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De meeste mensen deugen

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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  15,608 ratings  ·  2,031 reviews
De mens is een beest, zeiden de koningen. Een zondaar, zeiden de priesters. Een egoïst, zeiden de boekhouders. Al eeuwen is de westerse cultuur doordrongen van het geloof in de verdorvenheid van de mens.

Maar wat als we het al die tijd mis hadden?

In dit boek verweeft Rutger Bregman de jongste inzichten uit de psychologie, de economie, de biologie en de archeologie. Hij nee
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Paperback, 521 pages
Published September 2019 by De Correspondent
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Sanne Hermans Ik heb het nog niet gelezen, maar in een interview met Geschiedenis Magazine schrijft Bregman dat hij tegen Pinker ingaat: "Psycholoog Steven Pinker v…moreIk heb het nog niet gelezen, maar in een interview met Geschiedenis Magazine schrijft Bregman dat hij tegen Pinker ingaat: "Psycholoog Steven Pinker verkondigt in zijn boeken het wereldbeeld dat we vroeger beesten waren die elkaar de hersens insloegen, en dat het met ieder stukje beschaving - de staat, het schrift, de Verlichting, de Industriële Revolutie - steeds iets beter werd. Daar ga ik tegenin. Het grootste deel van de geschiedenis van de beschaving was één groot fiasco voor een groot deel van de mensheid." Hij noemt als voorbeelden hoe landbouw leidde tot slavernij, ziektes, ongelijkheid. Het was dus niet zo'n positieve ontwikkeling in de geschiedenis van de mens als wordt beweerd (dit laat Harari met Sapiens natuurlijk ook al zien). De nadruk ligt dus op de mens zelf als goedaardig wezen, en niet op de vooruitgang die de mens goedaardig(er) zou maken (Pinker). Zo heb ik het in ieder geval begrepen! Hoop dat je er wat aan hebt.(less)

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Jenna
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenna by: Shivam Kimothi
You know that person who's always so happy no matter what? Maybe it's the colleague who is bright and cheery at 8:00 every Monday morning when everyone else is struggling just to open their eyes and get their third cup of coffee down? 

चाड्डा अमितशर्मा GIF - चाड्डा अमितशर्मा थेऑफ़िस GIFs


Or that really annoying person who always urges you to look on the bright side. Oh, your arm fell off? No worries, you have another! Oh, your second arm fell off too? Well, just think of all the fun you're going to have learning how to use your feet to open doors,
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Trevor
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I hadn’t recently read Calling Bullshit. According to that book, I really ought to be applying the sharpest possible criticism to this book. The reason being that this book confirms so many of my own prejudices. In fact, I’ve used many of the arguments used here (and even the same examples) in my own life. For example, over the last few years I’ve been asked to give the opening lecture on the importance of literacy to undergrad education students at work. Mostly, I look at how social clas ...more
Mehrsa
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I picked up this book to hate-read it. I thought it would be more Pinker and and that Lars guy saying how everything is better now and will everyone just shut up sort of stuff. But I actually really loved the book--that is, I loved the first 2/3rds of the book. The last 1/3rd was way too cute and optimistic for my cold cynical heart. The book is not making the claim that Pinker is making. The book is a point by point debunking of a Hobbsian worldview and the sham "studies" and stor ...more
Emma
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Some great stories, but anecdotes don't make a sustained argument and the whole isn't entirely convincing. Even so, it's the perfect time for a healthy dose of optimism and if there's anything this book does well it's showing how hope and positivity can breed more. So go forth and be the good you want to see in the world. You might just inspire others to do the same.

ARC via Netgalley
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Elzinus
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: cultuur-kritiek
Bregmans book is immensely populair at this moment in Holland. The central thesis is clear from the title, freely translated: Most people are OK. Bregmans, is a journalist and historic from Holland who gained fame by explicitering the need for tax reforms at Davos. In this book he argues that most people are OK in two different ways.

1. By summarizing study results that proof our good nature, that is, an preference for social cooperative behaviour and aversion to violence
2. Secondly by trashing e
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Clif Hostetler
If you wish to believe that people are naturally good but you can’t because of the counter examples in the news and you’ve been taught otherwise in history, sociology, and psychology school classes, then you need to read this book. This book makes a convincing case that humans are by nature friendly and peaceful creatures, and most of the counter examples are caused by pressures of civilization for which evolution of the human brain has left us ill-prepared.

Bregman makes the case that a probabl
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Michael Perkins
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given the now obvious drawbacks of the Electoral College, I think this is accurate...

