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21 Lessons for the 21st Century

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  87,874 ratings  ·  6,729 reviews
In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today’s most pressing issues.

How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our ch
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Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Spiegel & Grau (first published August 30th 2018)
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Raul Delgado It is not needed but recommended, this book uses some references to the previous books. If you have the opportunity read them too, specially sapiens i…moreIt is not needed but recommended, this book uses some references to the previous books. If you have the opportunity read them too, specially sapiens is a masterpiece.(less)
Marie (UK) I read EVERY word of this book - i got a free copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review and believe me this is a book i will be talking about…moreI read EVERY word of this book - i got a free copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review and believe me this is a book i will be talking about for years to come(less)
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Bill Gates
The human mind wants to worry. This is not necessarily a bad thing—after all, if a bear is stalking you, worrying about it may well save your life. Although most of us don’t need to lose too much sleep over bears these days, modern life does present plenty of other reasons for concern: terrorism, climate change, the rise of A.I., encroachments on our privacy, even the apparent decline of international cooperation.

In his fascinating new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the historian Yuval No
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Emily May
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, nonfiction
I really like Harari. I like his books a lot, but I think that is at least in part due to how much I like him. He seems like an intelligent, intuitive and empathetic person, and so his books become all those things.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century is really a book about where we are and how we can move forward. It bridges the gap between Sapiens, which was about our past, and Homo Deus, which is about our future. Here, Harari looks at where we stand technologically and politically, debunking m
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David Wineberg
Society 101

Yuval Harari is well known for his books Sapiens and Homo Deus. He has decided to squander his reputation on a book called 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. The basic problem is that every chapter is the subject of whole shelves of books, and putting them all in one book cannot possibly do them justice. What we have left is a set of 21 editorials, which might inform the totally uninformed, but provide little insight and no solutions. As “lessons” they are unhelpful.

He has conveniently
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
This book is quite difficult to review.

I enjoyed Part 1 about the technological challenges humans will be faced with and how we can adapt. It reminded me that I need to read Homo Deus which hopefully will satisfy that craving for me.

The rest of the book was more political, religious and philosophical than I usually go for. The title misrepresented the content of the book as there are 21 chapters, not 21 lessons.

Overall learned quite a bit but I much preferred his other work.

I received an ARC fr
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Anni
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's Life as we know it, Jim! (But don't ask what it means).

'A wise old man was asked what he learned about the meaning of life. ‘Well,’ he answered, ‘I have learned that I am here on earth in order to help other people. What I still haven’t figured out is why the other people are here.’

As Harari explains:

“We are now living in an age of information explosion … the last thing people need is more information. What they really need is somebody to arrange all of the bits of information into a meani
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David
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an utterly fantastic book, the third book I have read by Yuval Harari. They have all been exquisitely excellent! Harari is opinionated and blunt, no doubt about it. But what I most enjoy about this book--as in all of his books--is the unique insights he brings to the discussion. I just love the way he thinks about things. This book contains very few answers--mainly it's about questions. But Harari develops ways to think about issues that are very relevant today.

The 21 lessons are contain
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Mehrsa
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Harari's books and I really like him as a thinker and a writer. This book is wonderful in the way all his books are wonderful and is flawed in the way the rest are. It is an act of bold ambition and also hubris to write a history of the world, answer the meaning of life, and to propose a path toward the 22nd Century. He certainly does not do all of that, but the act of trying is a lot of fun to read. A lot of his predictions for the future sound like fantasy and science fiction, ...more
Otis Chandler
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Harari is one of my favorite authors of late, and his books Sapiens and Home Deus are among my favorites. This book builds on those, and is equally fascinating. He is one of those clear thinkers who is able to put together multiple macro trends combined with philosophical perspective. Sapiens is about the past, Deus about the future, and this book purports to be 21 lessons about the present. But it is also rooted in the past, and preparing us for the future.

One of Harari's key themes in Deus an
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Jenna
Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question."

