Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari


By Yuval Noah Harari

  • Release Date: 2015-02-10
  • Genre: Life Sciences
Score: 4.5
From 1,563 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.


  • Not What the Synopsis Describes

    By MarkHoustonStrong
    Don’t be fooled by the description of this book. Only the first few pages are historical accounts of the human race. The book rapidly shifts to the author’s perspective on race, sexism, injustices, and ideological positions often absent of facts. By the time you get to the 30% mark in the book, the book is virtually unreadable unless you are expecting a progressive view of humanity as a whole over the last couple hundred years. I return this book for a refund if possible.
  • THE history book

    By robotello
    Mr. Harari has put together the most insightful and amazing history book. Sapiens takes us from our origins in the African savanna, upsetting what I had been taught and understood, to the present day, explaining what allowed us to get to where we are and become who we are. Mr. Harari clearly shows us that the history of humankind has not been a history of a people, but rather a history of ideas. Sapiens should be mandatory reading for anyone belonging to the human race.
  • Superb: A must read.

    By Ojshri
    I am not a vivid reader but got a catch of an imprint of this book at Court Square library in Queens, NY. Like many subway riders, books were my companion in transit. I read it two years back and this review is based on the slightly faded memory. Within the first few pages itself, I found this book so relatable with what we humans are up to and how the things have changed throughout history. And most important how this history can help us prevent future mistakes.
  • Sapient

    By Ace_of_the_Air
    A masterpiece that oscillates between thought provoking and paradigm changer, or even paradigm destroyer. Fundamental reading for the ones seeking to understand what makes us human and why we act the way we do.
  • 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!