Review of the book 'Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind'

'Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind' is a famous book written by the Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari. This book is a masterpiece description of the human evolution and human history from the beginning to the present time. It also looks into the coming future and it's challenges.


The book 'Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind' is written by Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari, who is a specialist in world history and presently lecturer in Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

This book has evoked great interest from the readers all around the globe and has been translated in 30 languages. It was in the list of top 10 bestsellers in the Sunday Times.

It has dealt with the story of human evolution from the beginning and has examined it from the survival of the fittest and as well as the biological angle. The book deals at length how biology has affected history and how human race reached the present juncture through various transformation right from being an ordinary animal to genetic engineering expert today. The book also differentiates between long time natural evolution and today's quick genetic transformations.

The book is a combination of scientific, historical, anthropological and biological elements woven in a logical and interesting manner to understand the complete history of humankind.

About the Book

'Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind' is an exhaustive book and is divided by the author in four parts. We will now go through these four parts to understand what this famous book is all about.

Part - 1: In this part the evolution of human species and especially the Homo Sapiens are covered in detailed lengths. The discovery of fire and it's usefulness for human race was one of the salient turns in the history of mankind. The movement of human races from one place to another was a key factor in exclusions of some of the human species itself and Homo Sapiens survived on Earth as the fittest species of humans or human like creatures.

Part- 2: This part deals with agricultural revolution in the history of humankind. About 10000 BC, humans started sowing seeds, watering plants, taking care of them and in fact they started doing sincere efforts to manipulate the lives of some animals and some plants to get the best results.

During this era the domestication of animals became a big activity.

Part - 3: In this part, author has described the developments after agricultural revolution and how the various small settlements slowly unified with each other due to aggressive and political forces and big clusters of these came in existence as a powerful entity.

After the agricultural revolution, the human settlement grew larger and larger. A complex social order started to take shape, of course differently at different geographical locations. Finally it culminated in a tribe culture which was rigid but changed whenever there was a strong aggression from other tribes. This lead to mixing of cultures and evolution of a new society.

People started to understand the value of material and it's exchange potential. A person could trade milk for grains or milk for meat.

With time, a common item like cowry-shell came into existence as a common medium to exchange materials. This was probably the first money used by humans. These later developed as metal ingots and finally took shape of metal coins where the value and issuing authority was engraved on it.

Part - 4: This is the final chapter of this book and the author has discussed the various developments achieved by human race subsequently and where we stand today.

The genetic engineering has opened new vistas of human research and development and scientists are hoping to induce quick genetic changes in human race itself. Earlier, it took for natural forces, thousands of years for bringing a small change in evolutionary progresses but today scientific research is looking towards superior goals in this regard.

The author has warned that in spite of so much development if we do not take proper care of our environment and the ecology then that is going to have an adverse effect on all of us.

About the Author

Yuval Noah Harari was born on 24th February 1976 in Israel and studied medieval history and military history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his DPhil (doctorate) degree at Jesus College, Oxford, in 2002. He is a specialist in World History.

Presently he is a lecturer in the department of History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research subjects are mainly to find out relation between Biology and History and also to answer questions like - Is there justice in History? Did people become happier with time?

He believes that History is an effort to connect past developments with present concerns.

'Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind' is his international bestseller and has been translated in all the major languages.

He also conducts online courses in these knowledge areas and thousands of people have joined those courses.

He has written many papers and books. One of his other notable book is 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow'.

He is the recipient of 2012 annual Polonsky Prize for creativity and originality in humanistic disciplines.


'Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind' is a remarkable book and is worth going through as a pleasant reading journey into our past.

The comprehensive and exhaustive details of development of human race and it's social and cultural history and the present status along with future aspirations are knitted by the author in a most entertaining manner.

The book is written in a simple style and any book lover will like it. The people having interest in the field of History and Anthropology will be immensely benefited by this work. This is also a great source of information and ideas for all of those who are engaged in research in the related areas.

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