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From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind
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From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  420 ratings  ·  50 reviews
About 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was still an insignificant animal minding its own business in a corner of Africa. Our ancestors shared the planet with at least five other human species, and their role in the ecosystem was no greater than that of gorillas, fireflies, or jellyfish. Then, about 70,000 years ago, a mysterious change took place in the mind of Homo sapiens...more
Paperback, 484 pages
Published July 16th 2012 by CreateSpace (first published 2011)
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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
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
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
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.
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
أحمد
الكتاب غير تقليدي يتناول التاريخ بنظرة كلية شاملة منذ بداية الانفجار الكبير وحتي الآن. يركز بالطبع علي الحالة الإنسانية ولكن في الإطار الكلي لتاريخ كل شيء

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 الس...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
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.
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
Andrew
The early comparisons to Jared Diamond are just.

All of human history brought together into one manageable volume, and organized around a few big ideas: the cognitive, agricultural, and industrial revolutions. With a meta theme of the stories we tell ourselves suggested as the organizing principle for human society.

Yes, it's reductive. I mean it's millions of years of history in four hundred pages. Yes, it's macro instead of using micro case studies. And yes, it's pretty near brilliant. It's a gr...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
Erez Davidi
"From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind" was (and I think still is) a bestseller in Israel for months topping even fiction books, which is quite an achievement. Despite the raving recommendations, I was fairly suspicious of this book, chiefly because I tend to think it's somewhat impossible to condense the history of humankind into 400 pages without resorting to shallowness and simplistic explanations. Nonetheless, at last I decided to read it. My early reticence was quite correct,...more
Christine
BBC Book of the Week Sept 08

Adrian Scarborough reads from Yuval Noah Harari's ground-breaking account of humankind's remarkable history from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one.

Far-reaching and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human, ending with a look at what lies ahead for humankind.

Abridged by Penny Leicester
Produced by Gemma Jenkins.
Ido Hadanny
שיצה השאיל לי וגם צפה שלא אוכל להניח עד שאבלע את כולו, וצדק.
עושה סדר בהמון המון דברים, קולח, זורם ותמיד תמיד מעניין.

זכורים במיוחד: הכסף הנוצרי שהמוסלמים שמחו לקבל מהאויבים הנוצרים, תצלום מערת הידיים והספק מלחמה שהיתה בין הומו סאפיינס לניאנדרתל, רעיונות הפיקציה שמאפשרים לנו חברות ענק, כוחה של תרבות האי-ידיעה, ההשוואה בין דיוקן אובמה לדיוקן לואי השש עשרה.

ובכל זאת, זה לא מאמר מדעי כמו 'רובים חידקים ופלדה', הניסוחים מזכירים הרבה פעמים את הסיכומים שצילמתי מהאלה בשורה הראשונה, והרבה השערות ופרובוקציות...more
Murray
One quality of a ‘good book’ is to reorient the perspective of the reader. Sapiens will likely do just that. As a charmingly accessible work of historical non-fiction from a biological perspective, Sapiens offers an account of the fulcrums of our species’ history.

Its author, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, writes with a charisma that makes this book uniquely readable. He offers a wide range of interesting historical references, data, and allegories that opens the possibility for a diverse confluence of...more
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.
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Yuval Noah Harari's groundbreaking account of our history - from apes to world dominance.
Edennuriel

Recommended by a friend I found this book to be fun and refreshing!

I've enjoyed the most from the fantastic way the vast amount of information was organized and presented. How did the author managed to keep it so clear and enjoyable? the answer can only be magic.

I really wish it was also available in English so i could share it with my wife and friends. I recommended the book to my sister, she loved it too and actually emailed the author asking about an English version for her hubby.

I was so...more
David
This is one of the best books I've ever read. If you are curious or if you have any interest in history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, religion, politics, economics, or humanity, then you must read this book. Dr. Harari is amazing. Take his Coursera course, you will love it!
https://www.coursera.org/course/human...
Samuel Ribeiro Giordano
Dr. Harari really really knows how to tell a story about our history. If one is interested in the origins of mankind without prejudice, read this book. Better than a thriller, written in a direct and precisely scientific way , it fulfils a gap that was open for years in this area. A mix of science and literature.
Dennis Schvejda
History with an "edge." Not the usual "history," a chronology of dates... but a thought provoking look at the great turning points. You may not always agree with the author, but there's plenty of food for thought. As do many others, I highly recommend this book!
Barak
A very informative book consisting of many interesting theories.
Sometimes too informative and some of the sections at the end of this book are too speculative, however, overall a good read.
Rotem
Outstanding.Thought provoking. It took my breath away.
Roar
Jun 14, 2014 Roar is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just started. So far interesting and very readable!
Podiceps
Very stimulating and enjoyable read.
Guy Kashtan
Best book I've ever read.
yexxo
Nov 19, 2013 yexxo rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Gut geschriebene Sachbücher sind ja bedauerlicherweise immer noch recht rar in der deutschen Sprache. So hatte ich mich auf dieses Buch wirklich gefreut, da ihm diesbezüglich doch schon einige Lobeshymnen vorauseilten. Doch leider hielt meine Freude nicht allzu lange an. Nein, nichts gegen den Schreibstil des Herrn Harari: Er schreibt locker und leicht von der Leber weg, unterhaltsam und verständlich mit bildlichen, aktuellen und witzigen Vergleichen (manchmal vielleicht sogar etwas zu flapsig)...more
Meaghan Buchanan
I got this book as a giveaway here on Goodreads. I wasn't sure what to think when I first got it, but I'm glad that I read it. It is a great overview of human history, and the things that occurred that made Homo Sapiens what we are today. Normally, most books like this can get rather dry and boring and rely too heavily on names and dates. However, this book is very well written and gets the points across with wit, humour, and an easy-to-read structure. Who knew that metahistory could be this int...more
☯Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristian
a truly enlightening work. also true: maybe a bit overambitious in trying to cover not only the past hundreds thousands of years of the human evolution but also covering so many different aspects of it. the shortcomings come with the occasional superficial or wild/speculative conclusions the author draws from his arguments. however, that's simultaneously also the most fun part of the book.
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Here is a great interview with the author. 2 2 Oct 21, 2014 06:46AM  
secular religions 1 8 May 25, 2013 01:09AM  
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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 Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History and Identity, 1450-1600 Da animali a dèi: Breve storia dell'umanità (Overlook) Sàpiens. Una breu història de la humanitat (Llibres a l'Abast) (Catalan Edition)

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“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.” 1 likes
“La verdadera diferencia entre nosotros y los chimpancés es el pegamento mítico que une a un gran número de individuos, familias y grupos. Este pegamento nos ha convertido en los dueños de la creación.” 0 likes
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