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Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind
Lu par : Derek Perkins
Série : Sapiens
Durée : 15 h et 17 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (146 notations)

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Description

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution - a number one international best seller - that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human".

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one - Homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago, with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because, over the last few decades, humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

This provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

©2015 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Sapiens

Notations
Global
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  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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info could be found on internet

Faits variés et intéressants au début , malheureusement entachés par de réguliers partis pris religieux jusqu à trouver des points communs au christianisme et au nazisme. Malheureusement pas assez d audace pour s attaquer au judaisme ou à l Islam. On peut supposer que son enseignement au Jesus college a du le marquer.Plus de recul aurait pourtant été apprécié pour une oeuvre écrite par un historien.
par ailleurs on passe d un sujet à autre trop facilement en énonçant des faits simplistes et beaucoup de suppositions. On comprends que le but est de vendre au plus grand nombre, faire du chiffre. Seuls les sujets historiques sont maîtrisés, pour le reste philosophie, big data ... les données sont fournies comme on pourrait les trouver sur le net avec du vrai comme du faux. Bref cela manque de sérieux. A lire avec beaucoup de recul.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Epic knowledge for mere mortals

A truly epic journey combining history, political, scientific and philosophical insights. Thought-provoking and sobering. Narrated with panache and style, I fully enjoyed this audiobook.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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<br />une analyse de l'humanité avec du recul

ce livre permet de prendre du recul sur le monde et de se rendre compte que notre vision du monde est limitée dans le temps et dans l'espace

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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A lot of talking

I trust that this 15 hours can be a good TED pitch of ten minutes. How sad not a word about viruses :-)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very interesting point of view

Found it inspiring as the author interprets human history in a way to associate biological evolution, social & political changes, tech & science to emotional and psychological complications. A refreshing angle of looking at ourselves. A masterpiece of thoughts.

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Great

It's a fascinating exploration of the history of humankind as well as an interesting insight into the present and future. The performance is excellent. Some areas of the book related to politics and ethics are a little too biased which is why I remove a star for story. That's nitpicking though, it's great.

  • Global
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best book so far and it is a must read

it is a must read , glade that i read it and i recommend it specialy to all humans .

  • Global
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Mind-blowing

Precise, brilliant, necessary. I won't see the world, thw humankind and life in the same way than before. And applauses to Derek Perkins: just perfect, the best reading I could find!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Breathtakingly Insightful

Despite strongly disagreeing with certain beliefs and opinions of the author, it is hard not to feel intimidated by the power of the intellect emanating from the pages of the book. The novel and enlightening ability of the author to take a look over all of history and pluck out trends, themes and meaning is truly inspiring.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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C'est tellement bien que...

La lecture ou l'écoute de ce livre est essentielle pour résumer nos connaissances sur le monde et apprendre d'avantage. Superbe !

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonas Blomberg Ghini
  • 09/12/2019

Fascinating, despite claims of errors

I've listened to this book twice, now (it being the first in my library to get a second complete re-listen), and the stars I gave it a year and a half ago still stand. My thoughts, though, have matured a little. Harari covers mostly social aspects of the human species all the way from our cradle in Africa 200 000 years ago, up till 2014.

I am not learned in the field, and cannot immediately say anything about the accuracy of what Harari writes, and I note several more or less expert reviewers giving Harari flack for sensationalism and errors. As such, perhaps it is good not to take Sapiens as gospel as far as details go.

In a course I followed as part of my PhD in physics, we touched upon how the need for accurate time keeping came about, where my professor suggested the need arose not too long after the black death when scarcity of labour made it more important for skilled craftsmen to keep tabs on how long they actually worked on a given project. Harari suggests accurate time keeping came about in the newly railroaded Great Britain, where accurate scheduling suddenly became important. To be fair, Harari really discusses synchronisation, not accuracy, but the gist of the argument makes it seem like the need for train time tables gave rise to the industry of accurate time pieces. Whether the black death or the trains were more critical, I can't say, but the Swiss began making their famous watches in the 15th century, which is a bit more in line with the black death than with the industrial revolution.

