To stand with the wind passing through your hair, at the edge of a cliff, below which lies a vast, uncharted wilderness. To ponder over what makes us who we are? To be in a dilemma regarding how did we get here?
To scream apparently into the void, but then hear it respond with a deeper intensity.
That’s what it feels like to embark on the adventure that’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”.
Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” is a book which takes us back in time, to our evolution and also answers the question of the future – “Where are we going ?”
Published in 2014, Yuval Noah Harari’s book has since then been in the top best-seller books, with its quotes occupying a major space on the digital forefront.
If you are interested in learning more about yourself, your history and the history of the entire human race on planet Earth, then this book is a great place to begin.
From the earliest humans to the present day, Harari expertly guides the reader through the major events that have shaped humanity’s trajectory.
He presents a four-section division of the journey of Homo Sapiens–
- The Cognitive Revolution ( 70,000 BCE)
- The Agricultural Revolution (10,000 BCE)
- The Unification of Humankind (34 CE)
- The Scientific Revolution (1543 CE)
The author has further differentiated between the natural sciences and the social sciences where his main argument is regarding how Sapiens came to dominate the world and their surroundings.
From the Stone Age, human beings were united by certain factors of belief and imagination, which formed the social structure of the 21st century. The violent treatment of animals by human beings which started during The Agricultural Revolution is a theme that one can discern throughout the book.
The author “Yuval Noah Harari” talks about the downside of human beings and their unified belief towards religion, politics, economy, etc, which makes it impossible to have an unbiased society.
He encloses the social hierarchies and system of beliefs, which enclose us within their toxic traps, within envelopes of imagination. He puts forth why these imagined orders are employed and even dominate the working of our society.
As is subtly put, it is to cater to the comforts of the privileged people, to segregate the population, assign them roles accordingly and form ghettos to make people adhere to their “social place”.
“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.”
The History of Happiness is one such theme that the author believes, is not talked about more often. The present-day decay and anxieties of the Sapiens, according to him, are much more rapid than they were many years ago. Yuval Noah Harari also criticises modern technology and how it might become the reason for ending the species.
The book has been successful in combining a lot of research and the entire history of human beings, in an easy-to-read and understandable narrative. The author has given a lot of visuals for many topics which make this book perfect for the age group above 12.
The sections in the book are short and quick and the conclusions are strong and thought-provoking, which makes this book a must-read for any beginner who is a fan of Non-fiction History books, which talk about evolution and revolution in just 443 pages.
There are a lot of questions that this book will answer, but it is sure to leave the readers with many more questions than they originally had.
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Reading this book is thus a great way to enhance curiosity as it will push the readers to delve into much deeper research about our history and our future. And not only history, but the author also talks about many things in which, we, as humans, went wrong.
Race, discrimination, violence, and technology, all are a part of our daily lives, but the author points out how these things will also be responsible for the end of the Sapiens.
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”, is a book about the past and the future. For all those curious worms out there, who like digging deep and researching multiple topics, this book is sure to satiate your cravings.