Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

 

“A brief history of Humankind”, describes the evolution of Homo Sapiens, from a creature of no significance to the animal that became a God. The author takes us through the various turning points in Human history namely, the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution and the scientific revolution and the implications it had on us, as a species.

The book studies the human biological evolution, the formation of languages, societies, cultures, religions and politics. It also provides insights on the invention of money and trade which unified us and the introduction of credit system which enabled the formation of European Empires and the present day global economy.

“What do we want to become?”, As everyone is chasing their individual dreams, the author asks this question. And after achieving our so called dream, what next? Sit back on a chair, relax and watch some shows? Human history is a well studied topic but what we don’t know is that, why are we doing this? Is it to experience the pleasure of doing this? Find happiness in things we do?

Or is it to have a better seat in the heaven up above the sky? The author takes us through how different religions got hold of us from time to time. It is so interesting to read how dogmas and textbooks are contradictory to the beliefs what we follow today.

This would be one of the best book available for people who try to understand things around and within us with the help of science and dare to question the dogmas.

Our species which discovered fire in the wild, built Colosseum and Pantheons and set foot on the moon, are still kept in the delusion that if you give up a bowl of fruits today, you be provided with an unlimited supply of fruits in the after life. The author describes how certain myths and stories are so embedded in our lives that it helps us to unite, to do things which are not possible to accomplish without cooperation.

Now nuclear weapons threaten the survival of humankind who transformed from forager, hunter-gatherer to Sapiens who transcend the boundaries of planet Earth. We have come long way and with rapid changes happening every minute we are not certain about the future. The book ends with questions about the future of this intelligent beings, us, the Homo Sapiens.

Dr Yuval Noah Harari, the author, has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specialising in World History. His research focuses on broad questions, such as : What is the relation between history and biology? Is there justice in history? Did people become happier as history unfolded?

The book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is an international bestseller and is published in more than 30 languages.