Episode 104: Revisiting A Brief History Of Humankind
Here’s a book full of weird, serious questions.
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari is a book that has more ideas per rectangular page than anything I have read in years.
Harari is a historian at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “Sapiens” was published in Hebrew in 2011 and has since been translated into 26 languages. It is a challenging, serious book, and it is a best seller all over the world. I suspect that is because the questions Harari asks are so unlike the traditional ones in history.
Harari isn’t so concerned with the rise and fall of civilizations, wars, great figures and discoveries but with how it all affected or changed the well-being of homo sapiens – not the species as a whole, but the daily lives and contentment of us humans. For example, did the invention of planting actually improve life?
These are weird questions for historians and they are what make “Sapiens” such an incredibly fun, almost mischievous book.
Every once in a while, we like to rerun one of more popular podcasts, and this is one of those occasions. Enjoy listening — or relistening — to the conversation I had with Harari.