Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)

sapiens

Why did you choose this book?

I thought it was going to be an overview of the development of humankind and the idea of that anthropological/historical text was intriguing.

What’s it about?

I think is the first nonfiction book I’ve reviewed on this blog.  Maybe?  Anyway, the author discusses the history of Homo Sapiens, focusing on the cognitive revolution (the development of our brainpower/thinking abilities), the agricultural revolution, and the industrial revolution.

Categories?

Nonfiction, history

Other recommended reads?  And final thoughts?

I’m grouping these two together.  I would recommend this to people who enjoy reading anthropology or history books, but don’t mind the author adding in some speculation and philosophy.  This is particularly true at the end of the book, when Harari predicts the future trajectory of the sapiens species.  I personally found some of his generalizations to be far too broad, and didn’t agree with his argument that our current way of doing things is sustainable because as soon as natural resources run out we will invent new technology.  This book was not only not the history I expected it to be, but I am frankly surprised to find it topping Amazon’s list of the best nonfiction of the year.  While it was an interesting read, I didn’t find it a definitive work or as good as other nonfiction books published this year like David McCullough’s “The Wright Brothers” or Erik Larson’s “Dead Wake” (both of which I’ve read) or Jon Krakauer’s Missoula (which I’m waiting for on a hold list).

Up next?

Firstborn by Tor Seidler

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