. Highly recommended. I think the author is incredibly good at explaining and simplifying big concepts. He take on complex things like religion & capitalism and explains them in very simple terms that you likely hadn't thought about before. The history of religion chapter was very interesting. I hadn't thought about the fact that many early religions were animists or po...
  • Ehud Amir
    2012-07-27
    A Brief History of the Right QuestionsAt the 16th Century, Peter Bruegel the Elder has painted his Landscape with the Fall of Icarus: a farmer works in the field, ships sail by – and at the bottom, at the corner, almost invisible, Icarus falls to the sea. The Icarus Myth is remembered for thousands of years; the farmer in the painting had lived and died in anonymity. Why, therefore, had Bruegel painted such a small and marginal Icarus and such ...
  • Trevor
    2018-03-27
    A friend of mine at work recommended I read this during the week – and it is hard not being struck by the odd coincidence of that. Not so much him recommending a book to me, he’s done that before, but this book is very similar to The Patterning Instinct and I only read that a week or so ago. And that’s odd too, since it is years since I’ve read a book on this theme, despite it being a bit of a favourite at one time. So, reading two books ...
  • David
    2015-03-10
    Sapiens was an occasionally interesting but ultimately disappointing read. Where Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel was a transformative investigation of the origins of civilization, Yuval Harari's Sapiens is a divisive, ideologically driven [Cognitive Revolution = Cultural Determinism] which twists data to fit a pre-existing theory. Back of it all, the entire book, is the final chapter where Harari frets about genetic engineering, cyborgs, a...
  • Macy_Novels at Night
    2018-11-11
    Detailed history with a splash of the authors opinion. Like many, I am fascinated with the history of the human race, and enjoy learning as much as I can possibly absorb. This book provides a good timeline of how we came to be, yet attempts to answer questions that we will never have the answers to. The author answers the questions with certainty that he is stating fact, and I found it a little humorous at times. The book took twists and turns th...
  • Magdalena
    2018-08-06
    Once in a while I like to challenge myself and read something that wouldn't be my usual genre. Sapiens fits that bill perfectly. I haven't got that much interest in anthropology but I do want to educate myself more in that field and I feel that I learnt a lot from reading it.Intelligent, very well-written, engaging and definitely thought-provoking. Not everyone will agree with Harari's take on things but I enjoyed it and will read more of his boo...