Book Review : SAPIENS:A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND

January 26, 2020
                                                 
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" A fun engaging book at early human history...you will have a hard time putting it down                                                                                           -BILL GATES

    




“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”




AUTHOR                             Yuval Noah Harari 

GENRE                                 Non-Fiction, History

YEAR OF PUBLISH           2011

PAGES                                  368

MORE FROM AUTHOR  

  • Homo Deus
  • 21 lessons for the 21st century, 
  • Money: Vintage Minis, 
  • Special Operations in the age of chivalry, 
  • The ultimate experience.

RELATED BOOKS The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us, Collapse: How Societies  Choose to Fail or Succeed, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, & Human Evolution


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

                                  

Yuval Noah Harari  is an Israeli historian and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Harari writes about the "cognitive revolution" occurring roughly 70,000 years ago when Homo sapiens supplanted the rival Neanderthals developed language skills and structured societies, and ascended as apex predators, aided by the agricultural revolution and accelerated by the scientific method, which has allowed humans to approach near mastery over their environment. His books also examine the possible consequences of a futuristic biotechnological world in which intelligent biological organisms are surpassed by their own creations.


CONTENTS


Part 1: The Cognitive Revolution
           1. An Animal of No Significance
           2. The tree of knowledge
           3. A day in the life of Adam & Eve
           4. The Flood

PART 2: The Agriculture revolution
          5. History's biggest fraud
          6. Building Pyramids
          7. Memory Overload
          8. There is no Justice in History

PART 3: The Unification of Mankind
         9. The Arrow of History
       10. The Scent of Money
       11. Imperial Vision
       12. The Law of Religion
       13. The secret of Success

PART 4: The Scientific Revolution
      14. The Discovery of Ignorance
      15. The marriage of Science & Empire
      16. The Capitalist Creed
      17. The Wheels of Industry
      18. A Permanent Revolution
      19. And they left happily ever after
      20. The end of Homo Sapiens

SUMMARY of Sapiens


This book talks about the evolution of humans from Apes to the ruler of the world. The story begins around 2.5 million years ago. There where many species of humans-NEANDERTHALS, ERECTUS, SOLOENSIS, and many more started their journey. But today we, only homo-sapiens exist. Our dominance started with the cognitive revolution. In our early days, we were only a part of the food chain and used to hunt animals inferior to us. Lion, tigers, sharks, and so on were the king of the system. 


The scenario changed with the discovery of fire. Eating raw meat had an effect on our digestion time. Our intestine used to be a large & smaller brain. Once we started eating cooked food the size of our teeth and intestine reduced and the brain expanded. From this point, our thinking capacity increased. We started communicating in sign language leading to unmatched coordination. We started developing tools to hunt larger animals. 


After the cognitive revolution, the next change was agriculture. The agricultural revolution started at almost the same time in all parts of the world. Unlike hunting agriculture takes time, therefore humans started settling. This lead to a rise in population & domestication. For handling population, humans started developing Myths- religion, god, laws, money. Now humans started living in two kinds of reality one was objective or tangible reality- trees, nature, rivers other was imagined reality- gods, religion, laws, nation, nationalism. Humans started giving heed to true imagined reality as they found closer to their aspirations. Once humans started settling lead to a fundamental change in the social structure- land and property disputes were common things leading to the formation of the army which for the lead to tax collection for their sustenance. For handling the population, laws were created and administration got complexed with the passage of time. 

The unification of humans is an important step in our overall evolutionary process. Money, Politics, and Religion played the role in binding the entire race. The modern tool is ideology such as capitalism, communalism, socialism, nationalism. 

Now the latest revolutionary change in us is The Scientific revolution that started in the 18th century. European accepted that they don't know everything and they need to discover/invent more. This lead to ambitious expeditions in search of land and resources. The discovery from Columbus, Magellan, captain cook opened up the entire world for us. Our current social structure is governed by the industrial revolution which is focused on nuclear consumerism.
In the end, the author asks- if humans are really happy after all these progressive changes. Did our natural trait of hunters and gatherer really change to 9-5 jobs? Yuval defies it and argues - this is the root cause of our unhappiness. Until now our evolutionary process was governed by natural laws. But from this point- Nanotech, biotechnology, DNA modification is ready to make us superhuman. 

The question still persists- Are we really happy?
                         
                                            Review of Sapiens

I loved this book. History is not about only facts, but a series of events that molds are present. When I was reading Origin of Species- I was trying to understand how our culture, habits lifestyle, mentality got framed. SAPIENS answers everything. 
After completing the book, I searched for the author and was surprised to find that he is a historian. He didn't use any jargon and written in the simplest way possible. The tone of the writer is argumentative which utmost humility. The content is very engaging and generates curiosity. Sure, it is a brief history but with a sense of completeness. One suggestion for readers- Read the book with a welcoming perspective. There are many arguments that may go against your religion. For example, I am Hindu and I found plenty of oversimplified statements made things irrelevant and vague. I won't target specific statements from the book. I will not consider this as a reference book for any of the arguments discussed here. If you consider the book as a whole: "The brief history of Humankind", done a commendable job.  I am repeating myself- read this book from a knowledge perspective. 
I will definitely be reading Home Deus to complete this saga.

































2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this👌👌👌..... perfectly reviewed...Gonna be my next read....

    ReplyDelete

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