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I was gifted this book in German (native language), however, I enjoyed it so much, that I got the audiobook to listen in my car in English AND got the paperback in English for my husband. Basically, I've purchased this book 3 times, this is how much I enjoyed reading it.
CONTENT - You do not need to be a science, nature, biology, history geek to enjoy this book - The way it is written makes it attractive for a very large audience - The writing style is simple, yet you feel like you are learning something every page - Insightful and applicable to humankind today - I do not agree with everything in the book, I think some of the statements are vague, however, this doesn't mean that you will not enjoy the book. It's ok to disagree.
I have read Homo Deus and Sapiens in a row, Firstly both the books are written in a lucid flow nothing is left out for doubt but every sentence provoke you to think of our past present and future. Its unbelievable how author put forth history/future of humankind in such an never ending enthusiastic manner. loved both the books
The feeling you have, in the course of reading the book, is that an author of high intellect views from a high vantage point, the unfolding drama of human history with singular clarity. You are impressed with the erudition of the author which extends beyond historical facts and human history to what it means to be human and to diverse fields such as anthropology, genetics, evolution, ecology, behavior, culture, economics, and science in general. The author is endowed with a deep insight but his most impressive trait is the originality of his mind. In this regard, he presents two human traits, emanating from the capacity of abstract thinking namely myth making and imaginary reality. As examples of myth making, the author cites religion, ideology, and nationalism. The merit of these myths is that they expanded the capacity of human beings of associating and belonging from small numbered bands to thousands and eventually millions. The negative side is that humans believe in these myths to the extent that there are religious wars and ethnic cleansing. As an example of imaginary reality, the author cites the corporation of limited liability which made possible production and trade. Finally he mentions the creation of money which is rendered possible through trust.
The book covers a huge time span, from the appearance of Homo sapiens 70,000 years ago to the 21st century. The author was able to accommodate this huge period of human history in four hundred pages due to his discriminating ability for the essential.
The characteristics that endowed Homo sapiens with huge advantages were his large brain, abstract thinking, superior learning abilities, language and communication, the use of tools, and complex social structures.
For many millennia following their exodus from Africa, humans existed as hunters-gatherers.
The invention of Agriculture occurred 10,000 years ago. Agriculture resulted in sedentary life, accumulation of food surpluses, creation of cities, stratification of society, with bureaucracy, army, priesthood, nobility, kings and the creation of empires. Credit and detailed accounts led initially to the discovery of partial script confined to Arithmetic such as the Sumerian script in Mesopotamia. Eventually full script was invented for the writing of text such as the Cuneiform in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphics in Egypt.
The next landmark in human history took place five hundred years ago with the scientific revolution.
The scientific revolution was followed two hundred years ago by the industrial revolution which in combination with energy and capital resulted in unprecedented growth, wealth accumulation - albeit unequally - and population explosion. Industrialization was intimately connected with Imperialism and the colonization of a large part of the globe by the European powers during the nineteenth century.
The industrial growth by the end of the twentieth century along with the uncritical subjugation of the planet led to very serious ecological degradation posing a danger for the very survival of the human species.
Finally, in the early twenty-first century with the rapid development of genetic engineering, we are witnessing the transition from the Darwinian evolution to 'intelligent design' with the human animal playing the role of god.
I have special interest in History as i love it as subject. I have read many history books not only modern but also ancient or books on prehistory. But after reading Homosapiens i am just overwhelmed that how the author has presented evolution of human history in such a simplistic , unique and analytical manner. This book not only details anthropological evidences or facts but it covers all scenarios to present the picture whether it is biology, genetics, culture, science , environment etc. I loved the way the author covered the issue and aspects of religion in human history from early man till today. How and why religion evolved , and how religion is directly related to political and economic power. This book will help you in critical analysis of what we are fed or what we study. This book will force you to form your opinion based on facts and logic rather than some religion or superstitions. Some of the best chapters in the book are: 1 History biggest fraud 2 There is no justice in history 3 The law of religion 4 The marriage of Science and Empires 5 The End of Homosapiens.
This book is must read for not only student of history but for all those who are curious enough to understand the concept of how human history evolved.
BOOK SPECIFICATIONS : 1 Book : Sapiens 2 Author : Yuval Noah Harari 3 Language : English 4 Year : 2015 5 Publisher : Penguin 6 Parts/Chapters : 5/20
Swivel eyed believer types are unlikely to like this book: nationalists, xenophobes, religionists, political extremists etc etc. Not much is off-limits. I imagine existentialists such as Sartre et al. would have loved a lot of it. I suggest readers take the opportunity to stand back from all they think they know (but most of it we don't really, we just 'believe') and look in the mirror... and try to enjoy the read, although some of it is very uncomfortable reading - some chapters contain a sad indictment of us as a species e.g. how we have almost certainly treated the animal kingdom, and still are...
Sapiens is a fascinating history of humans, written from the angle of how we got to where we are now and where we are headed. Yes, the author makes assertions without providing back-up evidence. Yes, the academic approach is not as rigorous as other books. Yes, some of his views (e.g., about religion) may be offensive to those who maintain a different view. However, I feel that focussing on these characteristics is missing the point of the book. This is not meant to be a typical academic history book. It covers the entire history of humanity in a very accessible way that is entertaining and highly thought-provoking and gives the reader a real sense of perspective on history.
Great book! I’ve ordered the follow up book Homo Deus. It’s a good read for people who like to think. Where we have come from and where we’re going in terms of humanity. We have survived at the expense of other species such as Neanderthal and certain species of animals. We are slowly destroying our environment despite what Donald Trump thinks. Maybe he should read this book. People have respect for successful business men such as himself but that is just another example of survival of the fittest. This book is the kind of book Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin would not only read but would be proud to write!
This is so good I've bought many copies for friends and family who have also enjoyed it. It took me a couple of reads for it all to sink in, in fact, I may read it again :) but that isn't a problem as it's so enjoyable and enlightening.
I am not a natural reader, it takes an awful lot for me to be immersed into a book, but this had me hooked after only a few words and I just couldn't put it down.
If you want to know about you, us, history, how we came to be who we are, then this is the book for you. You won't regret it.