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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Hardcover – Illustrated, February 10, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 71,091 ratings

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Yuval Harari's Favorite Reads
Yuval Harari, renowned author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, shares his favorite books from 2018. See his picks.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: Yuval Noah Harari has some questions. Among the biggest: How did Homo sapiens (or Homo sapiens sapiens , if you’re feeling especially wise today) evolve from an unexceptional savannah-dwelling primate to become the dominant force on the planet, emerging as the lone survivor out of six distinct, competing hominid species? He also has some answers, and they’re not what you’d expect. Tackling evolutionary concepts from a historian’s perspective, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, describes human development through a framework of three not-necessarily-orthodox “Revolutions”: the Cognitive, the Agricultural, and the Scientific. His ideas are interesting and often amusing: Why have humans managed to build astonishingly large populations when other primate groups top out at 150 individuals? Because our talent for gossip allows us to build networks in societies too large for personal relationships between everyone, and our universally accepted “imagined realities”--such as money, religion, and Limited Liability Corporations—keep us in line. Who cultivated whom, humans or wheat?. Wheat. Though the concepts are unusual and sometimes heavy (as is the book, literally) Harari’s deft prose and wry, subversive humor make quick work of material prone to academic tedium. He’s written a book of popular nonfiction (it was a bestseller overseas, no doubt in part because his conclusions draw controversy) landing somewhere in the middle of a Venn diagram of genetics, sociology, and history. Throughout, Harari returns frequently to another question: Does all this progress make us happier, our lives easier? The answer might disappoint you. --Jon Foro

Review

Sapiens tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language.” — Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and The World until Yesterday

Sapiens is learned, thought-provoking and crisply written…. Fascinating.” — Wall Street Journal

“In Sapiens, Harari delves deep into our history as a species to help us understand who we are and what made us this way. An engrossing read.” — Dan Ariely, New York Times Bestselling author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

“Yuval Noah Harari’s celebrated Sapiens does for human evolution what Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time did for physics.… He does a superb job of outlining our slow emergence and eventual domination of the planet.” — Forbes

“Ambitious and illuminating …the wonderful and terrifying saga of the human species on earth.” — Christian Science Monitor

“[I]nteresting and provocative…It gives you a sense of perspective on how briefly we’ve been on this earth, how short things like agriculture and science have been around, and why it makes sense for us to not take them for granted.” — President Barack Obama

“I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history…you’ll have a hard time putting it down.” — Bill Gates

“Thank God someone finally wrote [this] exact book.” — Sebastian Junger

“Yuval Noah Harari is an emerging rock-star lecturer at the nexus of history and science…. Sapiens takes readers on a sweeping tour of the history of our species…. Harari’s formidable intellect sheds light on the biggest breakthroughs in the human story…important reading for serious-minded, self-reflective sapiens.” — Washington Post

“It is one of the best accounts by a Homo sapiens of the unlikely story of our violent, accomplished species.…It is one hell of a story. And it has seldom been told better…. Compulsively readable and impossibly learned.” — Michael Gerson, Washington Post

“This was the most surprising and thought-provoking book I read this year.” — Atlantic.com

“Yuval Noah Harari’s full-throated review of our species may have been blurbed by Jared Diamond, but Harari’s conclusions are at once balder and less tendentious than that of his famous colleague.” — New York magazine

“This title is one of the exceptional works of nonfiction that is both highly intellectual and compulsively readable… a fascinating, hearty read.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“An encyclopedic approach from a well-versed scholar who is concise but eloquent, both skeptical and opinionated, and open enough to entertain competing points of view.…The great debates of history aired out with satisfying vigor.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Writing with wit and verve, Harari…attempts to explain how Homo sapiens came to be the dominant species on Earth as well as the sole representative of the human genus.… Provocative and entertaining.” — Publishers Weekly

“The most idea-packed work of non-fiction I’ve read in years.” — Dick Meyer, www.abcactionnews.com

“In this sweeping look at the history of humans, Harari offers readers the chance to reconsider, well, everything, from a look at why Homo sapiens endured to a compelling discussion of how society organizes itself through fictions.” — Booklist Best Books of the Year

“It’s not often that a book offers readers the possibility to reconsider, well, everything. But that’s what Harari does in this sweeping look at the history of humans.… Readers of every stripe should put this at the top of their reading lists. Thinking has never been so enjoyable.” — Booklist (starred review)

“The sort of book that sweeps the cobwebs out of your brain…. Harari…is an intellectual acrobat whose logical leaps will have you gasping with admiration.” — John Carey, Sunday Times (London)

“Harari’s account of how we conquered the Earth astonishes with its scope and imagination…. One of those rare books that lives up to the publisher’s blurb...brilliantly clear, witty and erudite.” — Ben Shepard, the Observer (London)

“An absorbing, provocative history of civilization…packed with heretical thinking and surprising facts. This riveting, myth-busting book cannot be summarised…you will simply have to read it.” — John Gray, Financial Times (London)

“Full of…high-perspective, shocking and wondrous stories, as well as strange theories and startling insights.” — Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

“Not only is Harari eloquent and humane, he is often wonderfully, mordantly funny” — The Independent (London)

“Engaging and informative…. Extremely interesting.” — Guardian (London)

“Harari can write…really, really write, with wit, clarity, elegance, and a wonderful eye for metaphor.” — The Times (Ireland)

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0062316095
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper; Illustrated edition (February 10, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 464 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780062316097
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062316097
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.66 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.37 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 71,091 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 40 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 four-part graphic novel series, which Harari created and co-wrote in collaboration with comics artists David Vandermeulen (co-writer) and Daniel Casanave (illustrator). 'Unstoppable Us' (launched 2022) is Harari's first book series for children, telling the epic true story of humans and our superpower in four volumes, and featuring illustrations by Ricard Zaplana Ruiz.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Eff
2.0 out of 5 stars Assertions, assertions, assertions... Evidence, please.
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Harvinder Singh
1.0 out of 5 stars Fake print
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Harvinder Singh
1.0 out of 5 stars Fake print
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on September 6, 2018
The paper and print quality are very poor. Sending fake printed books in the name of special collector's edition and that too without colours. I found a better book through different vendor as compared to this Harsh Books.
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Connor
3.0 out of 5 stars A brief speculation about the history of humankind
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1.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated book
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1.0 out of 5 stars Author's bias chimes like a bell in a timely fashion.
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