Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2017
I was impressed by Sapiens. I have read some books that cover some of the same material. For example, books by Jared Diamond, Nicholas Wade, and Jacob Bronowski. Of those three authors it is the closest in ambition to Bronowski's Ascent of Man back from the 1970's, except it is significantly better. I thought the book almost merged into moral and political philosophy because it was subtly giving you analytical tools to judge culture. For example the book states all large societies use great myths (religion, countries, moral codes, money, financial institutions, family institutions) to generate the social cohesion to make large societies function. But can we judge one more or less moral than another? I think the answer implies the answer is yes and implies some criteria.

It not only merges into moral philosophy but it also merges into the realms of religion replacing religion with science. That is not uncommon, but when you get a sharp thinker and writer like Harari it is much more convincing.

Maybe my biggest fault with the book is that it reaffirmed by own biases too much so it is hard for me to tell if the reasoning is as good as I think it is or whether the reasoning only seems really good because its reaffirming my own biases. For example I became a vegetarian in my early 20's for moral reasons (I didn't like the way animals were treated). I felt like the author agreed with me. In the end I felt like the author just a slightly smarter version of myself who gave me better arguments to substantiate the beliefs I already have so I have a natural bias for this book.

Also how did this book get over 3000 reviews? Seriously! It is well argued and interesting, but its not a polemic designed to enflame one side and laud another side so I have no idea how 3000 people were motivated enough to write a review.
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