Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
This book comes with so much hype, and such rave reviews, I was sure I was going to be disappointed.
Harari’s sweeping history of homo-sapiens is riveting from start to finish. The central thesis is simple. What separates us from other species is our ability to organize large groups, and our ability to organize large groups is because of our ability to tell stories. Said differently, narrative is what makes us the ultimate apex predator. The facts Harari marshals to support this thesis are myriad and massive in scope — we’re talking prehistoric archaeological finding and current monetary policy. Its a tour de force of big picture thinking that is perhaps only available to those who spend three months a year in silent meditation.
I was not always convinced Harari was right, but I was always deeply impressed with the clarity of his argument and writing. This type of big idea book often comes and goes, but I think this one is here to stay for some time.
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