Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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New York Times Bestseller

A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

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About the author

Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in history from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. His first book, Sapiens, was translated into more than forty languages and became a bestseller in the US, the UK, France, China, Korea, and numerous other countries.

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Additional Information

Harper Collins
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Published on
Feb 10, 2015
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History / Civilization
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Life Sciences / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari explored our past; in Homo Deus he speculated about our future. Now, the bestselling author and one of the most innovative thinkers on the international stage turns to the present, helping us make sense of the most pressing issues facing humankind today.

Religion, terrorism, war, politics, fake news, human migration, the environment, nationalism. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing investigation into the big subjects that we are confronting on a daily basis in the media and in our lives, and the issues that are of crucial importance for us to understand as we move into the unchartered territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, terrorism and fundamentalism rise, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari makes sense of it all for us and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves if we are to survive. In 21 accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, he provides advice on how to think about these topics and how to act in order to prepare for a future unlike anything we can dream of. Few writers of nonfiction have captured the imaginations of millions of readers in quite the astonishing way Harari has managed. His unique ability to look at where we have come from and where we are going has gained him fans from every corner of the globe. There is an immediacy and accessibility to this new book that will make it essential reading for anyone interested in navigating the world today.
El libro de no ficción del AÑO

Un best seller internacional con más de un millón de ejemplares vendidos

Lúcido e iluminador: la historia de la humanidad en un solo volumen.

Este es el fascinante relato de nuestra extraordinaria historia: de simios sin importancia a amos del mundo.

¿Cómo logró nuestra especie imponerse en la lucha por la existencia? ¿Por qué nuestros ancestros recolectores se unieron para crear ciudades y reinos? ¿Cómo llegamos a creer en dioses, en naciones o en los derechos humanos; a confiar en el dinero, en los libros o en las leyes? ¿Cómo acabamos sometidos a la burocracia, a los horarios y al consumismo? ¿Y cómo será el mundo en los milenios venideros?

En De animales a dioses, Yuval Noah Harari traza una breve historia de la humanidad, desde los primeros humanos que caminaron sobre la Tierra hasta los radicales y a veces devastadores avances de las tres grandes revoluciones que nuestra especie ha protagonizado: la cognitiva, la agrícola y la científica. A partir de hallazgos de disciplinas tan diversas como la biología, la antropología, la paleontología o la economía, Harari explora cómo las grandes corrientes de la historia han modelado nuestra sociedad, los animales y las plantas que nos rodean e incluso nuestras personalidades. ¿Hemos ganado en felicidad a medida que ha avanzado la historia? ¿Seremos capaces de liberar alguna vez nuestra conducta de la herencia del pasado? ¿Podemos hacer algo para influir en los siglos futuros?

Audaz, ambicioso y provocador, este libro cuestiona todo lo que creíamos saber sobre el ser humano: nuestros orígenes, nuestras ideas, nuestras acciones, nuestro poder... y nuestro futuro.

- El fuego nos dio poder.

- La conversación hizo posible que cooperáramos.

- La agricultura alimentó nuestra ambición.

- La mitología sostuvo la ley y el orden.

- El dinero ofreció algo en lo que confiar.

- Las contradicciones crearon la cultura.

- La ciencia nos hizo imparables.

«Aborda las cuestiones más importantes de la historia y del mundo modernos, y además está escrito con un estilo vívido e inolvidable.»
Jared Diamond

«Renueva la creencia en la capacidad de decidir de los propios lectores. El éxito más sorprendente y renovador de un libro de no ficción de la última década.»
Shmuel Rosner, editor original (Israel)

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