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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind [Format Kindle]

Yuval Noah Harari
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"A rare book...thrilling and breathtaking" (Observer)

"I have just read Yuval Noah Harari's book Sapiens. It is brilliant. Most likely the best - and I have read very many - on the history of humankind. I have never read anything better" (Henning Mankell)

"Full of shocking and wondrous stories" (Sunday Times)

"Sapiens is a starburst of a book, as enjoyable as it is stimulating" (Sunday Express)

"Reading it is like having a mental massage, cold shower and brisk workout, and all in the comfort of your own home" (Esther Rantzen Mail on Sunday)

"Provocative, thrilling erudite. One of the year's most talked-about books" (Metro)

"Consistently engaging.Harari writes prose that leaps from the page. His broad sweep, collating philosophy, science, history and economics, creates moments of eyebrow-raising revelation for a reader from any background" (New Statesman)

"Sapiens is a fast-paced, witty and challenging romp through 70,000 years of human history...I did love it, and if you are interested in the whole story of humankind, I'm confident that you will love it too" (Literary Review)

"Harari is able to be as refreshingly clear in his discussions of biology, of evolutionary anthropology and of economics as he is of historical trends. Stick with him and you learn a lot" (Daily Telegraph)

"We usually think that we are an outcome of our personal history, where we grew up, the way our parents educated us, etc. In Sapiens, Harari delves deep into our history as a species to help us understand who we are and what made us this way. An engrossing read." (Dan Ariely, New York Times Bestselling author of Predictably Irrational)

"Harari delivers a boldly synthesized account of Homo sapiens' rise through the hominin ranks...A view of our ascent as nasty, brutish, long - and endlessly fascinating" (Nature)

"Eloquent and wonderfully funny" (i)

"Harari can write. Not in the sense that most authors can...But really, really write, with wit, clarity, elegance and a wonderful eye for metaphor" (The Times)

"This is mega-history of the best sort: sweeping but not simplistic, contemporary but not gimmicky, provocative but not contrarian. Almost everyone will want to argue with one part of this book or another, but working out which part and why will do us all good." (Dr Steven Gunn)

"For its sheer originality and intellectual stimulation, I was captivated by Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens" (Matthew d’Ancona Evening Standard - Books of the Year)

"Probably the most ambitious history book of the year. Certainly the most thought-provoking" (Dan Jones Evening Standard - Books of the Year)

"Ambitious and invigorating" (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express)

"Harari's book is important reading for serious-minded, self-reflective sapiens" (Avi Tuschman Washington Post Sunday)

"Brilliantly done and endlessly fascinating" (Reader's Digest)

"As a writer, Harari is superbly clear. He's also a formidable polymath and a wonderfully elegant thinker... He is a brilliant analyst with a storyteller's gift" (William Leith Evening Standard)

"Vast and intricate... Engaging and informative" (Guardian)

"A thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history" (Jersey Evening Post)

"The book is maddeningly opinionated and insanely ambitious. It is also compulsively readable and impossibly learned. It is one of the best accounts by a Homo sapiens of the unlikely story of our violent, accomplished species" (Michael Gerson Washington Post)

"An enthusiastic and confident narrative that is relentlessly interesting from the first word to the last" (UK Press Syndication)

"The most exciting book I've read this year" (Rory MacLean Geographical)

Présentation de l'éditeur


Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us.

We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens?

In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.

Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind’s extraordinary history – from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age – and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world

‘It tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language. You will love it!’ Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I love it 26 mai 2015
Par weegull
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Super-intéressant pour une vue globale sur l'humanité - autour des themes de l'empire, l'argent, la réligion ... tres informative :-)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  549 commentaires
132 internautes sur 138 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Broad Sweep Of Human History 19 février 2015
Par John D. Cofield - Publié sur
A standard history of the human race begins with Paleolithic proto-humans, traces the development of modern man or homo sapiens sapiens, then chronicles the beginnings and expansions of human civilization from agriculture to the present. Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens follows that path, but with several intriguing twists. The result is a fascinating book which will challenge pre-conceptions and occasionally annoy or even anger the reader, but will always intrigue.

