Steve's Reviews > Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
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it was amazing

Sapiens


Sapiens is a thought provoking and insightful exploration of the physical and cultural evolution of our species.

The central theme of the book is that Homo Sapiens have the capacity to create and believe in abstract ideas, which enables larger groups to be coherent. This ability to conceive and believe in abstract ideas enables religion, financial systems, and social systems, all of which enables larger group coherence, but also allow for things like racism (or as the author suggests, “culturalism,” as the biases are often about “otherness” rather than simply race) to creep into our belief system. The book’s analysis of suggests that racism and animal cruelty and similar bad acts often enter into culture less out of malice and hatred than lack of thought -- though their persistence has other, less positive, motivators.

A mix of social history, science history, anthropology and social commentary, Sapiens is an engaging and though provoking read. Even if you don’t agree with the conclusions the author makes, the book can frame a though process. And for all the depth and comprehensiveness, the book is quite approachable and easy to read.

This thought provoking read about the history, and future of or species ends with an exploration of the future of humanity, our impact on the ecosystem, and the importance of being more thoughtful as we use the powers we’ve developed to change our world. If you read the book, consider getting it in physical form for the photos and illustrations, which add to the experience.
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Reading Progress

September 25, 2019 – Started Reading
September 25, 2019 – Shelved
October 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

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