Sapiens Summary

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.

Book Reviews


Great book.5 star

Great for anyone who is trying to understand how we got here from an evolutionary perspective. I enjoyed it.55


Great but5 star

There are some part need justification and elaboration. This come off so much personal viewpoint of an author. Even though it make sense55


Too much authors opinion presented as fact2 star

Earlier on I could see that the author was presenting his version and interpretation of the history, as opposed to actually presenting anything new or factual.25

I Rarely Rate

Sapiens addresses some final points5 star

This book helped to better understand, clarify and articulate my view on the (non) existence of a soul, of the precious wonder of our brains. His writing is like a magic mushroom in terms of getting us to think outside the box and with an historical perspective. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.55

Geno Leser

A must4 star

Want to be literate in the humanities? Want the capsule version of man’s history? Get this book.45


In Two Words, Marvelous, Marvelous5 star

This may be one of the most important books I have ever read. It is not for the closed minded, but a book that makes one understand what being a human paradoxically implies, from the magnificent things our evolved creative brain can do to the very damage that same intellect inflicts upon ourselves and our world.55

Flash Bunny

Amazing Summary of History5 star

A great recap of the last 70,000 years of human history. Through our story, the author also describes how abstract concepts like money, religion, society, and work have been developed and ingrained into our psyche. I love the author’s writing style and sense of humor. A must read for anyone and everyone.55


Not What the Synopsis Describes1 star

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.15


THE history book5 star

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.55


Superb: A must read.5 star

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.55

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