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Sapiens: An Amazing History of All the Things!

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Narrator: Derek Perkins
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
Length: 15 h 18 m
Genre: Non-Fiction
Published: 2015
Reviewer: Anonymous

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If you wanted to know everything there is to know about Human Beings, you might imagine it would take multiple lifetimes of diligent study and a dedicated research team helping you, not to mention the mind of a genius. All you would really need though would be this book! Yuval Harari, the author, tops himself again and again in every chapter as he masterfully weaves us though the age of Man, starting with the earliest periods when dozens of different Human-like animals reluctantly shared the Earth.

More than anything, I love how he narrates human sentiment through the ages. Why did it take so many millennia for man to start using tools, building structures, using money. Most titillating, what made the sapiens the ones to eventually win out over the many other species. Essentially, we read, modern man was especially good at working together in extraordinarily large groups under shared delusions to slaughter competitors or game en masse. While Neanderthals would have had a maximum group size of a few hundred and a hunting party of much fewer H. sapiens could go to battle in the thousands all fighting for the same "god". Presumably this is what gives us our ability to congregate peacefully around an idea such as religion, but also use that shared idea to encourage hatred for a shared enemy. This gives us religion, good memories, big brains, color vision, war, ability to innovate, trade...
Sapiens is a book better than I could have imagined books being. An objective take of our species is exactly what I have always wanted. So much of this book, taken out of context, could be taboo but in this undertaking of understanding humanity for what it is, Harari is free to explore the best and worst of what makes us H. sapiens, like it or not.

Username: Anonymous

Great book, great author, should be required reading (listening).