Yuval Noah Harari is one of the most famous historians in the world, having written books such as 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Homo Deus. However, probably his most well-known book is called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
Similar to 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Harari discusses a lot of extremely relevant topics in Sapiens. Some of the most interesting topics he touches upon include how humans (homo sapiens) came to be the dominant force in the world (as opposed to the other human species that used to exist), how humanity has dramatically changed the course of the world with ideas such as religion and capitalism, and how we can expect humanity to keep evolving in the future.
I thought the beginning of the book, in which Harari discusses previous human species such as Neanderthals and Homo Erectus, was particularly interesting because I didn’t know a whole lot about them. I have heard their names and know a bit about their stories, but learning about the characteristics of them that made them more likely to go extinct was informative.
Additionally, I found the parts in the book about how ideas such as “religion” and “capitalism” are actually human constructs very eye-opening. While we tend to take these things for granted as things that have always existed, Harari uses examples to illustrate his points of how these things were actually human creations to try and help the world run better. Additionally, things like religion and capitalism help to unite common groups of people together in ways of thinking.
Overall, I found the book to have a lot of interesting points, even if readers may not agree with all of them. In fact, while the book is getting good reviews for the most part on Amazon, there are still plenty of one-star reviews. If you read them, you can see that a lot of people consider Harari’s ideas too radical or too opinionated, and while I do not necessarily agree with these reviews, they are common criticisms of the book.
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