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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Paperback – 30 April 2015
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**THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER**
'Interesting and provocative... It gives you a sense of how briefly we've been on this Earth' Barack Obama
What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens?
One of the world's preeminent historians and thinkers, Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.
In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going.
PRAISE FOR SAPIENS:
'Jaw-dropping from the first word to the last... It may be the best book I've ever read' Chris Evans
'Sweeps the cobwebs out of your brain... Radiates power and clarity' Sunday Times
'It altered how I view our species and our world' Guardian
'Startling... It changes the way you look at the world' Simon Mayo
'I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who's interested in the history and future of our species' Bill Gates
**ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**
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Interesting and provocative… It gives you a sense of how briefly we’ve been on this Earth ― Barack Obama
Jaw-dropping from the first word to the last… It may be the best book I’ve ever read ― Chris Evans
Tackles the biggest questions of history and the modern world… Written in unforgettably vivid language ― Jared Diamond
Startling... It changes the way you look at the world ― Simon Mayo
One of the best books I’ve read recently… Gives an excellent overview of how our species has developed ― Lily Cole
Sweeps the cobwebs out of your brain… Radiates power and clarity, making the world strange and new ― Sunday Times
Sapiens is packed with heretical thinking and surprising facts. This riveting, myth-busting book cannot be summarised in any detail; you will simply have to read it -- John Gray ― Financial Times
From the Back Cover
Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age - and our journe
- Publisher : Vintage; 1st edition (30 April 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0099590085
- ISBN-13 : 978-0099590088
- Dimensions : 19.8 x 3.8 x 13.3 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 December 2021
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Unfortunately, this enormous task is the book's own undoing. There is no room for any indepth discussions about the various complex issues, and no room to discuss the evidence. The book is filled with assertion after assertion, and virtually nothing to back them up. I looked in the reference section and I was shocked to see how few citations there were. Such a massive subject derserves ten times more citations. If you think you're getting a good scientific description of the facts, don't buy this book. This book is essentially his opinions, and not much else.
Any person who has strong knowledge within any of the subjects in the book will quickly realise that Harari is not an expert on much of what he writes about. He does not just make many claims. He makes many wrong claims. And many, many more misleading ones. It's one of those books that are popular with the layman, but not so much with the expert.
When he leaves the topic of evolutionary biology, premodern history, and starts talking about modern history the book gets slighter better. Or is that just because I'm not as well-versed in those topics? Do I just not see his errors there, just like a layperson would not see his errors in his account of evolutionary biology, intelligence research, and more? I won't know. The problem is I can't put much trust in him, because there are so many things wrong or misleading stuff elsewhere. And he doesn't provide sufficient evidence.
Even in the better parts of the book, it is ultimately somewhat dull. Not much new to learn for me, unfortunately. There are so many books about humans, many of them much better than this.
I wouldn't claim that this is the worst book ever, obviously. But to say that it is overhyped is to put it mildly. If you want to read a story, then perhaps you might find it interesting. If you want a factual account that is supported by an honest look at the available evidence, then go somewhere else.
Unfortunately, I also have to agree with many of the one star reviewers, that the books downfall is the almost constant speculation he engages in, without providing further evidence.
As an example, he states 'the creators of the cave paintings at Chauvet, Lascaux and Altmira almost certainly intended them to last for generations.'
This kind of statement is endemic of the sloppy thinking he engages in, where he will assume something for the sake of the narrative.
This wouldn't be a problem if it were in isolation, but it is a pattern repeated throughout the book, where he will base a conclusion off an assumption, then proceed to build a whole story off it. This relegates the book to a speculation rather than a historical account.
I would also advice Christians that he is rather condescending about religion in general and Christianity in particular. He describes Christianity as a 'myth' to be put in the same category as belief in Odin or in Wood Spirits. AS a Non-Christian I was annoyed over his presumptive anti-theism so I have no doubt that many believers will find him infuriating.
To sum up, this is an interesting and infuriating speculation of the humankind. Take it all with a shaker of salt.
I mean, you wrote a book about it, so I think people have a pretty good idea on where you stand, but the author smacks it in your face, and that ruined the book, which is a shame because it had the potential to be a great book, don't get me wrong, this was a good book, but not a great one.
- 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.