A Brief History of Humankind
Sapiens is arguably the most comprehensive and even-headed survey of human history. Unlike traditional attempts at popular history, the author starts the journey from the prehistory fully exploring the transition of Homo sapiens from a helpless primate to the all powerful apex predators out to change the face of the earth it dwells. This approach gives Harari a vantage point that other historical surveys lack. Harari uses insights from evolutionary biology to trace the transition of human social structure through the ages. Probably because of this well grounded perspective, the most conspicuous element in Harari’s narrative is the lack of bias. This transcribes to an uncommonly commitment to cover all elements of phenomenon. The lack of any ideological burden makes this survey of human history really worth wider readership. Again, the ‘history’ Harari narrates is not a chronology of events that weary text books are used to, but sequence of phenomena that explains the course of events. In fact, so exhaustive is Harari’s reasoning and counter factual enquiry that this book find resonance with many of the themes discussed in this blog. In fact, I would consider this a book I wished I had written ( But Harari is far ahead; his reasoning is so balanced and imaginative that I own his ideas only after I read him- clearly the mark of a master thinker and writer who takes his readers as if the latter himself is thinking as the author!) I would recommend this book as an essential reading for every secondary level school child going through her biology and humanities curriculum. If not for the child it is an essential reading for all teachers taking class on these subject. It would also be an useful handbook for journalist and popular communicators, because the insights condensed in this book would really guide them in making opinions on almost every aspect of human interaction. Highly recommended Recommended audience: secondary and higher secondary school children, school and college teachers, politicians, journalists, anyone interested in biology, politics, history, sociology or anthropology.