Has anyone ever asked you which author you would choose to read if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one author with you? I could not come up with any one writer until reading Yuval Harari. Now, I would without a doubt choose him. There might only be 3 books he's written so far, and though I've read all 3, I could spend years re-reading them and reflecting on all that is cont
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André Oliveira
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is going to upset some people.

I really enjoyed Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow , my favorite being Sapiens.

okay. this book.

Yuval Noah Harari takes some really big topics as religion, nationalism, secularism, liberty, equality, immigration, terrorism, fake news and so much more, and give us his opinions on these subjects
always being really frank and upfront.

So, I can say that I liked this book because I agree with a lot of his opinions. I
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Swaroop Kanti
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Change is the only constant."

"I am free to create my own dharma."

This book has been an interesting, fascinating, enlightening, liberating, scary and an exciting read!

The psyche of Homo sapiens...

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari is all about perspective on what's happening right now and clarity about the greatest challenges and important choices. This book covers a wide range of topics, from Disillusionment, War, Politics to Meditation.

Homo sapiens is just not built for sat
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Jen
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Citizen! Are you concerned that the problems we face increasingly call for a global response? Then look no further for a lucid circle jerk. Have you ever, while huffing the molten interior of a fresh dinner roll, saw emerging technologies fuse with advances in bioengineering to produce a shambling monstrosity the likes of which Lovecraft had no adjectives for? Well, this book may occasion some frustration as it continually auto-corrects to ‘Cyclopean’.

Right up front: I usually don’t like books t
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Anton
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, masterful and exquisite non-fiction writing as we come to expect from Mr Harari. Delightful, wise and very perceptive. This book can be seen as an expansion and a companion to Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. The attention of this volume is focused on the Present as opposed to Past or the Future. Some parts will make you feel inspired, others will sow a despair. But it is a relevant and useful book that will give you a plenty to chew on.

Strongly recommended
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Brandice
21 Lessons for the 21st Century offers lots of food for thought and interesting concepts, many already under way with several on the horizon for the near future.

The continuous rise of technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), the overwhelming volume of information we’re bombarded with on a daily basis, and the traditional ideas we often hold regarding religion and politics all significantly impact the world. The chapters on AI, nationalism, and combatting terrorism were particularly i
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kartik narayanan
What can I say about this book that will do it justice? Nothing.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century is yet another seminal work by Yuval Noah Harari, which deals with the challenges facing us here and now. He tackles different topics from varying perspectives. Even if you do not agree with everything he says, one thing is for sure - he makes you think.

Prepare to have your worldview expand if you read this book. It is a definite keeper.
Preston Kutney
If you’ve read Sapiens and Homo Deus (which I really enjoyed), you can skip.

This is basically a collection of Harari’s opinions on a group of topics somewhat relevant to today, repackaged from his first two books, with all the same strengths and flaws: good storytelling about human history, human nature, the future; but also the signature flaw in his writing - very little distinction between ideas that have substantial evidence and those that are simply his opinions.
Bharath
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading both Sapiens and Homo Deus, especially the former. This book picks up the thread and is set between the matter of Sapiens (now Homo Sapiens came to rule the Earth) and Homo Deus (what awaits us in the future) in terms of time scales. While the author talks about this book’s matter being more relevant to the present, it is still set out a little into the future.

The book starts with the impact of technology – robotics, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. This is going to m
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Anni
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's Life as we know it, Jim
Or: Don't ask what it means!

'A wise old man was asked what he learned about the meaning of life. ‘Well,’ he answered, ‘I have learned that I here on earth in order to help other people. What I still haven’t figured out is why the other people are here.’

As Harari explains:

“We are now living in an age of information explosion … the last thing people need is more information. What they really need is somebody to arrange all of the bits of information into a meaningful p
...more
Nada Elshabrawy
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, english
A super important book!
Alice Lippart
Interesting, as always.
Daniel Clausen
This is one of the most complete books I've read in a long time. Filled with wisdom, insight, philosophy, wit, curiosity. And, most importantly, humility.

