By: Supriya Khadka
We, humans, have been ruling this world for some time now. We have gone through disasters, wars, plagues and are still fighting to survive. It won’t be wrong to say that we have a, well, ginormous history. Every one of us must have thought, at one time or another, about how we got to this stage. Now, it is not possible to take in or comprehend all that knowledge at once. So for this week, I have a book which will let you peek into that past. ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ written by Yuval Noah Harari will help you traverse human history, from the very first humans to walk the Earth to the breakthroughs of various revolutions. One thing that I would like to address up front is that the book is 443 pages long. But trust me, every single page is worth your time.
‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ is for anyone curious about why things are like they are today. It tries to answer many questions about life, about evolution, about the British colonial empire, about the gender-based and racial disparities, about the pursuit of freedom and happiness, and the list goes on. The book talks about the cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolution with facts and references, but none of this feels boring. The writing makes you feel like you are sitting through a movie and the events mentioned are the scenes on the screen. For the readers who find hardcore facts rather boring, the book offers logical reasoning for various events and why they happened in that way and not any other way. And, mind you, Harari will not be throwing facts at you like a book of general knowledge. He explores the options slowly, makes sure that the reader absorbs the information accordingly, and provides pictures to ignite your imaginations. So, you need not worry about getting bored.
Curiously enough, this book about human history also provides us with a perspective on life. You don’t even have to read the book to know the situation we are in. We can observe on our own what we've done to ourselves, our fellow humans, other lifeforms and to the Earth itself. The book will make you take a hard look at yourself and what your priorities have been and will be. As a human being, it is our responsibility to know how we got here, and how we can make things better. The book will surely help with the former, but the latter is in our hands.
If you do decide to give the book a try, I should tell you that the writer has taken some liberty in expressing his opinions. You might not agree with all of them; I hadn’t. But you will surely enjoy reading them. One thing that the book has highlighted many times is that Homo sapiens is always in the search for more knowledge, and this book is a sea of knowledge. So, what are you waiting for? Another revolution?
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