How many times have we questioned our history, our basic narratives of the world? The author of this book Sapiens, however, motivates us to question everything at the beginning of the book itself. There have been many history books written, and you may wonder what makes this particular history book a best-seller. The answer is there in this book itself. And following is the paragraph on why?
About the book – Why this book is different?
This book Sapiens not only discusses history but makes us question many things about the past, present, and also the future. Along with that, the book also discusses many things from the viewpoints of many people. The covering of almost all the factors from the ancient life of hunting to modern-day consumerism is what makes the book so special. And for this very reason, we recommend everyone to read this book.
Shocking Learnings from the book:
● We humans believe that we are the only species with superpowers and stand out from others. This is not true, we have a family who also belongs to the ‘Homo’ genus and we had sisters and brothers. About 6 types of human species have walked this earth. But today only we, the Homo Sapiens are there on the earth.
● One thing that made the Homo Sapiens survive till now is their ability to communicate not only facts but also their imagination. In fact, they can imagine, gossip and talk about a thing that does not exist at all that made them successful. And this process marks the cognitive revolution contributing to the success of this species.
● In the process of settling down, humans not only destroyed their families but also many flora and fauna. After they arrived in Australia, many species of animals and plants were destroyed. Some people say it may be because of climate changes, yet the extinct species have endured the previous ice age yet became extinct after the humans inhabited their land.
● The agricultural revolution is not a blessing that offers the comfortable life we live today. In fact, it is a trap, a miscalculation. Foragers lead a far good life when compared to farmers.
● The body of sapiens evolved to run faster, hunt down animals, and climb trees. It is not prepared to plow fields and dug canals. After the agricultural revolution only, we had problems such as arthritis, slipped discs, etc.
● It is not we who domesticated wheat, indeed it is wheat that domesticated us. Before the start of the agricultural revolution, there was not a wheat crop that can be seen often. Yet, we see today plenty of wheat crops without encountering other plants at all. This wheat is the culprit that made humans abandon their hunting-gatherer lifestyle.
● The agricultural revolution led to the evolution of kingdoms where the tiny elites survived the hard labor of 90% of farmers. This led to an imagined order which made millions of humans the corporate which lead to the building of pyramids, the creation of money, etc.
The Unification of Mankind:
● The cultures that are ever created in history after the agricultural revolution is in constant flux. Yet, if we want to know whether history is moving in a particular direction, the answer is yes.
● Money is created and there in the figments of imagination which most people strongly believe. It allows people to cooperate with unknown strangers. And the dark side is when the money runs out, trust also runs out and it can only make the world an empty marketplace.
● Empires had been there for many years. And most of the Empires that conquered other countries view the conquered as barbarians who need to be educated and changed. In the beginning, people found it difficult to adapt to the new culture of the empires. Even when they got adopted to it, equality was not guaranteed. Yet, slowly it gave way to equality. No culture today is an authentic culture since its foundation.
The Scientific revolution:
● Detonation of the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico, and the man’s first step on the moon marks the start of the scientific revolution.
● The British Empire has become the world’s most successful empire that conquered almost all countries because they utilized science to conquer nations.
● Capitalism is the main reason and it was accelerated during the industrial revolution. Even when it had many defects, it still promises heaven around. But no one will know what will happen when the raw materials run out.
● When people invented science and technology, they found how to harness the energy that begins the mark of the industrial revolution. This industrial production leads to an increase in products but who will buy those products? That’s where the concept of consumerism is invented making people buy things they don’t really want just to stay in.
● Consumerism mainly achieved it by breaking the basic unit of all societies- families. This made the people live in imaginary societies- consumerist societies.
About the author:
Yuval Noah Harari is a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a specialization in world history. He got his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. Along with the book Sapiens, his other books Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st century have also become international bestsellers.
The book ends by saying what will happen if there is a new revolution altogether, a biological revolution that can make the humans Gods, the irresponsible gods who really don’t know what to do with their power. To conclude, this book gives us many interesting and shocking discoveries that will keep the readers immersed even if you are not a big fan of history. And for this very reason, this is a must-read for everyone.