Title: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem
Sapiens is a book that works really well on audiobook, which is the format I ‘read’ it in. The book takes us through humanity’s origins and development, discussing the ways that humans have evolved and the challenges we have faced over the years, and continue to face today.
I am not a particularly scientific person, so I get that for some others this might be a bit of a ‘basic’ read on this topic, but I really enjoyed it and felt it was accessible and interesting. Agreed, a lot of it is information most people are probably aware of already, at least in general terms, but for me there was a lot that I just hadn’t really thought about in detail, and this book prompted me to do just that.
There were some points around the middle of the book where I found my mind was wandering a little, which unfortunately does tend to happen a lot with audiobooks, and I felt some sections could be cut down a little, but overall I found it to be an interesting book. As someone who usually sticks to fiction, this was a welcome break from crime novels, thrillers and general fiction, and I enjoyed learning some new facts and nuggets of information.