I felt that each chapter could be a book unto itself. I felt that some insights were exceptional, while others gave me pause. Perhaps one of the reasons is that the book covers so much ground in such a short time and in doing so passes over vasts amounts of scholarly research (glosses over them, randomly picks through it perhaps). In some of t
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Bianca
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A million stars

Educational+ Informative + Food for thought = BRILLIANT = MUST READ
Ray
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, nonfic, spirit
I got a lot out of this book. I do understand the criticisms that Harari can be unfocused in this list of lessons, or rather questions without clear answers (but what's wrong with that?), and it is not quite the must-read that was Sapiens and even Homo Deus.

That said, having a book of Yuval Harari disjointedly riffing about the state of the world is about the most fascinating kind of read I could ask for. The more, the better. His ideas about religion, technology, story-telling, identity, medit
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Charlie Hasler
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read. It made me feel quite uncomfortable at times, reading something and allowing the words to unplug your mind from the Matrix is a strange feeling.

I enjoyed how the author didn’t shy away from any subjects, no subject is safe as it were, and nor should it be. Everything be it religion or world politics must be open for criticism and dissection.

After putting this book down each evening I pondered on the chapters I had just read, and the ones before that. I am a thinker/day dreame
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Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
The author has a good sense of the forces that are shaping our world. The author really understands the current historical moment and the factors that people should pay attention to. From education to war and peace, to class warfare, to technological displacement, to climate change the author gives a good guide to the times we are living in. Good stuff.
Laura Noggle
Initial Thoughts: Overly generalized and vague, you'll be hard pressed to find many concrete "lessons"— although there's a fair amount of astute insights and quotable aphorisms.

“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.”

Based on all the rave reviews, I thought at first maybe I had missed something until Bill Gates' 3 star review confirmed my initial opinion.

The first portion of the book was my favorite, and although I've already hit my personal limit on digital futurecasti
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Vladimir
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miscellaneous
This book provoked me so I decided to write a longer review.

First of all, Yuval Noah Harari is well educated man and the book contains many interesting thoughts and comments. I learned a lot. However, it is so imbued with political correctness that it was sometimes painful to read it. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely share the liberal values but, sometimes, I cannot stand all this "purity" of language. Either Dr Harari had a "good" editor who cleaned up all possible strong statements or it was
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Lou
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yuval Noah Harari, author of 'Sapiens', which looked at the history of mankind and 'Homo Deus' which looked to the future, is back with '21 Lessons for the 21st Century' a book which very much explores present day issues. As I enjoyed his previous two books I was excited to delve into this collection to see how it would compare. Just as accessible as the others it discusses important topical issues such as fake news, immigration, terrorism, and climate change, to name but a few. I found each top ...more
Saadia B. || CritiConscience
Harari is famous for his thought provoking analysis and descriptions. In this book he touches upon various aspect of life such as AI, nuclear wars, globalised politics, religion, terrorism, etc. but more than lessons he talks about their stance in the 21st Century.

Though he tries to make sense out of them but mostly loses track. As per his estimates, the recent boom of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Algorithms and BioEngineering will put billions of humans out of job market and will create a
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Krista
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2018, nonfiction, essays
Humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. Homo sapiens is a post-truth species, whose power depends on creating and believing fictions. Ever since the Stone Age, self-reinforcing myths have served to unite human collectives. Indeed, Homo sapiens conquered this planet thanks above all to the unique human ability to create and spread fictions.

As Yuval Noah Hurari states in his introduction, his book Sapiens was about the deep past of human history, Homo Deus was about our deep future, and
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23,148 followers
Professor Harari was born in Haifa, Israel, to Lebanese parents in 1976. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is now a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He specialized in World History, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biolo
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Articles featuring this book

There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find...
60 likes · 19 comments
“Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question.” 202 likes
“Morality doesn’t mean ‘following divine commands’. It means ‘reducing suffering’. Hence in order to act morally, you don’t need to believe in any myth or story. You just need to develop a deep appreciation of suffering.” 130 likes
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