Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind” as Want to Read:
From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  293 reviews
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—h
...more
Paperback, 484 pages
Published July 16th 2012 by CreateSpace (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about From Animals into Gods, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jerry It is now available in English via Amazon with title Sapiens. I took his Coursera on line class based on book and was amazed. …moreIt is now available in English via Amazon with title Sapiens. I took his Coursera on line class based on book and was amazed. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Moran
I believe I am relatively familiar with history in general, and I'm usually not very excited about reading more about it. But this book was something else.
Beautifully written and easy to read, this book just made me want to know more and more about how the author thinks the world evolved to what it is today. Revolution by revolution, religion by religion, conception by conception, things were simplified and yet still maintained valid points - and it was never boring.

The best thing about it was
...more
Natan
There is no doubt that, as a book, it is excellent. The author takes a very complex subject and makes it very clear. He is also not afraid to make controversial statements, which get you thinking about some deep questions.

I think my main complaint is that he comes across as a little too sure of his own opinions, stating them as facts. Indeed he himself says that today's scientific culture is one of "ignorance", meaning we know there are things we don't know (just like Donald Rumsfeld), so how ca
...more
Ehud Amir
A Brief History of the Right Questions

At the 16th Century, Peter Bruegel the Elder has painted his Landscape with the Fall of Icarus: a farmer works in the field, ships sail by – and at the bottom, at the corner, almost invisible, Icarus falls to the sea. The Icarus Myth is remembered for thousands of years; the farmer in the painting had lived and died in anonymity. Why, therefore, had Bruegel painted such a small and marginal Icarus and such a central farmer?

“A Brief History of Humankind” by Y
...more
Liad Magen
this book have changed my life, the way I think, the way I percept the world.
I think it is an obligatory book for everyone on this planet.
Hedva
One of the best non-fiction books I have ever read.

It is amazing that such a young person could grasp the whole history of mankind, synthesize it and present it in such and interesting, coherent, fluent way.
A real pleasure to the mind.
Caren
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I was just drawn right into his thinking and found myself pausing so often while reading to muse, "Wow, I hadn't thought of it that way before." His writing style is chatty, personable,easy to follow, and never boring. He really does tackle all of the big questions and weaves his answers together into a big tapestry of life on this planet. I feel as though I could go right back to page one and begin again, and with the stacks of books I hav ...more
Andy
The only parts of this book that really grabbed my attention were the chapters on early humankind, and especially the interaction between Homo Sapiens and other Homo species. The rest of it is a very pedestrian and basic journey through some aspects of human history, with the author making a lot of sweeping assertions and tending towards a rather vague and disembodied explanation of things like culture, money, etc. These sort of general explanations might be good for someone new to the study of ...more
Ranjeev Dubey
Every once in a decade, a book comes along that has the capacity to radically change the way we think about matters of substance. This book is one of them.

It asks fundamental questions about our evolution as humans and offers counter intuitive, tangential viewpoints. It tests our thinking, provokes new trains of thought.

The book is highly readable and an immense provocation. It must be read, whether or not you are particularly interested in mankind, its history, its evolution or its future. I
...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
This is really a perception-shifting book, at least for me. It surveys the entire length of human history (taking cues from evolutionary theory, anthropology and history itself) and in that sense it is an ambitious book. Well, I have nothing better to do (I might not even call it a review!) than to put down my hasty notes here, a selfish goal which will kill two birds at once:

1) I will have an organized place to record them.

2) Should the reader find them info-taining, I'd be happy.

So here goes..
...more
Gary
This book is a masterpiece. I feel fortunate that I discovered it before most other people. I discovered it by reading an extremely negative review for this book in the Wall Street Journal written by a historian. (In his defense, he just didn't understand that this is not a history book, and he had no idea what Harari is getting at).

This book never stops in challenging my understanding of our place in the universe. What we believe in determines what we want to want. Sapiens are distinguished by
...more
Malachy
The book discusses the three great anthropological revolutions - the Cognitive Revolution where we became clever (for reasons, it seems, no-one is as yet able to explain), the Agricultural Revolution where we adopted a sedentary lifestyle based on farming and which led to the first civilisations, and the Scientific Revolution where we have begun to reject superstition and seek to base our understanding of things on empirical observation.

