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21 Lessons for the 21st Century Paperback – August 20, 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 9,256 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of September 2018: It’s hard to imagine having as many deep thoughts as Yuval Noah Harari. His 2015 book, Sapiens, examined the human race through the vectors of history and biology, illuminating how each has influenced our behavior and evolution. Two years later, Homo Deus took us in the opposite direction, predicting the profound changes we will undergo as technology becomes increasingly intertwined in our lives and bodies. Just a year and a half later, Harari turns his attention to more immediate concerns. Using the same tack-sharp lens as his previous books, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century addresses urgent, shape-shifting topics that will shape our present and near future, including nationalism, religion, immigration, artificial intelligence, and even the nature of Truth—in other words, everything you're not supposed to talk about at Thanksgiving. Harari is not always reassuring, and he's certainly unafraid of questions challenging widely held views on both global and personal scales, i.e. yours. His quest is not to tear holes in belief systems, but to expand conversations and strip the -isms that channel us into predictably intractable stand-offs. Calling any book "urgent" or "a must-read" is almost always hyperbolic, even shrill. But especially now, 21 Lessons fits the bill. —Jon Foro, Amazon Book Review

Review

“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 Noah Harari creates a useful framework for confronting these fears. While his previous best sellers, Sapiens and Homo Deus, covered the past and future respectively, his new book is all about the present. The trick for putting an end to our anxieties, he suggests, is not to stop worrying. It’s to know which things to worry about, and how much to worry about them. . . . Harari is such a stimulating writer that even when I disagreed, I wanted to keep reading and thinking. . . . [Harari] has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century.”—Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review

“If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari, author of the critically praised Sapiens and Homo Deus, tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: ‘What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?’ . . . Harari makes a passionate argument for reshaping our educational systems and replacing our current emphasis on quickly outdated substantive knowledge with the ‘four Cs’—critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. . . . Thoughtful readers will find 21 Lessons for the 21st Century to be a mind-expanding experience.”BookPage (top pick)

“A sobering and tough-minded perspective on bewildering new vistas.”Booklist (starred review) 

“Magnificently combining historical, scientific, political, and philosophical perspectives, Harari . . . explores twenty-one of what he considers to be today’s ‘greatest challenges.’ Despite the title’s reference to ‘lessons,’ his tone is not prescriptive but exploratory, seeking to provoke debate without offering definitive solutions. . . . Within this broad construct, Harari discusses many pressing issues, including problems associated with liberal democracy, nationalism, immigration, and religion. This well-informed and searching book is one to be savored and widely discussed.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A highly instructive exploration of ‘current affairs and . . . the immediate future of human societies.’ Having produced an international bestseller about human origins and avoided the sophomore jinx writing about our destiny, Harari proves that he has not lost his touch, casting a brilliantly insightful eye on today’s myriad crises, from Trump to terrorism, Brexit to big data. . . . [In] twenty-one painfully astute essays, he delivers his take on where our increasingly ‘post-truth’ world is headed. Human ingenuity, which enables us to control the outside world, may soon re-engineer our insides, extend life, and guide our thoughts. Science-fiction movies get the future wrong, if only because they have happy endings. Most readers will find Harari’s narrative deliciously reasonable, including his explanation of the stories (not actually true but rational) of those who elect dictators, populists, and nationalists. His remedies for wildly disruptive technology (biotech, infotech) and its consequences (climate change, mass unemployment) ring true, provided nations act with more good sense than they have shown throughout history. Harari delivers yet another tour de force.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House; Reprint edition (August 20, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525512195
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0525512196
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 9,256 ratings

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Prof. Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. His books have been translated into 65 languages, with over 35 million copies sold worldwide. 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' (2014) looked deep into our past, 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow' (2016) considered far-future scenarios, and '21 Lessons for the 21st Century' (2018) zoomed in on the biggest questions of the present moment. 'Sapiens: A Graphic History' (launched in 2020) is a radical adaptation of 'Sapiens' into a graphic novel series, created in collaboration with comics artists David Vandermeulen (co-writer) and Daniel Casanave (illustrator).

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
9,256 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Hande Z
5.0 out of 5 stars Eternal lessons
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2018
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Anurag Tiwari
1.0 out of 5 stars Pirated! Bad paper! Don't buy!
Reviewed in India on October 12, 2018
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187 people found this helpful
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Richard Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars He's done the past and the future - now it's the turn of the present
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2018
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Buyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Important point of view of the global context. (However poor quality of print)
Reviewed in India on September 23, 2018
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red0209
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2018
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