Common section

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

New York Times Bestseller

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.

Timeline of History

Part One: The Cognitive Revolution

Chapter 1. An Animal of No Significance

Skeletons in the Closet

The Cost of Thinking

A Race of Cooks

Our Brothers’ Keepers

Chaper 2. The Tree of Knowledge

The Legend of Peugeot

Bypassing the Genome

History and Biology

Chapter 3. A Day in the Life of Adam and Eve

The Original Affluent Society

Talking Ghosts

Peace or War?

The Curtain of Silence

Chaper 4. The Flood

Guilty as Charged

The End of Sloth

Noah’s Ark

Part Two: The Agricultural Revolution

Chapter 5. History’s Biggest Fraud

The Luxury Trap

Divine Intervention

Victims of the Revolution

Chapter 6. Building Pyramids

The Coming of the Future

An Imagined Order

True Believers

The Prison Walls

Chapter 7. Memory Overload

Signed, Kushim

The Wonders of Bureaucracy

The Language of Numbers

Chapter 8. There is No Justice in History

The Vicious Circle

Purity in America

He and She

Sex and Gender

What’s So Good About Men?

Muscle Power

The Scum of Society

Patriarchal Genes

Part Three: The Unification of Humankind

Chapter 9. The Arrow of History

The Spy Satellite

The Global Vision

Chapter 10. The Scent of Money

How Much is It?

Shells and Cigarettes

How Does Money Work?

The Gospel of Gold

The Price of Money

Chapter 11. Imperial Visions

What is an Empire?

Evil Empires?

It’s for Your Own Good

When They Become Us

Good Guys and Bad Guys in History

The New Global Empire

Chapter 12. The Law of Religion

Silencing the Lambs

The Benefits of Idolatry

God is One

The Battle of Good and Evil

The Law of Nature

The Worship of Man

Humanist Religions – Religions that Worship Humanity

Chapter 13. The Secret of Success - 1. The Hindsight Fallacy

2. Blind Clio

Part Four: The Scientific Revolution

Chapter 14. The Discovery of Ignorance


The Scientific Dogma

Knowledge is Power

The Ideal of Progress

The Gilgamesh Project

The Sugar Daddy of Science

Chapter 15. The Marriage of Science and Empire

Why Europe?

The Mentality of Conquest

Empty Maps

Invasion from Outer Space

Rare Spiders and Forgotten Scripts

Chapter 16. The Capitalist Creed

A Growing Pie

Columbus Searches for an Investor

In the Name of Capital

The Cult of the Free Market

The Capitalist Hell

Chapter 17. The Wheels of Industry

The Secret in the Kitchen

An Ocean of Energy

Life on the Conveyor Belt

The Age of Shopping

Chapter 18. A Permanent Revolution

Modern Time

The Collapse of the Family and the Community

Imagined Communities

Perpetuum Mobile

Peace in Our Time

Imperial Retirement

Pax Atomica

Chapter 19. And They Lived Happily Ever After

Counting Happiness

Chemical Happiness

The Meaning of Life

Know Thyself

Chapter 20. The End of Homo Sapiens

Of Mice and Men

The Return of the Neanderthals

Bionic Life

Another Life

The Singularity

The Frankenstein Prophecy

Afterword: The Animal that Became a God


Acknowledgements - Image credits

You can support our site by clicking on this link and watching the advertisement.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!