The traditional way of learning history in the classroom has always focused on memorising the dates and events. Yuval Harari’s book will change that forever. Sapiens provides a sweeping history of human race from 40,000 feet. Harari’s observations and insights aren’t merely interesting but highly provocative because they will challenge your deepest and dearest assumptions about this world.
The gentleman who taught us history course in school had a strong baritone voice which was in stark contrast to his fragile-looking structure. The only reason I remember him even today is because his voice still echoes in my head. The endless lectures where he would dictate the historical events and we would ferociously note down every single word. I am sure he knew his subject well but never bothered to convince us why studying history was important.
It wasn’t until 2015 that I learned the importance of history. And the credit goes to Yuval Noah Harari, who not only made a dry subject very interesting with his unique style of humour and penetrating observation but also because he presents convincing arguments about why one should study history. In his book Sapiens, he writes –
Unlike physics or economics, history is not a means for making predictions. We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine. For example, studying how Europeans came to dominate Africans enables us to realise that there is nothing natural or inevitable about the racial hierarchy, and that the world might well be arranged differently.
Sapiens was the best book that I read in 2015. And I am not alone in declaring it as the most important book that every knowledge seeker should read. Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, and Bill Gates have openly and strongly recommended Yuval’s book.
I guarantee that once you read the book, your worldview about the past, present and future will change dramatically. It’s such a rich book that I had to literally stop at every page and marvel at Harari’s jaw-dropping insights.
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