The Sapiens book. A Brief History of Humankind became a bestseller, even Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates noted it. However, the work of the Israeli professor found many critics.
Today we will briefly consider the content of the publication, analyze the advantages and disadvantages, the main concepts of the author. Get comfortable, it will be interesting.
Yuval Noah Harari
Before us is an Israeli military historian, as well as a professor at the Faculty of History of a higher educational institution in Jerusalem. It is known that he managed to defend his doctoral dissertation. He adheres to vegetarianism, considers himself a representative of non-traditional sexual orientation.
Why did he decide to write this book? I think his idea was to expand the general horizons of people of different ages, and for simple entertainment. Many, reading about humanity and the achievements of an entire race, feel involved in something greater, think more deeply about the meaning of life.
What is this book about
The first chapter in Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind” is called: “An unremarkable animal.” Already at this stage, some readers will enthusiastically clap their hands, while others will seethe with righteous indignation.
The author tries to gradually trace the history of the development of the human race. According to Harari, our race experienced two revolutions – a cognitive one, when a person became intelligent, an agrarian one, when people learned to grow crops and became dependent on it. The scientific revolution is still going on.
The main point of the book, in my subjective opinion, is chapter by chapter to show the path of becoming a narrow-minded creature that could only wield digging sticks into a person with a mass of scientific discoveries and access to space.
Diligent children passed many facts from the book in schools, but in educational institutions the material was not presented in this way. The Israeli professor deftly builds cause-and-effect chains, compares facts, makes readers think and analyze, juggles opinions.
Advantages and disadvantages of the book
Let’s take a quick look at the strengths of Sapiens. A Brief History of Mankind”:
A mix of history, anatomy, philosophy and anthropology. The reader on the pages of the book will trace the long path of the formation of the human race to the present stage of development. The author also evaluates the role of people and their influence at different stages of development. Interesting facts – Harari was not too lazy to put in the book a lot of facts about human development and the features of the brain, the general development of people. For example, our desire to eat high-carbohydrate foods goes back to antiquity. Then the only sweet food could be fruit. Therefore, the gatherers tried to eat what they found as quickly as possible, so as not to share it with other members of the tribe. Global questions of philosophy – the professor asks questions about what drives human beings, whether people deserve to be at the top of the food chain, what is the meaning of life and what is the danger of “irresponsible and unconscious gods.”
In order for our review to be objective and truthful, we will also talk about some of the shortcomings that readers highlight:
The author in a number of chapters expresses his position too clearly. Sometimes it seems that we have a veiled propaganda in front of us. This feature is neither good nor bad, and it all depends on how you perceive the book. Inconsistency of facts with reality – in many reviews, readers clearly point out the falsity or unreliability of the information that Harari cites as dogmas. However, for many readers, this may not be such a disadvantage if they read the book to reflect on philosophical topics.
Let’s briefly consider the most important concepts that the author outlines in the book:
individual – Harari emphasizes the happiness of one individual as more important than the survival of the entire species. He cites the example of cows and bulls that have maintained their population but live in misery. Therefore, according to the author, it is better to be the last rhinoceros than to live in a stall. In my subjective opinion, it is more important to preserve the population; life – the professor says that the life of primitive collectors, inhabitants of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, was not so bad. These people believed in God and the afterlife, which gave meaning to their existence. Next comes the contrast with modern man, who compares himself with others, works all his life at a factory, is constantly busy with routine. Again, my subjective view – in ancient times there was no normal medicine, a person could simply die of hunger if the harvest was small. A simple toothache or inflammation of appendicitis in almost 100% of cases led to death; happiness – Harari writes that human happiness does not depend on external factors, but on the work of the hormonal system. Therefore, it makes no sense to move the scientific and technological process for the sake of achieving greater good and happiness, because everything for this has already been incorporated in the human body. I think that this statement is extremely dangerous and counterproductive, because over the past 20 years, humanity has moved extremely far forward. Although not all achievements can be unambiguously considered “good”, you can’t call them clearly bad either. Everything, as always, depends on how to use the achievements of scientists.
Here is a review of the book “Sapiens. A Brief History of Mankind. Friends, it will be very interesting to read your opinion about this work of an Israeli professor in the comments.
The only condition is that you write only your thoughts, and not copied from the Internet. Only in this way will we get a lively and “humane” conversation. All the best and see you soon!