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Sapiens : a brief history of humankind
2016
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Summary
Destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel , Sapiens is a lively, groundbreaking history of humankind told from a unique perspective.
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;100,000 years ago, at least six species of human inhabited the earth. Today there is just one.
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Us.
Homo Sapiens .
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; 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?
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; In Sapiens , Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical -- and sometimes devastating -- breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power...and our future.
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Booklist Review
*Starred Review* It's not often that a book offers readers the possibility to reconsider, well, everything. But that's what Harari does in this sweeping look at the history of humans. Beginning before the beginning of Homo sapiens, the book introduces the other members of the genus Homo, who have lived on the planet for millions of years, and shows how sapiens endured while others died out. Then, with both wit and intellectual heft, Harari moves briskly through the important stages of human development: the harnessing of fire, the emergence of language, the agricultural revolution, the ongoing development of religion, the emergence of commerce and empires, and the industrial and scientific revolutions. He then discusses where humans are today and where (if anywhere) they may be tomorrow. There is something to ponder on almost every page. Particularly fascinating is Harari's consideration of whether people were happier in the past, when they had less but expected little, or today, when possibilities are endless but expectations are often not met. Part of the book's genius is not only that it organizes human history into understandable patterns, but also that those patterns are so fresh and fascinating. For instance, there is the idea that the way society has kept itself organized is through the use of fictions religion, obviously, but the idea applies equally to the concepts of money, laws, and human rights: None of these things exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. This ability to believe in fictions has also allowed sapiens to give loyalty to everything from nations to corporations. Readers of every stripe should put this at the top of their reading lists. Thinking has never been so enjoyable.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2015 Booklist
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