Sapiens Book Review – A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The book Sapiens sitting on a wood coffee table

Book Review, Highlights, and Quotes from Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

AR’s Sapiens Review

Wow. Holy sh*t. This book just blew my mind.

What Harari has done in Sapiens is simply a piece of art that could not be replicated. It is no wonder that Bill Gates and Barack Obama gloss the front and back covers.

Sapiens covers everything from the rise of Homo Sapiens as the dominant and only Human species left standing to our agricultural roots, from the building of empires to grave concerns about the future of Humanity.

Harari splits the book into four parts:

  • Part One: The Cognitive Revolution
  • Part Two: The Agricultural Revolution
  • Part Three: The Unification of Humankind
  • Part Four: The Scientific Revolution

All four parts had equal impact and kept me entertained, informed and mind blown all throughout.

It sounds like a lot, and it is — but Harari’s writing style is crisp and clean. You are sitting on the edge of your seat, as Harari weaves a history, biology, religion and economics lesson all into one amazing read.

It is both informative and thought provoking.

AR’s Book Score: 10 out of 10

Key book highlights from Sapiens:

Sapiens offers a fresh perspective on the human condition and will cover a variety of topics:

  • In-depth topics
    • The rise of Homo Sapiens (and the extinction of other human species)
    • Religion
    • Money/Economics
    • Capitalism
    • Science & Empire
    • Modern Culture
    • Prospects for the future

But more importantly, Sapiens asks/answers the following questions:

  • Why did Homo Sapiens overtake the other Human species?
  • Why are humans the way we are?
  • What are the big takeaways from human history?
  • Are humans any happier today than 70,000 years ago?
  • Where are humans going in the future?

Best Quotes from Sapiens:

We are used to thinking about ourselves as the only humans, because for the last 10,000 years our species has indeed been the only human species around. Yet the real meaning of the word human is ‘an animal belonging to the genud Homo’, and there used to be many other species of this genus besides Homo Sapiens.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any cultural gap, and that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age or sexual orientation

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

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1 comment

  1. Hi AR,
    Thanks for including quotes. They definitely got me thinking! I’ve heard lots of great things about this book in addition to your great review! Cheers, Dragon Gal

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