The world has already written much about this book “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. From Bill gates to Barack Obama everyone seems to be liking it.
It has been in bestseller list for three years now and the sequel to the book also got released. I got a chance to buy this recently when I walked up to a bookshop where the people running it were so enthusiastic about recommending it to me. I can never ignore such recommendations. So managed to buy it and read it over the last weeks. It is an ambitious book in its scope to write the history of Homo Sapiens in 440 pages. The books core strength is it has a theory about it in understanding the human history, and this is the framework through which human history is studied. The author looks at human species from such heights where in our industrial revolution even the agriculture revolution is still in its infancy. The verdict is still out on these drastic changes that happened in our lives over the period of human existence. For most time in our history, we managed to remain as insignificant species living in subsistence level hunter-gatherer societies. Had anyone predicted in our early days that this insignificant species which named itself sapiens(we are known for humility :)) would go on to dominate the earth in such ways, even the most optimistic would not have believed it.
So what made us so dominant and evolve into what we are today.
It is these fundamental answers that this book wants to capture in a manner more accessible manner. No wonder that this book is highly inspired by Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarred Diamond which is a similar book trying to answer why the European Asian Societies evolved to dominate other continents and not the other way around. These books do have serious lacunae as there will always be people who find it too simplistic in writing. But we just need to live with this limitation and look at the perspective this book offers which makes us wonder and imagine this journey in its fullest. It makes us raise questions and move forward to understand things in much more detail than what this books.
The book also has such sections where we keep wondering that journey and the path human race has travelled in these years. This sense of marvel and wonder that unravels in each page of this book which makes reading such joyful experience.
I am not interested in writing about specific sections of the book so much but want people to go for this book.