Harari focusses on the three great revolutions of human history: Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific. He asks how "An Animal of No Significance" managed to become the dominant life form, and whether that animal's learning to produce his own food and then to further harness the natural world to his will through science were boons or setbacks, both for that animal and for the rest of the biosphere. In 20 brilliant chapters Harari asks his readers to consider not only what did happen, but what might have occurred had things turned out slightly differently (the roles of chance and accident are given a lot of attention.) He reveals the mutually agreed upon "stories" that helped shape human societies and questions their validity, not to disillusion but to challenge his readers. At times the tone is unavoidably cynical, but at others there's a real optimistic air (leavened by some cautions here and there). I found Harari's ideas fascinating, especially those in his final chapter "The End of Homo Sapiens" and in his brief but important "Afterword: The Animal That Became a God."

Readers who are looking for detailed chronicles listing, for example, the Emperors of China, Kings and Queens of England, or Presidents of the United States should look elsewhere. But readers who want to be challenged and enlightened will find Sapiens a most enjoyable work. I'm a retired AP World History teacher, and while I was reading there were many moments which made me wish I was back in the classroom so I could share Harari's ideas with my high school students. That's high praise indeed, but Sapiens deserves it and much more.
86 internautes sur 96 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Really 3 1/2 Stars 19 mai 2015
Par Tom McCauley - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I'd like to give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could. It is engaging and easy to read, but somewhat flighty and full of broad statements that make it hard to differentiate facts from the author’s opinion. It’s also somewhat contradictory. Some examples:
- Dr. Harari states that the agricultural revolution was a fraud, and that Sapiens (presumably both us and Neanderthals) would have been better off if we had remained hunter-gatherers. He envisions an idillic life for hunter societies and compares that unfavorably to the dreary life of Sapiens down on the farm. However, a few pages later he points out that the extinction of mega fauna immediately followed Sapiens appearance on major continents such as Australia and North America. So hunter-gathers were, at best, living an unsustainable lifestyle and one which, as soon as the mammoths and sloths were all eaten, would lead to starvation. Unless of course, those starving hunters discovered that some grasses were good to eat and that they could grow them on farms!
- He equates the Code of Hammurabi to the Declaration of Independence. But the more correct modern-day equivalent for King Hammurabi’s code (in the U.S. at least) is the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as both documents lay out crimes and punishments. The Declaration of Independence is a statement of principles, or mythos (not myth) within which our founding fathers laid out the basis for separation from Britain.
- He deconstructs that same Declaration, declaring that there is no biological basis for concepts like “inalienable rights”, “liberty”, “created equal” and “pursuit of happiness.” But then a few pages later, he uses those concepts to decry the fate of domesticated animals because they are confined and are bred for human consumption. How is Dr. Harari to know that a chicken, if given a choice, would not prefer a short life free from fear with ample food to one in which it would have to forage in the wild with a wolf or coyote behind every tree?
- Dr. Harari equates social constructs and ideologies with religions, I think in part to be controversial and spark debate. But in explaining the rise of certain religions, he ignores facts that do not conform to his thinking. For example, he indicates that Constantine could have chosen among several monotheistic religions as a state religion for the Roman Empire, and professes that no one can know why Constantine made the choice he did. That ignores Constantine’s “conversion experience” which is documented in early church history.
- In the section titled “Blind Clio” Dr. Harari states that “There is absolutely no proof that human history inevitably improves as history rolls along.” Yet just a few pages later in the “Gilgamesh Project” he spends several pages citing ways in which humankind is better off due to the scientific revolution. Perhaps we are on the cusp of another dark age, but it is hard to imagine that mankind will ever again be living life as in the 12th century. Unless, of course, radical Islamists conquer the world or Sapiens is nearly eradicated by a viral pandemic (as other reviewers have suggested)!
- He correctly attributes (IMHO) capitalism (or perhaps more correctly mercantilism) with the relatively recent rise in living standards; but he lays responsibility for the collapse of the family unit to the industrial revolution which began in the 1850’s. But the collapse of the family, at least in the inner cities of the U.S. is a relatively recent phenomenon, which I believe is more correctly (at least in part) an unintended consequence of the Great Society programs begun in the 1960’s.

