Book review: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Originally appeared on thebookpub.com

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Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is a primer on the human existence and its progress right from its dawn to its current shaky supremacy.

Sapiens is a personal book. It is not a scholarly documentation of the entire history of humanity. It is is undoubtedly Harari’s own take and his own version of the events that transpired.It glosses through the different popular ideas in broad strokes on what happened and how, while allowing Harari’s own beliefs and biases to come to a conclusion as to which is the definitive and the most probable explanation.

Sapiens deals with major shifts through out history — natural, social, biological, economical and technological. It deals with the cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolutions while delving into numerous disciplines like anthropology and paleontology. It manages to give someone who is interested in the basic ideas a quick glance on how it all came together.

While I loved how intellectually stimulating and interesting the book is, I found certain sections to be repetitive while others to be easily dismissive of the ideas that do not agree with the author’s worldview. Some ideas are thoroughly explored while others are just glanced over and quickly cast aside. On the whole, the book is a philosophical and intellectual exercise contemplating the nature of the world than an accurate and detailed account of events, ideas and beliefs.

Having said all that, this book is an absolute treat to beginners and curious minds who want to know more about us and the world that surrounds us. As some one who is only vaguely acquainted with most of the ideas in the book, I simply loved it and was thoroughly gripped.

If you are already familiar with most of the ideas,beliefs and concepts surrounding the human condition and are looking for some deeper scholarly insight, may be this book will not contribute much to your search.

Recommended:

For anyone who is interested in humanity and the world.

Good:

Gripping read

Covers most ideas and idealogies

Gives a basic understanding of the world and a new way to look at it.

Bad:

Sweeping generalizations

Biased at times

Rating: 4/5 stars


My new book, ‘Sinners: The Dawn of Kalki ’ is the first part in a post apocalyptic trilogy set in India.

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