Review - Sapiens

by @edent | # #

Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

Book cover. A fingerprint dominates.
Fire gave us power. Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose. Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history – from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.

Where did we come from? How did we get here? Where are we going?

The book does an admirable job answering the first two questions. Lots of research, deep explanations or competing theories and where they fall down, and a good chunk of exposition. It is the most up-to-date understanding of our history.

Some of his views on Empire feel a little... out of sync with modern sentiments. But it is hard to argue with his conclusions - as long as you're prepared to excuse individual suffering as the price to pay for collective advancement.

After such detailed research about our history, the section on humanity's future felt like it was tacked on. A minor quibble in an otherwise fine book.

Ultimately, I'm not sure if I learned anything new from this book - but I had a great time reading it.

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