A Brief History of Humankind

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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Selected by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as part of his A Year In Books series. One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 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? Bold, wide-ranging, and provocative, Sapiens integrates history and science to challenge everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our heritage...and our future.
Publisher: [United States]: Tantor Audio , 2015
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781494526900
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: data file
digital,digital recording
1 online resource (1 audio file (15hr., 17 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Perkins, Derek
hoopla digital


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AL_ANNA Feb 07, 2017

Sapiens is a light read. Mixing speculation, science, and history, Harari organizes his theory around breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Interesting ideas and open ended questions would make for a good book club discussion.

Jan 22, 2017

3 (of 5) stars - A highly overrated essay-style book on the rise of humanity, full of generic observations and opinions that are not especially compelling.

Jan 06, 2016

I had heard so much enthusiasm about this book, and I was disappointed. The word play and informal tone made it easy to follow and engaging. But it was poorly organized: the chapter headings are misleading: he regularly goes out of its scope; more than half of the book is devoted to the last 500 years; about the last tenth of it is devoted to wild speculating about the future whilst trying to use the tone and authority of serious scholarship and the imprimatur of science; the book is largely a cultural criticism of the last 500 years using the resources of cultural anthropological theories - such a wide variety of them that they cannot be coherently deployed (but because these are not explicitly mentioned the reader is oblivious to them and just gets carried away by the story he tells). When Marvin Harris wrote his books (eg., "Kings And Cannibals") laying out his materialist theory of culture, at least was intellectually honest; Harari just picks out whatever he wants from anthropology regardless of the contradictions.
The narration is clear and delivered at an even tempo, and the gentle English accent is nice to listen to.


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