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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind [Kindle Edition]

Yuval Noah Harari
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Sapiens is the sort of book that sweeps the cobwebs out of your brain. Its author, Yuval Noah Harari, is a young Israeli academic and an intellectual acrobat whose logical leaps have you gasping with admiration...Harari's writing radiates power and clarity, making the world strange and new" (John Carey The Sunday Times)

"Here is a simple reason why Sapiens has risen explosively to the ranks of an international best-seller. It tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language. You will love it!" (Jared Diamond)

"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)

"This lucid, illuminating and brilliantly written single-volume history of our species examines how we succeeded in the battle for dominance, thanks to such crucial factors as Fire, Gossip, Agriculture, Mythology, Money, Contradictions and Science (which made us deadly). Harari explains how we came to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism. Having read it, I feel as if I've had a whole new education." (The Bookseller)

"A rare book...thrilling and breathtaking" (The Observer)

"Sapiens is a starburst of a book, as enjoyable as it is stimulating" (Sunday Express)

"Full of shocking and wondrous stories" (Sunday Times)

"Harari delivers a boldly synthesized account of Homo sapiens' rise through the hominin ranks...A view of our ascent as nasty, brutish, long - and endlessly fascinating" (Nature)

"Harari can write. Not in the sense that most authors can...But really, really write, with wit, clarity, elegance and a wonderful eye for metaphor" (The Times)

"A vaultingly ambitious history of humankind...vivid, provocative and enlightening" (Lunch with the FT)

"Sapiens is a fast-paced, witty and challenging romp through 70,000 years of human history...I did love it, and if you are interested in the whole story of humankind, I'm confident that you will love it too" (Literary Review)

"This is mega-history of the best sort: sweeping but not simplistic, contemporary but not gimmicky, provocative but not contrarian. Almost everyone will want to argue with one part of this book or another, but working out which part and why will do us all good." (Dr Steven Gunn)

"We usually think that we are an outcome of our personal history, where we grew up, the way our parents educated us, etc. In Sapiens, Harari delves deep into our history as a species to help us understand who we are and what made us this way. An engrossing read." (Dan Ariely, New York Times Bestselling author of Predictably Irrational)

"Provocative, thrillingly erudite" (Metro)

"Eloquent and wonderfully funny" (i)

"Exhilarating " (Washington Post)

"For its sheer originality and intellectual stimulation, I was captivated by Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens" (Matthew d’Ancona Evening Standard - Books of the Year)

"Probably the most ambitious history book of the year. Certainly the most thought-provoking" (Dan Jones Evening Standard - Books of the Year)

"A highly accessible book, but also one that has well-supported academic rigor" (Good Book Guide)

"Reading it is like having a mental massage, cold shower and brisk workout, and all in the comfort of your own home" (Esther Rantzen Mail on Sunday)

"Compelling" (James Mcconnachie Sunday Times)

Book Description

Yuval Harari's international bestseller is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from insignificant apes to rulers of the world

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3558 KB
  • Print Length: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 Sep 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846558239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846558238
  • ASIN: B00K7ED54M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,120 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much More than a Book on Human History 15 Sep 2014
This is an amazing book. Here is why:
>…it is easy to read (with little or no jargon and a straightforward style)
>…the style is assertive (even combative at times) but without any pretence of ‘omniscience’ (I’ve just finished listening to N. Ferguson’s ‘Civilisation’ – no comments…)
> …rather than presenting a ‘watertight’ theory of everything, it acknowledges that on some issues the jury is still out (very refreshing! – e.g. at the end of p. 186) 1
>…it contains a number of fascinating stories (e.g. the one about the Behistun inscription or Cortez’ conquest of Mexico)
>…it encourages readers to question certain automatic assumptions (e.g. the clear-cut distinction between ideologies and religions or the notion of ‘science for science’s sake’).
Nevertheless what I think I liked best is that the truly interdisciplinary approach and the truly breathtakingly wide scope of the book!
You buy a book on history and you also get insights into Language, Economics, Religion and (not least!) Psychology! (Now that’s what I call ‘value for money’!)
…Speaking of Psychology, I have to say this is the field I am most interested in (Social and Evolutionary Psychology) and I was particularly pleased to see how often research findings from these fields confirmed or helped explain what was said in the book. Here are some examples:
> For me the best two pages of the book are 274 – 275 which drive another (much needed) nail in the coffin of historical determinism. The reason I think this is important is that depending on one’s worldview / ideology (e.g. Marxist / Feminist etc.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights on every page 27 Sep 2014
By M. D. Holley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Beautifully written, this book contains one incredible idea: that the success of homo sapiens derives from our inclination to believe in imaginary (i.e. non existent) things, and to act on those beliefs. This insight alone is worth the price of the book.

