Yuval Noah Harari
Since I have started to expand my reading from only fiction to other geners, I have realized if written well you can actually enjoy almost anything. Sapiens has been sitting on our bookshelf for long. Finally I mustered up the courage to give it a try. To be honest I was not very confident about this read but let me tell you i was wrong. The book hooked me up from the very begining.
The book is about the evolution of Humans (homo-sapiens). Writer gives references of scientific research throughout. Though the content is research based but its conveyed to the reader in a very informal easy to understand way. The flow is very smooth one stage transits into the other and you ride along the sail of history. There are pictorial references which also help to make it all real. Its fascinating to read what was it like billions of years ago. How humans evolved socially emotionally and financially.
The things we take as granted or insignificant actually went through a whole cycle of evolution. The writer keeps associating the ancient habits to our present day and its astonishing to know somethings remain constant. For example gossip. It was a great tool in ancient world to bind individuals together and it still is although medium have modernized.
Common myths were the basis of founding communities and cities . Ancient foragers were the most knowledgeable and skillfull people in history. Why? Because one person had to have command on a a number of skills to survive there was no concept of specialization back then. Their quality of life was rich too they had time to gossip, tell tales and play or just hang out.
Evidence from fossilised skeletons indicates that ancient foragers were less likely to suffer from starvation or malnutrition , and were generally taller and healthier than their descendants. They also suffered less from infectious diseases. All these have led many experts to define pre – agricultural foragers societies as the ‘origional affluent societies’. Development of language and scripts was a fascinating read. The symbols that they used to store information the invent of numeral system. All these things that we take for granted as if they have been here all along but the stories behind them you will find in this book. There were small worlds scattered through out face of the earth who were oblivious to the presence of others.
Book is divided into parts and next comes the agricultural evolution. How it came about and what changes it brought with it. The unification of Humankind. Voyages in seas and on lands the emergence of empires . How religion binds them together. Then the Scientific revolution. Capitalism , industrialism then and now.
All in all its such a fascinating book that it kept me interested throughout. I would totally recommend it.
Critical Analysis by Sidra Javed
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