Summary of Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

First Edition: 2011 more...

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Sapiens book summary


9 Overall

8 Importance

9 Innovation

10 Style


Yuval Noah Harari’s 400-page history of mankind is a timely meditation on the nature of Homo sapiens’ fickle path: a history not made by great leaders, determinism, guns, germs or steel, but by unexpected nuances of existence. Harari concludes that Homo sapiens prevailed by happenstance, a capacity for language and socialization, curiosity, mercantile fervor and technological prowess – which may yet destroy everything. Harari’s perspective moves among the telescope, microscope and stethoscope, hailing the synchronicities of capitalism, religion and technology. He tracks happiness as a measuring stick of progress. Harari is uneasy about humanity as the intelligent designer of a new “superhuman” – a cyborgian, a machine whose inorganic longings may not include happiness. While always neutral on matters of personal belief, getAbstract recommends this roiling, off-the-beaten path tour de force to readers with patience and open minds, even those who might disagree along the way.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How each iteration of humankind’s development depended on an ever-changing system of abilities, myths and technological breakthroughs
  • How Homo sapiens, the product of evolution, became the “intelligent designer” of its descendants and of happiness


Chances Are
Landmarks punctuate human history, including these major transitions: the “Cognitive Revolution” beginning 70,000 years ago; the “Agricultural Revolution” of 12,000 years ago and the “Scientific Revolution” of 500 years ago. A fourth revolution is now unfolding, and it may ...
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About the Author

Oxford-educated historian Yuval Noah Harari teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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    Duncan Parkes 12 months ago
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    Michael Butler 12 months ago
    Disappointing that the summary for one of the most significant books of this year isn't available in the UK.
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    Al Cohen 1 year ago

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