Harari has a very original way of thinking, and the book turns up gems on virtually every page. His thoughts on the role of empires and religion and science are invaluable.

The scope of the book is immense. As well as covering a vast time span from the most distant pre history to a science fiction future, Harari ranges far and wide in science, engineering, politics, religion and biology. I particularly like the way he concludes with a brief picture of homo sapiens passing into the future, and into successor species.

In a work of such scope and originality, it is inevitable that errors and hair brained ideas will creep in. Harari is fearless in tackling every subject, yet he cannot be expert on them all. For example, while he has interesting things to say on economics, he is not really secure in his understanding. His description of humanism is almost unrecognisable. The section on why women would make good military generals is not thought through. These flaws did undermine my confidence in him a little. He also sounds like he has an axe to grind on vegetarianism. While I tend to agree with him, I felt he lost his objectivity whenever this subject came up.

Overall though this is a huge achievement, and I sense that Harari's one big idea will stick. Highly recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and effortless read 10 Sep 2014
This really is a fascinating book. I found the writing style easy to read and the humorous tone very engaging. It gave a new and interesting slant on a lot of things I'd not really considered too much before. For example, how wheat managed to successfully domesticate the human race. It's broad ranging and never gets dull which i very much enjoyed. It's delightfully atheistic. Unusually, it actually attempts to answer some quite big questions such as why we are here and what makes us happy. It reminded me of Jarad Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years which I also very much enjoyed. I really would highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning a bit more about anthropology in an engaging and interesting read.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling iconoclastic book of human history 10 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The problem with human prehistory is the lack of evidence and information. What we have is little and many books use this little information we do have to create a mountain out of a molehill. The truth is that there is much we don't know about the distant past and probably never will. I really loved this book because it was well written, learned, witty and probably controversial. There are some great ideas in it and much to think about. We assume things like the idea that the agricultural revolution was a great leap forward - when actually, according to this book it was more akin to a great disaster. A disaster for the millions of chickens, cows, goats and farm animals that live in human servitude today and suffer much, and a disaster for humanity as it has contributed to wars, famine, pestilence and the rape and pillage of the earth. The book does not shy away from portraying Homo sapiens, as something that perhaps should never have been! From the perspective of the suffering that has resulted from human actions. And many many more controversial but still intriguing ideas. It attempts to show a holistic human history - how the different parts interact and is a genuine thrill to read as well as being iconoclastic. Definitely recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Human beings-the exploiters of the earth.
An interesting perspective on the history of humans. Despite the ingenuity of our species, the route to self destruction and the destruction of other species seems to have... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Dr Noor A Kalsheker
4.0 out of 5 stars First half great, second half OK
I could not find any fault in the first few chapters, where he deals with pre-history and early history. But it seemed to me that the second part has more dubious opinions. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Chris Tolworthy
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive and Over Long.
I was hugely disappointed with this book. I expected to read something informative about the rise of our species. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Intelligent of the West Midlands.
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking must-read
This is one of the most thought provoking and challenging books I have read since Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. Read more
Published 6 days ago by CK
5.0 out of 5 stars I hated reaching the end of this book
I hated reaching the end of this book. Endlessly fascinating and informative - I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend this book to others.
Published 9 days ago by Maggs3
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome book
Published 11 days ago by Mark Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars This may be the best book I've ever read
This may be the best book I've ever read. If you liked Guns, Germs and Steel, you'll love this book. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Janet Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars he is an avid book reder so I know he will enjoy it.
I myself have not read book christmas present for my Son, he is an avid book reder so I know he will enjoy it.
Published 13 days ago by lindawellard
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for history students.
A brilliant book well worth reading; informative and entertaining, and clearly written.
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure banality
Tedium of blinkered social engineering only surpassed by conformist banality.

A triumph of marketing nothingness.

(Thank heavens my copy was a library copy.)
Published 14 days ago by _Tom
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