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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Kindle Edition
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Again, like I said I was just expecting something a bit different but nonetheless it really is a fascinating read.
EDIT: When I wrote my review above, I was one chapter from the end. Having read this awesome chapter, I'm upgrading this to a 5 star review. That may sound impulsive but the final chapter really is awesome and really and truly inspired me.
The scope is, as the title suggests, a history of humankind which goes back 70,000 years (and more) to pull out human traits and motivations which may explain why we are as we are and reflects on how those traits rub up against the modern (largely western) way of life.
The freedoms granted by an egalitarian, largely urban society relatively free from family and social pressures are counterbalanced by the potential for loneliness and isolation. The great question posed is are we better off and what measures would one use to assess that question? We may on the average be better fed, less likely to die in childhood or childbirth and are more generally free from pain but are we any happier as a consequence?
Best read (I think)in conjunction with the likes of Silk Roads or Prisoners of Geography, which give other views on the roots of global politics today but definitely worth a read.
Given the times we live in Harari describes the evolution / the adaptation of Homo Sapiens in ways that make a great deal of sense. A good read
Harari covers a lot of ground at a pace which is swift enough to keep the reader interested, but not so fast as to make you feel lost. The book loosely goes in chronological order from the emergence of homo sapiens to modern day, and weaves together the initial advantages homo sapiens had over various other species of human, through to the impacts that homo sapiens have had on the world as a result of our dominance over the planet. The author also does an excellent job of highlighting the impacts (positive and negative) that human development has had, whilst not becoming preachy towards the reader - allowing you to reach your own conclusions.
This read comes highly recommended, and I look forward to reading the follow up book once I get the opportunity.
Yuval goes into painstaking detail and research to uncover the entire history of the human race - who we are, what we are, how did we get here - and where are we going. He uses history, philosophy and science to weave a fascinating insight into how humans rose from humble beginnings to rule the world and make incredible advances through the agricultural, intellectual and industrial revolutions - to name but three.
I've never seen this information presented so clearly and methodically before - the book is extremely absorbing, and very easy to read - and doesn't come across like a text book.
We move through the various points in history, and certain key events are highlighted which really gets the reader thinking about why things in our world 'are what they are'.
This is the sort of book that every schoolchild should read and study - it really puts the nature of what it is to be human under the microscope, and gives an honest and rigorous account of the extraordinary history of the human race like never before.
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