Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari


By Yuval Noah Harari

  • Release Date: 2015-02-10
  • Genre: Life Sciences
Score: 4.5
From 1,356 Ratings


New York Times Bestseller

A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.


  • Best non fiction

    By Juan deRamos
    Best read ever. Entertaining, to the point. Sometimes too quick to draw conclusions, but when you’re going through millions of year of history - you sort of need to!
  • Outstanding

    By Wsj Rater BE
    Mind opening and mind bending. Makes you think. Great stuff!
  • Sensational

    By Puss Bompansero
    One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. Superb
  • Very Eurocentric

    By 3thm4n
    Completely and unashamedly ignores the contributions to science made by non-Europeans, such as during the Islamic golden age, the ancient Chinese/Indians, etc. I was also quite shocked by the author’s ignorance of the importance of science and secular knowledge in the Islamic tradition. He conflates divine revelation with secular knowledge, which were both considered separate fields, by early Islamic scholars and in several Prophetic narrations. However, if you want a good overview of European contributions to humanity, I suppose it’s a good book.
  • Too preachy at the end

    By Markmillx1
    Stick with insightful analysis
  • A Great Place To Start

    By Nickname1190
    “Sapiens" does an exellent job of serving it’s said purpose: giving an overview of human history. It’s an introduction. It’s a macro-view of how human society came to be what it is today. And some of it is not pretty. Harari definitely has some opinions in this book, but even he admits that there is more to the story. I think the information is, by and large, all presented in the most objective way he could have put it. You can find evidence from this book to support a number of differing opinions and that’s the marker, for me, that this author is not aspousing an ideology. And with that, the great thing about this book is that some particular part might inspire you to dig deeper and formulate your own opinions! We definitely need more books like that. Great read for anyone looking to have their curiosity peaked!
  • Piercing and unforgettable - Superb

    By Music57
    So know I've listened to another great book from Yuval Noah Harari. I've been a long time philosophy student and Harari could arguably be the Nietzsche of our time. His insights are soul piercing and the argumentation mind numbing. If I would take any ones futuristic prognostications seriously it would be the carefully constructed ideas of Harari. Anyway this was his first book and it was a huge hit for good reason. Harari presents the history of humanity from a unique/fresh/ and sometimes disturbing perspective. One thing for sure his ideas will stimulate your mind on multiple levels and you'll consider yourself fortunate for being exposed to his work. My only criticism is he doesn't narrate his own books. Derek Perkins reads all three of his books for the audiobook versions. He does a good job but he brings a British intellectual elitism to the text that Harari would not. Harari is powerful in intelligence but humble and gentle in his delivery. Point is- no one but the author should read the audio book- just saying. Now it's onto his second book- HOMO DEUS
  • Brief History of Homo Sapiens

    By Raguv
    Wonderful Book, builds the history of humans with the archeological findings and most likely cases on what could have happened and then gives a view of what is the most likely case. Brilliant one. As much as we would like to pretend the humans existed only couple of thousands of years this book takes you to the history too deep that a curious normal person like me can glance through the findings and understand and makes you think.
  • 3stars because of gender section

    By HeartMusic666
    This is a very well-written and easy to read book about complicated aspects of human history. In most cases the author has synthesized good evidence to make insightful conclusions that illuminate important things about human history. But the chapters about sex/gender, women, and the nearly universal history of patriarchy were totally inadequate and unacceptable. First of all, to isolate the issues of the history of half the human race into a few chapters is ridiculous. The details there barely scratch the surface of the depth. The author offers three simple theories why patriarchy has been pervasive, then these chapters conclude essentially in, ‘I’m not sure.’ The only chapters to do so. Even though patriarchy is clearly related to one of the bigger themes of the book: that we humans create myths and imagined orders we enforce in culture. When he deals with racism, or classism, etc., he argues that these are clearly imagined orders, and they reinforce themselves in vicious cycles. And yet, this is not mentioned in the brief discussions of gender, though of course the same vicious cycles of reinforcement are occurring. He looks for biological differences, but then so briefly and inadequately covers them. No real discussion of biology or cultural layers of pregnancy, menstruation, birth control, puberty, labor/birth, breastfeeding, motherhood and fatherhood, the commodification of the female body, not enough about sex and sexuality. These are huge aspects of human history! He should’ve consulted more feminist anthropologists or something to overcome his own myopia. I loved the rest of the book but felt such a huge part was missing. And, as such an authority in the field, bestselling author etc, I feel it was his responsibility to do much better on this issue.
  • Amazing book. Simply amazing!

    By ekheyf
    If you want to learn about our story, our customs, our though process while being wildly entertained, this is the book for you.