LISTENER

Jonathan Frodella

  • 1
  • review
  • 52
  • helpful votes
  • 1
  • rating
  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,285
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,129
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,040

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. 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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Take the Negative Reviews w/ a Grain of Salt

  • By Gabriel on 08-29-18

Promising beginning

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-17

There are a few good points to be taken from this book, mostly that humanity relies on set of intricate stories and fictions in order to survive. The author also mentions several studies that deserve to be explored further (e.g., primates preferring a realistic-looking mother figure rather than a wire frame containing milk), but the book rapidly devolves into a series of grand pronouncements about science, history, and other disciplines without referring to any empirical evidence. Many parts of this book are a chore to get through and feel as though they should be confined to the author’s personal diary. He also fails to convince that hunter-gatherers had it better than we do today, and this is a point he repeats often. The book’s important points could have been set forth in a blog post or a short podcast.

52 of 67 people found this review helpful