A Brief History of Humankind (Hebrew: קיצור תולדות האנושות, [Ḳitsur toldot ha-enoshut]) is a book by Professor Yuval Noah Harari first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011 and in English in 2014. Harari cites Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) as one of the greatest inspirations for the book by showing that it was possible to "ask very big questions and answer them scientifically".
Destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Sapiens is a lively, groundbreaking history of humankind told from a unique perspective.
100,000 years ago, at least six species of human inhabited the earth. Today there is just one.
How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical -- and sometimes devastating -- breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behavior from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power...and our future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DR. 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 research focuses on broad historical questions, such as:
What is the relation between history and biology?
Is there justice in history?
Did people become happier as history unfolded?
65,000 people have taken his online course, "A Brief History of Humankind,"
Sapiens is a huge bestseller in Israel and is being published in more than 20 languages worldwide.
In 2012 Harari was awarded the annual Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines.