100,000 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? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical - and sometimes devastating - breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ...and our future.
'I encourage all of us, whatever our beliefs, to question the basic narratives of our world, to connect past developments with present concerns, and not to be afraid of controversial issues.' Dr Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specialising in World History. His research focuses on broad questions, such as: What is the relation between history and biology? Is there justice in history? Did people become happier as history unfolded? 65,000 people have signed up to his online course, A Brief History of Humankind. Sapiens is an international bestseller and is being published in more than 20 languages worldwide. In 2012 Harari was awarded the annual Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines.