Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

English language

ISBN:
9781549711992

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4 stars (49 reviews)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Hebrew: קיצור תולדות האנושות‎, [Ḳitsur toldot ha-enoshut]) is a book by Yuval Noah Harari, first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011 based on a series of lectures Harari taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in English in 2014. The book surveys the history of humankind from the evolution of archaic human species in the Stone Age up to the twenty-first century, focusing on Homo sapiens. The account is situated within a framework that intersects the natural sciences with the social sciences. The book has gathered mixed reviews. While it was positively received by the general public, scholars with relevant subject matter expertise have been very critical of its scientific claims.

15 editions

Sapiens

3 stars

Sapiens (2011, Harper) 4 stars

(Audiobook) I already knew a lot of the content but I enjoy having it from a new perspective with a variety of new anecdotes. At some points I distinctly felt like the author's biases were coming through--in fact at some points I really questioned his ideas--but otherwise an enjoyable and informative book.

Wissenschaft, die Spaß macht.

5 stars

Bücher über wissenschaftliche Themen können ja verdammt zäh sein. Man fühlt sich manchmal eher wie in einer drögen Vorlesen und nur sehr bedingt unterhalten. Bei Harari ist das völlig anders.

Die Geschichte der Menschheit "kurz" (der Wälzer ist immer noch dick genug) und so lesbar zu beschreiben, dabei aber immer wissenschaftlich fundiert und nachvollziehbar, das ist schon eine Meisterleistung. Man versteht auch sofort, woher einige Entwicklungen der Menschheit kommen, ohne sich dabei belehrt zu fühlen.

Eine absolute Empfehlung. Vielleicht nichts für die ganz jungen und (die meisten) Teens, aber Jugendlich und alle Erwachsenen sollten das Buch ganz dringend lesen.

Review of 'Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Those of us prone to questioning humanity, our own and in general, are bound to find some clarity in this exceptionally clearly written history. It was especially helpful for me in my pandemic-induced reassessment of my place in the world.

Review of 'Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Das war schon beeindruckend - jede Menge interessante Informationen darüber, wie sich der Homo Sapiens zur vorherrschenden Art auf diesem Planeten aufgeschwungen hat und wie wir und unsere Gesellschaft überhaupt funktionieren. Er geht dabei auf die unterschiedlichsten Aspekte ein (Landwirtschaft, Wissenschaft, Religion, Ideologien).

Die Sprache ist leicht zu lesen, bildhaft und häufig mit einer Prise Humor gewürzt. Man benötigt nicht wirklich viele Vorkenntnisse, um dem Autor zu folgen, die Bereitschaft, sich auf bestimmte Gedankenspiele einzulassen, reicht völlig aus. Auf jeden Fall weckt dieses Buch die Lust auf mehr Bücher von Harari und regt zu weiterer Recherche an.

Review of 'Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I wanted to enjoy this book, hoping it would have something new about early man I didn't know but before, but really didn't. I ended up getting not very far at all before I couldn't stand any more. The way the author kept calling things like social hierarchies 'imagined fictions' grated on me.
If I'm a dumb dog, and I go to food, and observe another dog tries to bite me whenever I go near that food, and that dog is bigger than me and won't bite me if I wait my turn, then my lack of imagination doesn't stop that situation from being reality. Similarly, society doesn't need fictions from things like religion - it did serve a useful function and I don't mind a book that acknowledges that early society used it for things like banding together to attack a common 'enemy' (read: the guy with food/goods you …

Review of 'Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

An evolutionary perspective with science mixing up with anthropology, politics, culture, religion, biology, economics, history.
It's a fascinating read and it made me think about many things and change my world view. It gives us a higher perspective on how we got here and leaves an open question as to why we are here.

Review of 'Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I'd heard a lot of good about this book, and the start was promising, but then I started to get a little annoyed...



There are natural limitations to a book, and a book like this, taking so broad a subject, must of necessity be superficial and selective, but even so, this one quickly wound up feeling far less a history of humankind, and far more a history of Euro-american humankind. Most annoying conisdering how global a view it started with. And so towards the end I come across bits like this:



"When judging modernity, it is all too tempting to take the viewpoint of a twenty-first century middle-class Westerner. We must not forget the viewpoints of a nineteenth-century Welsh coal miner, Chinese opium addict or Tasmanian Aborigine. Truganini is not less important than Homer Simpson."



And that all sounds very good, and I agree, but I wonder how it is …

Review of 'Summary: Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

First, read Kate Savage's review.

Let's give the biggest pat on the back to Western capitalists as the pinnacle of all human efforts for 70,000 years. Certainly, this was our goal all along. From here it pretty much just goes to hell.

I really need to add to Kate's review only this: "... the exception that proves the rule..." is used three times in this text. It's not just a rhetorical nuisance when you're an academic theorizing on broad organizational laws. Exceptions, without exception, disprove rules.

Oh, and Great Britain and Gandhi don't get equal credit for Indian independence. That's straight-up bullshit, right there.

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