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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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Author:

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Derek Perkins

15 Hours 18 Minutes

HarperAudio

August 2017

Audio Book Summary

New York Times Bestseller

A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

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Reviews

  • Agnes K

    It added new points of views to my understanding about humankind.

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  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed the factual parts of this book but was quite put off by the author’s personal opinions.

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  • Andrew T

    Wonderful

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  • Anonymous

    I adore this book. This is the best what i have read ever !!! Thank you !!!

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  • David R.

    Interesting book, I was more interested in the early history of humans vs the modern segments but overall I was intrigued with the majority of the book.

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  • Daniel V.

    This book is so chock full of facts and insights that I have to listen to it again. It is brilliant and informative. Great read.

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  • Lynn S

    Starts out as an impressive, factual read but as it progresses unto more modern times the author can\'t resist interjecting biased views.

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  • Walter H.

    fabulous. one of the best books i have read.

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  • Purvi S.

    Interesting book. Factual part and some of the analysis make sense.

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  • Herb B.

    This was one of the more interesting books I've ever read - packed full of interesting information from start to end. As others have reviewed, the sections dealing with more modern times can get a bit preachy, but it doesn't really detract from the overall feel of a product that is very well researched, laid out, and narrated. As for narration, it was spectacular! Easy to listen to, humor and sadness reflected well, and very well paced with pauses and tempo increases where needed. Highly recommend!

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