Having said all that, I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t like the book. There is much in it to ponder, especially when considering the future of Sapiens. We are indeed on a threshold of a new era, one which no one can predict. I am nearing the end of my lifetime, but my grandchildren will inhabit a world vastly different from that which I knew in the second half of the 20th century. Future societies will have to grapple with inequities in a-mortality; e.g. how to distribute life-prolonging benefits of science; and the obsolescence of human labor as a productive enterprise.
91 internautes sur 103 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Masterpiece! Our myths make us who we are 25 février 2015
Par Gary - Publié sur
This book is a masterpiece. I feel fortunate that I discovered it before most other people. I discovered it by reading an extremely negative review for this book in the Wall Street Journal written by a historian. (In his defense, he just didn't understand that this is not a history book, and he had no idea what Harari is getting at).

This book never stops in challenging my understanding of our place in the universe. What we believe in determines what we want to want. Sapiens are distinguished by our ability to believe in fictions. The cognitive revolutions starts with the first set of hypothetical stories we allow ourselves to believe in whether they are true or not. The real importance is that the family, kin, friends, and community share those beliefs.

Our fictions allow us to cooperate. They gives us the imaginary order that is necessary for societies to act together. Corporations are not people, they do not exist in reality. One can not point to a corporation. It's not the buildings, or the executives or any other physical entities that make the corporation, but it is our belief that makes them real. The author notes that the word for corporation comes from the Latin, corpus, the same as in the body (corpus) of Christ within the transubstantiation.

Religion gives us comfort from the absurd and comforts us to accept death. Science (and its offshoot, technology) does the opposite. It gives us knowledge leading to life extension and makes our time alive more comfortable. The Gilgamesh Project of life extension is a major character is this book.

The myths we create can never be logically consistent without contradictions. Perfect liberty will always conflict with perfect equality. Knowledge about the real world can never be 'universal, necessary, and certain', but we only get glimpses of reality by considering the 'particular, contingent, and probable'. Our myths give us comfort and subjective well being, but they are never without contradictions.

The acceptance of our myths give us our commonality. He'll even say that because of the myths we choose to believe in they determine our progress. When cultures (imaginary orders) collectively know Truth, they have no reason to proceed. Biology enables us, cultures forbid us. The most important words necessary for progress are "I don't know, but I want to find out". He connects Imperialism with Capitalism leading to seeking knowledge (and developing science). Only those who do not believe they know everything need to search.

If I were to have ever written a book (which fortunately for the reading public, I save all my writing only for book reviews!) this is the book I would have written. I believe this will be a classic in the future and am glad I discovered it. The author has written this book to make sure we do everything in our power to understand that the things we believe in will determine who we will be going forward. The myths we choose to believe in will determine what we become.
66 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Absolutely Outstanding 18 janvier 2015
Par David N Miller - Publié sur
A history of mankind, from the earliest hominids through to our evolution into near science fiction.
Beautifully written, easy to read, intelligently argued. Both sides of the debate are provided when something is controversial.
This wonderful book ranges through the development of our early paleolithic ancestors, why sapiens eventually dominated, how settlements and then cities came about, human conflict, and the historical evolution of where we are today. There is also some sage advice on where we are going. Five and a half stars!
76 internautes sur 88 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Much better than Guns, Germs, and Steel 5 février 2015
Par Steve G - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
This is a great book. I found it hard to put down once I started it. Yuval Noah Harari writes with a good sense of humor and some sarcasm. The book is a fascinating look at how society developed through three revolutions: cultural, agricultural, and scientific. The book covers the history of Asia, Europe and the western hemisphere. While it is along the lines of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, I feel that Harari’s conclusions were better grounded than Diamond’s. Although I recommend both books, if you are only going to read one, then I strongly recommend Harari’s.
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