Book Reviews, Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 

If you want to read at least one book in 2018, make sure you read Harari’s Sapiens.

The book is recommend by many over the past few years on the Internet but few have talked about why read this book and in my opinion one of the best published work in the history of mankind. I know Harari’s work is famous and that might be a turn off for you but give me a chance in this review to let you convince to give it a shot in the coming year. Read this one book, even if you don’t have any reading plans or generally do not read books, or haven’t read it.

Why? Because this book will transform the way you think about everyone you are surrounded and yourself. Harari’s work which was published in 2011 for the first time, did not spike my interest until later this year and I think, it has a major impact on me. In Sapiens, Harari talks about how out of 6 similar species our own, Homo Sapiens, not only survived over 70,000 years including the environmental conditions but is actually the reality of How Humans Got Smart?

It talks about the three major revolutions such as the cognitive  revolution, the agricultural and the scientific revolution. These revolutions have empowered humans to do something no other form of life has done, which is to create and connect around ideas that do not physically exist. These shared “myths” have enabled humans to take over the globe and have put humankind on the verge of overcoming the forces of natural selection.

The narration is slow because of the in depth knowledge about each species’ adaption to its own environment. Other species include neanderthalensis known as Neanderthals inhabited Europe. Another species, Homo erectus, populated Asia, and the island of Java by  Homo soloensis. About 70,000 years ago Homo Sapiens, went under a cognitive revolution which gave them an edge over other rivals to spread across the globe.

There is uniqueness in  Harari’s narration. I loved it as it move further. There are some points that I do not completely agree with Harari, especially about his belief that agricultural revolution was the biggest mistake and that humans were better off as hunters. He interestingly describes how humans working on farms and coming together as an agrarian society only helped a select few at the top. Most of the people doing most of the work were promised a better future, but few saw it. Humans were a lot happier and healthier as a whole, before farming took off, whenever we worked in “packs” and before we developed societies. This only changed for the better after the industrial revolution.

Another interesting point covered in this book how the Sapiens came out to be the most dominant species. The author explains that it was mainly due to their ability to think of and explain abstract ideas (religion and politics). It was certainly not due to the large brain size for as Neanderthals had larger brains than Sapiens and few other biological advantages.

The book is vast and consists more than 400 pages, will consume your energy and time but it will turn out to be worth in that aspect and the impact it will have is going to last, probably the rest of your life.

I recommend this and you do not have to completely agree with what Harari says, neither do I, but read it to acknowledge what you are.

5 out of 5!

This is my last review for the year, Happy 2018!

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22 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari”

  1. Well, that sparked my interest… One thing though about Neanderthals vs homo sapiens. The Neanderthals supposedly went extinct because they had low birth rates, and the homo sapiens out bred them. When you factor in he mixing between the two and the fighting, it was really only a matter of time. I have read that Neanderthals were capable of building ships and travelling by sea, though to what standard they built I have no idea. Probably quite primitive. The point is, that I think if they would have survived and flourished, Neanderthals might have been our equals if not our betters, to use such subjective words. It’s really a fascinating subject.

    Liked by 1 person

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