The Framers were not really interested in democracy, as we now define it, but an ‘elective aristocracy.’

"Take the American Constitution: historians agree it ‘was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period’. It was never the American Founding Fathers’ intention for the general populace to play an active role in politics."

============

What Happened to my Late Br
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Krista
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An idealist can be right her whole life, and still be dismissed as naive. This book is intended to change that. Because what seems unreasonable, unrealistic, and impossible today, can turn out to be inevitable tomorrow. It is time for a new realism. It is time for a new view of humankind.

With the subtitle “A Hopeful History”, Humankind is exactly the kind of optimistic read I think I needed right now. With so much negative going on, I keep hearing, “What do you expect? People are the worst,
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Lou
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rutger Bregman returns with one of the most anticipated nonfiction titles of the year. What makes this such a fantastic read is that it is equal parts fascinating and informative; many such books can be dry and tedious but Humankind avoids those pitfalls by employing a highly readable writing style to entice you to carry on turning the pages well into the night. At its heart, this is a book about human nature and on the whole is optimistic about life. I found it different from what I would usual ...more
t.
Some books reach you at the right time and this book did exactly that. To be fair, the right time for a book offering a hopeful, optimistic view of humankind to reach me wasn’t that small of a window – I’ve been noticing how I, an usually optimistic person in my day-to-day-life, have become increasingly cynical when it comes to my fellow humans. And… can you blame me, in this economy, this pandemic, this global climate crisis, this political turmoil, etc. etc. etc.?

Just like I know you can’t bla
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Rhian Pritchard
This book has taken me nearly two months to read, not because it was difficult to read (it’s not, it’s beautifully written and translated) but because the ideas required quite so long to process fully. I don’t know if anyone has spoken to me in the last two months and NOT had me recommend this book to them wholeheartedly, even when I was only about a hundred pages in. It is like reading a book that confirms and reinforces, through meticulous research, discussion and sourcing, a secret truth I ha ...more
Susy
May 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-finished
1.5 stars
Never been happier to finish a book!
"What we look for is what we'll find", says Bregman. Hmm, could that be the case with his book and his "research"? He seems to want to sell his idea so (too) badly that he foregoes any scrutiny or nuance. There are a lot more points of criticism and I did start to write them all down, but my list was getting too long so I stopped. Besides, there are some excellent reviews already (be it in Dutch):
Bou's review
Lieke's review
Daniëlle's review
Amber's rev
...more
Bryan Alkire
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. It’s a contrarian take on human nature, that we’re better than evil. It basically attempts to counteract the popular takes of various events and human nature experiments. It works because it’s readable, more so than many books in the genre. I’s read about most of the things in this work, but there were a few insights I hadn’t considered before. So, I got something new to consider, always a plus. Of course, the danger of this book and any other book on humans is the confirmation bias o ...more
Leonie
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
must-read!
Tine Putzeys
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Once again, I'm in doubt about the number of stars to give this book.

I wanted to give it many many stars, I really did, because I like the premise that most people are inherently good. This has been my gut feeling for a long time, even if I get all kinds of opposite signals from the media and the f*ckers stealing my phone and breaking into my house.

Bergman does give us some great examples of people being awesome and lovely anecdotes for me to casually throw into random conversations. And if I
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Eddie Clarke
Four stars. In the philosophical stand-off between Hobbes (human life is a war of all against all, papered over with the thinnest veneer of civilisation) and Rousseau (we were born noble savages and civilisation has corrupted us) Bregman comes down decisively in favour of Rousseau.

Such a flattering premise makes the book very enjoyable to read, at least in the first half.

The weakness of the book is that it is a string of nicely written and presented anecdotes/episodes/debunkings and then like a
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Tzutopia
Jan 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sociology
The narrative is contradictory, the opinions too black and white, and the book a lazy attempt at trying to make everything fit into this black and white narrative. Life is way more nuanced, and all that he tries to deny is just fact. Face it, don't try to blame the most ridiculous stuff, which most of the time was contradicting his own premise; that most people are good. ...more
Rachel
“what seems unreasonable, unrealistic and impossible today can turn out to be inevitable tomorrow. It’s time for a new realism. It’s time for a new view of humankind.”

