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Staff Pick of the Week: “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari

History, Society and Culture, Science
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

This week’s staff pick is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. The book is a fascinating look at the crucial moments in the development our species, Homo Sapiens, which appeared on the planet perhaps as recently as 100,000 years ago. Like any good work of history, Sapiens does more than recount statistics and facts (although there are plenty of awe-inspiring examples of both throughout); it poses big questions about us as a species by exploring where we’ve been, where we are, and where we might be headed. Organized around the three most pivotal revolutions in the history of humankind (the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Industrial/Scientific Revolutions), this wonderfully written examination of the massive scope of our history will be sure to fascinate, inspire and, at times, terrify you.

“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?”

Thanks for reading,
-George, FTPL

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