The first of Yuval Noah Harari’s two best-selling books on the evolution of human society Sapiens, just like the book that follows it, Homo Deus (review coming soon), is a must-read for anyone interested in history or futurism.
Sapiens tackles the same issues covered by Jared Diamond’s (excellent) Guns, Germs and Steel, and Niall Ferguson’s Civilisation, a History of the West and the Rest (also bloody brilliant), but through a different, even more pessimistic lens.
Harari’s obvious despair at humanity’s trajectory radiates through the pages. While I do not agree with everything he writes, Sapiens is full of eye-opening insights that will challenge a lot of things you thought you knew about the history of mankind, the way the world works and why the world works the way it does.
Sapiens is one of those books everyone important in the world of ideas and policy seems to have read and recommended. You will be well-advised to do the same, if you have not done so already, if only to get a glimpse into the way today’s thought leaders think.