Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

“You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.”
― Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a book by Yuval Harari first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011 and in English in 2014. It’s a fantastic book that wraps 10 000 years of human history in just 443 pages. Sapiens gives us very interesting topics to ponder upon: why did our species win, why do we believe in such imaginative things as gods, nations, laws and human rights. What we are really doing to our planet. And at this rate, what is ahead of us.

“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”
― Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Harari’s writing is very provocative and sarcastic. He questions everything about history and about who do we think we are. I think the most shocking part for me was the murder mystery at the beginning of the book, to read that how yes just 100 000 years ago, there were six different human species. And what happened to five of them? There is the interbreeding theory, yet it is also possible that we became the victorious group through a genocide. And it’s not too hard to believe that other species were hunted down and killed by our ancestors when we keep in mind what has happened in the last few centuries to aboriginal people of different countries and to other mammals.

“Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google.”
― Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

  Needless to say, I very much enjoyed reading both Sapiens and its sequel Homo Deus written by Harari, they were both just dizzyingly good. I don’t think I fully understood the process of evolution and how we are no different from other mammals before reading it. However, I didn’t like how the author kept rambling and at times it felt like some issues were being repeated one too many times.

I’d rate this book 4/5 stars.

1.I recommend this book for everyone because it changes the way you think.
2. There’s a wonderful sequel to this book called Homo Deus.
3. Harari doesn’t use any difficult words and his thought process is very easy to follow.

To end this post, I’d like to urge you to go to watch Harari’s TED talk “Why humans run the world” and add this book on your to-be-read-pile if you haven’t yet.

Thoughts? Have you read this?

~ Anastasia


6 thoughts on “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

  1. I read it, but although it’s a well written book, I don’t agree with the author in a lot of things. I don’t think that agriculture was a kind of “faustian deal”, for example. The author has a clear globalist agenda and I do not endorse it. It’s a good book, but its not a good read for who are entering in this topic for the first time, because it is very opinionated.

    1. Have you read his book Homo Deus yet? I think it helps to understand his thoughts in Homo Sapiens.I do believe in the globalist agenda. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, yet the globalist agenda makes a lot of sense.We are being controlled by the 1%…. like 10 corporations control the food industry, 6 corporations control the American media.

      I don’t think they want to cause us harm but in the end, every business goes after profits which is not always ethical.

      Thanks for stopping by :) It’s always good to hear opinions that are different from my own. First time reading Homo Sapiens, I had the same opinion as you.Or I thought that whoa this Harari guy is really pessimistic about everything. Now I think he writes the truth.

  2. I’ve been intrigued about this book for a while now but your review really convinced me to go on and read it
    Does he focus on prehistoric all times or does he also cover our more modern history ?

    1. Much recommend it 😊 Well he starts from prehistory and then moves fast towards modern times. And then after this, there’s Homo Deus which focuses on current and on future

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