Alas I fear at times I have so much excitement, so many thoughts, and feelings about something that rather than flowing forth as eloquent musings they kind of jam up or join together becoming one terse phrase like "READ THIS!". Well that's the case here, nevertheless, I say enthusiastically "read this", I do believe your life will
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David Wineberg
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rutger Bregman set himself a really high-barrier task in his book Humankind. He wants to prove that Man is actually not violent, or bellicose, but peaceful, helpful and kind. To do it, he went back to all those famous, landmark social science studies we’ve all grown up believing. They show unequivocally that Man is selfish, self-centered, violent and wallowing in it. Bregman shows them to be faulty, false, staged or just plain bogus. It makes for an eye-opening journey readers will not soon forg ...more
Matthew Hickey
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
The most profound book I’ve read in recent memory.

I recommend everybody read this and think deeply about what’s between its covers.

Life affirming and encouraging.
Yani
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
By far, and I mean by far seriously, the best, most comforting, most relevant, and most thought provoking I have read in a long time! If I'd have to recommend one book to read at least once in your life, this would be it. Every page just rises your faith in humanity, and filled me with a warm glow. It tackles every prejudice about human nature, how it works, why we think they are true and why it's actually untrue. It advocates for a humane treatment of our fellow humans on every level of society ...more
jeremy
what if our negative ideas about human nature are actually a form of pluralistic ignorance? could our fear that most people are out to maximize their own gain be born of the assumption that that's what others think? and then we adopt a cynical view when, deep down, most of us are yearning for a life of more kindness and solidarity?
on one hand, dutch historian rutger bregman's new book, humankind: a hopeful history, is a thoughtful, engaging, wittily written effort. on the other, it reads as
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Lisa Wright
HUMANKIND is a call-to-arms! We are not savages hidden beneath a thin veneer of civilization as cynics and controllers would have us believe. Bregman makes an excellent case that humans are actually rather amiable creatures who have been manipulated into believing we are wicked. No, we are no angels. We have a strong preference for those who are like us and are easily turned against the "other." But we are also quick to help when given the chance.

Bregman refutes the studies and most famous incid
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Mathilde
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this book as it gave me optimism at a time where it feels everything is going to sh*t. Bregman discusses the fundamental nature of humankind and presents evidence of goodness. Many times I did feel as if it was too good to be true. But until I can disprove any of his claims and the proofs he accompanies them with, I will be believing in the goodness that is present in each of us.
Kristin Van den Eede
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading this book felt wholesome, like a healthy dose of idealism – scratch that, realism! Most people are okay, and if I didn’t already feel that way, Bregman sure as hell convinced me with this book. It’s basically hours of meditation and therapy and insights from dozens of self-help books, all wrapped up into one cogent, eloquently written text.
If I had to name one drawback, though, it would be that the book could be about 1/3 shorter and 1/3 less anecdotal. Contrary to Harari, Bregman under
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Pascal
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book literally changed my worldview. Highly recommended.
Shivam Kimothi
Bergman says that our pessimistic view of humanity is a placebo. The placebo effect states that things have the potential to be true if we believe in them. He says that we have been made to believe that humans are motivated by self-interest and are inherently evil. By whom? By the psychologists who are motivated by selfish reasons and are seeking prestige and acclaim by proving so. And because we are made to believe this, we think it is true.

The book puts forward a radical idea: that humans, dee
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Wendy Hoenkamp
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hope this will become one of the most important books in the history of humankind. It's a true page-turner and gave me the same addicted feeling as i.e. when reading Harry Potter.
I've been a big fan of Bregman's work since about 2011. If you also have been following his journalism, and especially if you attended his book promo tour (in October 2019 in The Netherlands), you won't hear a whole lot of new things. Even if you have been following him for that long, it doesn't matter. Because this
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Robyn Maire
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on audiobook and I must say I love the voice of this author. He tells the story in a way that makes it feel like he is talking to you. In a captivating way he argues for the good in humanity and like the title suggest that ‘’de meeste mensen deugen’’ (most people are good). In a way that is scientifically underpinned and using lots of historic examples. The author debunks a lot of things you think you know about, with the latest information available. From Machiavelli, the Pyg ...more
Nacho Santos
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humankind: A Hopeful History By Rutger Bergman

It’s been almost 2 months since I last finished a book. This book is a great comeback to this lost momentum.

I believe this is the next required read. To me it is as essential as Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It breaks down so many of the beliefs we hold true and debunks them in such an understanding way. For example, did you know the Stanford prison experiment was pushed by Zimbardo to be that way? Or the Nobel winning prize book, the lord of the fli
...more
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Rutger Bregman is a Dutch historian, author and journalist. He studied at Utrecht University and the University of California, Los Angeles and is known for popularizing topics related to social and economic innovation measures and their history through, among others, universal basic income and shorter work weeks.

Rutger Bregman is a journalist at The Correspondent, and one of Europe's most prominen
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