100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.
How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ... and our future.
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100.000 jaar geleden waren er minstens zes mensensoorten op deze planet. Tegenwoordig is dat er maar één. Wij. Homo sapiens.
Hoe lukte het onze soort om de machtstrijd te winnen? Waarom gingen onze voorouders over van jagers en verzamelaars op het maken van steden en koninkrijken? Waar komt het geloof in goden, naties en mensenrechten vandaan; het vertrouwen in geld, boeken en wetten; de onderwerping aan bureaucratie, schema’s en consumeren? En hoe zal onze wereld eruit zien in de komende millenia’s?
In Sapiens behandelt Dr Yuval Noah Harari de hele menselijke geschiedenis, van de eerste mensen die op aarde verschijnen tot de radicale – en soms verwoestende – doorbraken in de cognitieve, agrarische en wetenschappelijke revoluties. Voortbouwend op theorieën uit de biologie, anthropologie, palaeontologie en economie, verkent hij de loop van de geschiedenis die onze menselijke samenleving heeft geschapen, en de planten om ons heen en zelfs onze persoonlijkheden. Zijn we gelukkiger geworden naarmate de geschiedenis zich ontvouwde? Zullen we ons gedrag ooit losmaken van de erfenis van onze voorouders? En is er iets dat we kunnen doen om de loop van de toekomst te beïnvloeden?
Gedurfd, omvangrijk en provocatief, Sapiens trekt alles wat we dachten te weten over mens zijn in twijfel: onze gedachtes, onze acties, onze kracht... en onze toekomst.
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 * 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 What's unique about Harari's take is that he focuses on the power of stories and myths to bring people together... I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history... Harari tells our history in such an approachable way that you'll have a hard time putting it down -- Bill Gates What makes it so interesting and provocative is that because it's such a condensed sweeping history it talks about some core things that have allowed us to build this extraordinary civilisation that we take for granted, but weren't a given, and it gives you a sense of perspective in how briefly we've been on this Earth -- Barack Obama * CNN * 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 * Sapiens is a starburst of a book, as enjoyable as it is stimulating * Sunday Express * Unbelievably good book. Jaw dropping from the first word to the last. * Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2 * A rare book...thrilling and breathtaking * Observer * Harari is able to be as refreshingly clear in his discussions of biology, of evolutionary anthropology and of economics as he is of historical trends... Stick with him and you learn a lot * Daily Telegraph * 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 * Full of shocking and wondrous stories * Sunday Times * Consistently engaging...Harari writes prose that leaps from the page. His broad sweep, collating philosophy, science, history and economics, creates moments of eyebrow-raising revelation for a reader from any background * New Statesman * 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 * Provocative and fascinating and opinionated...it makes the familiar seem unfamiliar. It altered how I view our species and our world. -- Mohsin Hamid * Guardian * 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 * Provocative, thrilling erudite... One of the year's most talked-about books * Metro * Its breadth is startling... It changes the way you look at the world and few books tick that box. -- Simon Mayo * Daily Express * Probably the most ambitious history book of the year. Certainly the most thought-provoking -- Dan Jones * Evening Standard - Books of the Year * As a writer, Harari is superbly clear. He's also a formidable polymath and a wonderfully elegant thinker... He is a brilliant analyst with a storyteller's gift -- William Leith * Evening Standard *