As a single piece of work on the history of Homo Sapiens,
...more
أحمد

الكتاب يشرح كيف كان الانسان كائن مهمش ليس له اثر يذكر علي الكوكب ثم تحول بعد ذلك الي الكائن المسيطر الذي يقرر مصير الطبيعة. لماذا قام اجدادنا بالتعاون معا وبناء المدن والحضارات؟. لماذا ينتشر العنف بشكل مروع في الجنس البشري بالمقارنة ببقية الانواع؟ لماذا نؤمن بالآلهة ومن اين اتت فكرة النقود وما هو القانون وماذا فعلت فينا الامبراطوريات؟ ما هي السعادة؟ كيف سيكون العالم بعد الف عام؟ هل سنكون هنا؟

هذه امثلة من الاسئلة التي يناقشها الكتاب

يأتي الكتاب في اربعة اجزاء
الجزء الاول عن النشأة والطفرة المعرفية

...more
Katy Noyes
4.5 stars.

Wow. Mind-expanding stuff for non-academics. This is a wonderful take-a-step-back-and-see-the-big-picture look at humans, where we are, where we've been, where we're going.

If you're studying the history, politics, science of human beings, this might be nothing new. But if you're not, like me, you might find some dots get connected. I could see connections between concepts I'd not realised before, how the idea of money as a necessary tool developed and what that meant for us as a specie
...more
Anysha
Kniha na pomezí odborné a populárně naučné literatury, jedna z nejlepších, které se mi dostaly do rukou. Poutavým stylem čtenáře provází vývojem člověka, v kterém vyzdvihuje zejména 3 momenty - kognitivní revoluci před 70 000 lety, zemědělskou revoluci před 12 000 lety a vědeckou revoluci před 500 lety. Tím pádem se v knize skvěle orientuje, všechno je doplněno mapkami i obrazovou přílohou.
Myslím, že téměř každého už někdy napadlo, jak vlastně vypadal ten "pračlověk", kde žil, jak navazoval vzta
...more
Luda
ספר היסטוריה הכי מעניין שיצא לי לקרא.
כדאי להחליף כמה שנים של בית ספר בספר הזה.
הררי מעביר המון מידע בצורה מעניינת ועם המון הומור טוב. פעם אחר פעם הררי גרם לי לחשוב אם מה שאני יודעת על העולם הוא באמת נכון
Francesca Cohn
This is the most important book I have read in the last year. To begin with it falls into the "I can't put it down category ". The writing is quick, accessible. I just couldn't wait to see what happens next. It's the kind of book where you are dying to jump to the end to see how it all ties together. But you don't because you don't want it to end.

I often felt that all those years of school studying history were spent remembering disjointed facts. This book integrates eras of history into a mean
...more
Patricia
Absolutely fascinating! So much history I didn't know, so many interesting facts about how humans went from being hunter-gatherers who had to pay attention to their environment to beings that are able to control their environments in many ways. This is a heavy book in several senses of the meaning: it presents an overview of human history - it posits theories about the past and the future that are sometimes unsettling - and printed on thick paper it weighs just shy of 3 pounds. It took time to r ...more
Art
Where was this great book when I took history and social studies in school? This is the science of humankind. A terrific book.

The author hooked me with his clear and direct writing of the first four paragraphs. Then, after prehistory, we move through the cognitive, agricultural and industrial revolutions. In the end, the author weighs the future of sapiens as we develop cyborgs, bionics and bioengineering. Will a species beyond sapiens evolve by our own hand?

Myths and fictions developed while
...more
Jim Jones
An incredibly important book full of ideas about the history of our species that everyone should read and reflect on.

I first heard about this book when it was broadcast as BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week in September. I was driving to pick up a prescription for my regular supply of anti-depressants from the surgery and was so captivated by the ideas about relative happiness that I sat in the car park for 20 minutes listening to the programme.

