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  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  • by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Read: Mar 8, 2020
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind book cover

Usually I tend to shy away from longer (i.e. over 300 pages) books because I feel like I’m a somewhat slow reader. And it takes me too long to get through and I feel demotivated to pick the book up. Sapiens still really piqued my interest and it absolutely delivered.

The overall book is structured in chapters about the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, the unification of humankind, and the scientific revolution. I’ve never thought about historical periods in that way and it was interesting to see them presented in that way. The book covers the usual things like evolution of Homo Sapiens with a bigger brain than other species, the early periods as hunter gatherers, the emergence of agricultural and the connected settling down.

The book also discusses cultural things like a common belief (e.g. religion or capitalism) being a necessary establishment to allow for communication (and collaboration to some extent) across larger territories than just family or tribe boundaries. For any evolutionary step the trade-offs in those changes are also discussed. Especially the cruel(-er) aspects of human dominance on the planet.

I learned a lot reading this book and it definitely made me think about history and human evolution from other perspectives than usual.