Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
|Author||Yuval Noah Harari|
I’ve read this one after Homo Deus, by the same author, which could be considered a bit of a sequel. I do this sometimes, what can I say.
I’ve liked this one very much (more than Homo Deus). There are several ideas which help the reader put history and the world in perspective. Many erudite readers consider this just pop science or downright garbage, yet the value of divulgation is immense as it helps non-specialists to have a basic understanding of fields where they’re not experts. And this book does exactly that. And erudite folks are boring anyway.
Among the things that it throws at the reader:
- Sapiens used to be one among several human species. Neanderthal was another (and had a bigger brain). This changed my idea that Erectus and Neanderthal have been stages that led to the later generation of Sapiens. Sure, it’s one theory, but it seems to be the currently most accepted one and to me it was mind-blowing.
- The Agricultural Revolution was a trap. Men had to work incredibly harder than when they were hunters-gatherers to produce less food, but other benefits became soon needs and when they found out the trap it was too late to go back.
- We have been domesticated by wheat.
- For inexplicable reasons, men think that they are superior to all other animals.
Many of the points made in this book are then expanded in Homo Deus.
It’s a fun read that will reward the reader with much thought. Highly recommended.