Book Review: 21 Lessons of 21st centuary

January 29, 2021



AUTHOR  Yuval Noah Harari

GENRE Non-fiction, Concept

PAGES    322


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 The book was actually written in conversation with the publicThough this book takes a global perspective. On the contrary, the author wants to emphasize the connections between the great revolutions of our era and the internal lives of individuals. The book does not attempt to cover all the impacts of the new technologies. In particular, though technology holds many wonderful promises, the intention here is to highlight mainly the threats and dangers. Since the corporations and entrepreneurs who lead the technological revolution naturally tend to sing the praises of their creations, it falls to sociologists, philosophers, and historians to sound the alarm and explain all the ways things can go terribly wrong.

The author says "Humankind is losing faith in the liberal story that dominated global politics in recent decades, exactly when the merger of biotech and infotech confronts us with the biggest challenges humankind has ever encountered."

In the further part of the book, we see that though the technological challenges are unprecedented, and though the political disagreements are intense, humankind can rise to the occasion if we keep our fears under control and are a bit more humble about our views. This part investigates what can be done about the menace of terrorism, the danger of global war, and the biases and hatreds that spark such conflicts.

The fourth part engages with the notion of post-truth and asks to what extent we can still understand global developments and distinguish wrongdoing from justice. 

In the fifth and final part, they gather together the different threads and take a more general look at life in an age of bewilderment when the old stories have collapsed, and no new story has emerged so far to replace them. Who are we? What should we do in life? What kinds of skills do we need? Given everything we know and don’t know about science, about God, about politics, and about religion – what can we say about the meaning of life today?


As the name suggests, 21 Lessons of the 21st century is a prescriptive guide to the present and future. If you have read the previous work of Yuval Noah Harari, you can figure out his perspective. This can be considered as notes made from his previous publications.  Yuval Noah Harari followed his blunt tone to challenge liberalism and its ill effects. This book is oriented towards the future like his previous book: Homodeus: A brief history of tomorrow and discussion around the ideas like technological and political challenges, terrorism, war, liberty, nationalism, and many more, that defines us - how their definition will modify in incoming data-driven civilization.
I didn't gain much knowledge from this work but certainly got points for a logical discussion.





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