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


Thought provoking with missed details4 star

Great overview. Missed some details but thought provoking45

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Enlightening5 star

Good explanation of how we ended up here.55


The Human Condition5 star

If you yearn to have a better understanding of the human condition, Sapiens is a must read.55


Amazing5 star

Brilliant book.55


Why do the black savages breathe so much better than us civilized whites1 star

Stopped reading after he quoted a Dr. that referred to blacks as savages. Can’t believe the New York Times best seller critics thought nothing of that.15


Great Read5 star

Best book in history55

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Decent breakdown,bad research.3 star

A decent read on one views but there are more factual errors than actual facts. There are many things out of context to further his viewpoint on certain matters.35


Some chapters incomplete, otherwise great4 star

Well written. Makes me think. Formatting seems to have truncated some chapters.45


Sapiens5 star

Enlightening and well scribed. Would enjoy a conversation with the author!55

Mental Provocation

A deeply thought provoking book5 star

What I love about Sapiens is it’s context and perspective it equips you with. I feel as though once you finish this book it will be impossible for you to look at not just humans, but religion, government, money, industry and many others aspects of life in a fundamentally different way.55

Other Books by Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus


Homo Deus
4.5     493

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