2 Minute Book Review: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
In this video, we're reviewing Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, a million copy bestseller.
Let me start by saying this is not a book for faint-hearted snowflakes who are easily offended or unable to deal with opposing opinions. This is a heavy read, but my favorite thing about this book, is the questions it poses. Questions that will stop you in your tracks.
What makes human beings brilliant? What makes us deadly? How did we get to where we are today? Earth is 4.5 billion years old and this book gives you a perspective that will shape how you perceive whats going on in the world today.
In this quick book review, I'm going to give you my insights in three specific areas; how actionable is it, how relevant is it right now, and will it get you results. So today, we’re reviewing Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, a million-copy bestseller. Yuval is a historian, a philosopher, and a provocative writer, who regularly discusses global issues with heads of state. And let me start by saying, this is not a book for faint-hearted snowflakes, who are easily offended or unable to deal with opposing opinions. My review category is also scored lower here because whilst it's a powerful book that challenges thinking and stimulates ideas, it's not a book that's going to tell you how to get better at life. This is a heavy read, but my favourite thing about this book is the questions it poses, questions that will literally stop you in your tracks. What makes human beings brilliant? What makes us deadly? And how did we get to where we are today? Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and this book gives you a perspective that will shape how you perceive what's going on in the world today. Yuval tells us that the last 500 years have witnessed a breathtaking series of revolutions. The economy has grown exponentially, and humankind enjoys the kind of wealth that used to be the stuff of fairy tales. He goes on to say that science and the Industrial Revolution, have given us superhuman powers, and actually, practically limitless energy, but he asked the question, are we happier? Are we more content? And is the world a better place to live in? So, is it actionable? I scored this book 4/10 here. It's massively thought-provoking, it's bold, it's provocative, but it wasn't written to be actionable. That said, for those who find themselves questioning what's going on in the world right now from Black Lives Matter to financial markets and more, this is a real eye opener. Is it relevant? 10/10 here. The best way to understand the present is to look to the past to understand how human behaviour, chance, and other factors have influenced how we ended up where we are today. As we walk relatively blindly through the world-changing COVID-19 pandemic, the decisions that we make today will impact us for decades to come. Our descendants will probably look back and wonder, "What on earth were we doing?" much like we're doing when we pay back through the centuries. Finally, will it get you results? Again, 4/10 here. Now, this comes with a caveat that it really does depend on what you hope to get from the book. Some will love it, some will take great offense to it, some will wonder, "How on earth individual humans have been able to convince millions of others of the existence of things that don't really exist?" Others will feel conflicted by these same myths, that have allowed human beings to cooperate flexibly in large numbers, unlike any other species on Earth. And that's why we rule the world after all, or is it? Have you read Sapiens or Yuval's other books such as Homo Deus, for example? Are you a fan or is he talking absolute rubbish, in your opinion? Comment below, let me know what you think. Have an awesome day people.