The part of the book being narrated was "and they all li
...more
Ginello Lince
A lot of stuff to be learned. And a lot of interesting questions to be answered. But disappointing enough - there aren't so many answers. On the other hand: there’s more than a brief history – there’s an outlook! Maybe, things around the corner won’t happen, but whatever it is, it will imply “fundamental transformations in human consciousness and identity” (p. 473f). And so, first 450 pages may be read as a “brief” preparation for the big changes ahead. To recognize them, to realize the challen ...more
Tariq Mahmood
This is a fascinating and an audacious project, to come up with a history of the Homo Sapien was no mean task. The author in his very simple yet relevant analogies has tackled some pretty fundamental questions in this powerful book. What made Sapiens better than the rest? What role did various types of religions play in the ascent of humans over other? Why West progressed while East lagged in scientific development? And lastly the core question of happiness. What is the difference between libera ...more
Lennon
Indispensable. El autor nos habla de la especie humana desde el principio hasta los días actuales. Religiones, capitalismo, comunismo, biología, genética... todo está tratado de una manera seria y fácil de leer.
Nos invita a reflexionar sobre muchas de las cosas que hoy en día damos por sentadas y no nos paramos a incidir en ellas, como la influencia que han tenido nuestros actos sobre la naturaleza u otras especies y a donde nos puede llevar todo esto.
Lo recomiendo a todo el mundo, hay mucho es
...more
Sinem
Altını çizdigim bir sürü cümlesi olan bir kitap. Büyük laflar etmeden 70 bin yıllık insanlık tarihine bir de başka bir açıdan baksak diyerek ufuk açtığını söyleyebilirim
D.L. Morrese
Part natural science, part history, and part philosophy, this is a thought provoking read. It is careful not to make value judgements, but it is not reluctant to ascribe unknowable motivations to groups of people. Some of these motivations I thought reasonable, others not so much. I did have a few issues with some distinctions (and lack of distinctions) being drawn. The biggest was that the author uses a VERY broad definition of the word 'religion', which he defines as "a belief in a superhuman ...more
August Letendre
One of the best nonfiction books I have read in a while. I can't imagine many people not finding something in this book enjoyable.
Jan
Kniha se spoustou pozitivních myšlenek, moje oblíbené:

"Byl člověk ve středověku šťastný, protože našel smysl života v kolektivní iluzi o posmrtném štěstí? Ano, a dokud mu jeho iluzi nikdo nebral, dobře to fungovalo. Z přísně vědeckého hlediska nemá život smysl. Homo Sapiens je produktem slepého evolučního procesu, který nemůže mít význam ani cíl. Naše činy nejsou součástí vesmírného Božího plánu, a kdyby Země zítra explodovala, vesmír by se vyvíjel stejně dál. Člověka by nikdo nepostrádal. Smysl
...more
Peter Nicewicz
Sapiens is not a book to take lightly. Professor Harari weaves incredible concepts throughout the book questioning our inter-subjective reality. Nothing is left untouched - be ready to be confronted about the "fictions" of Christianity, capitalism, and human rights. He attempts to measure progress and the meaning of human history by "happiness," despite acknowledging the subjective nature of it. Did humans really undergo the cognitive, agricultural, and scientific revolutions to be happy? Or, ar ...more
Penguin Random House NZ
(Becky) This author would clearly make an excellent dinner party companion! The writing is so witty and accessible that you barely notice how much you are learning. Its scope is massive (both in terms of time and place) but he cleverly keeps it at a relatable level. I’m also enjoying the subtle politics and sly humour that inform some of his anecdotes.
Pat Rolston
I picked this book up at the library while in the middle of an existing read and it was so compelling I switched which is rare for me. This is an author who brings a very entertaining perspective to history in his interpretation through an anthropologic perspective. His opinions are strong and will alienate many people, but there is no question he will make you think. His strength is in very clear communication of subjects that are very complex. He is not overly simplistic, but communicates his ...more
Henry
Harari must be very intelligent and brilliant to have written this book. I loved it and learned a lot from reading it. A fascinating insight into the evolution of the Homo Sapien and his/her circumstances. Truly a fascinating read!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: SAPIENS by Harari listed twice 2 11 Mar 18, 2015 12:47PM  
Here is a great interview with the author. 3 21 Feb 21, 2015 10:27AM  
Reading Along Wit...: Yuval Harari, "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" 1 14 Feb 09, 2015 04:55AM  
Livro repetido na BD 1 1 Oct 10, 2014 03:52AM  
secular religions 1 18 May 25, 2013 01:09AM  
  • Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes
  • After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5000 BC
  • The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans
  • The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates
  • The Complete World of Human Evolution
  • The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived
  • The World from Beginnings to 4000 BCE
  • Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History
  • Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans
  • Modernity Britain, 1957-1963
  • The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals
  • The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors
  • Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
  • Out of Eden: The Peopling of the World
  • Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live
  • Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins
  • The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BCE – 1492 CE
  • Lives in Ruins: Archeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble
395812
Dr. Yuval Noah Harari lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He originally specialized in medieval history and military history, completing his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford (Jesus College) in 2002, and publishing numerous books and articles, including Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100-1550; The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations an
...more
More about Yuval Noah Harari...
Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100-1550 The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450-2000 ההיסטוריה של המחר Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History and Identity, 1450-1600 Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition

Share This Book

“Consistency is the playground of dull minds.” 10 likes
“The romantic contrast between modern industry that “destroys nature” and our ancestors who “lived in harmony with nature” is groundless. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of life.” 9 likes
More quotes…