Be that as it may, a potential lack of exact facts seem to me not to detract from a slew of very interesting thoughts on the broader topic.

Three points stick with me;

1) The fraud of agriculture.
I feel Harari paints an unduly romantic picture of the life of a hunter gatherer, saying they had 40 hour work weeks and spent lots of time with their children and telling stories under the stars. It sounds a bit stylised. But, my gut tells me he is on the right track in his condemnation of the agricultural revolution. As humans, we have an incredible inability to look ahead, and Sapiens posits this inability trapped us in a dreadful spiral of growing population and diminishing freedom. At first, it seems like a good idea to spend an extra month in this here spot to tend to some plants that grew really well last year. Take a month and weed a bit, maybe chase off a herd of grazers or whatever, and then continue on the nomad trek. Next year, you will return to loads of tasty fruits/grains/some plant or other. Well, a month turns to two, then the band of foragers suddenly have a couple babies on their hands, and might not easily move for another few months. Now you need a hut, rather than just a lean-to. Before your grumpy grandfather knows it, you're established, and you're farming more than you forage and hunt. And your great grandchildren are two fields over clubbing another farmer to death to take his land. And women are suddenly just baby machines rather than root and berry pickers. And one third of your children die of starvation and diseases from close-quarters living. Oh, and you are about as likely to die of violence as of starvation. Great.

The story Harai weaves simply makes sense to me. We see it time and again; we start doing something that seems great in the moment, but three generations hence, we've no more oil, the atmosphere is turning toxic, and we're hopped up on a cocktail of hormone mimicking chemicals. And the goddam bees are dying. So, for all of Harari's romanticising of hunter gatherer societies, I think he's onto something about how we accidentally fell into becoming farmers, paving the way for slums, kings, and feudal hierarchy.

2) How come European culture became so dominant?
This is an interesting topic that can easily turn into a trashy cultural masturbation contest, but on the whole, I feel Harari navigates it well. Now, I am of both Southern and Northern European descent, so I may just not be sufficiently tuned to pick up on major issues with his arguments. That said, he makes the case that in the 15th century, there were no major technological differences between the largest powers in the world; Europeans, the Ottomans, the Chinese, they were all pretty evenly matched as far as technology went, and it might seem like a surprise that only 200/300 years later, Europe would have such a choke hold around the globe. Harari's suggestion for the key difference is social and philosophical: Europeans were unusually willing to accept ignorance, and unusually interested in filling these gaps in knowledge. European cultures were the first ones in which great swathes of individuals had personal interest in discovering stuff. Of course, in light of our global culture where these kinds of ideals are, well, ideals, this sounds uncomfortably like European cultures are "better". But that isn't what Harari drives at. It simply "is" like this. Meaning also that incredible damage and suffering, past and future, is at the hands of European cultures. Speaking of how things might have been better if some other culture had gained the upper hand the way Europe did is not part of Harari's discussion, but that's fine by me; he is describing history at this point, letting the listener draw any moral conclusions on their own.

3) Empire + Capitalism + Science
As a budding scientist with what I consider pure motivations, I'm no great fan of how science and imperialism has gone hand in hand since the scientific revolution. Yet, here we are. Harari draws a parallel between science and empire building in which he posits a philosophical equivalence; science is about dominion over nature, insofar as large amounts of science is done to bolster our ability to make use of nature for our purposes. And the parts of science not about conquest as such, are still all about us, and our desire to pad the list of things we understand. Perhaps it could not really be otherwise, or, perhaps, it is a consequence of European hegemony, and another culture's approach might have led to science unmarred by ties to economic gains and imperial ambitions.

Some critics from the fields of anthropology and history say Harari lacks originality here, and says he goes a bit rogue in the parts where he provides his own thoughts. This is pretty scathing critique, but also a bit beside the point. I don't think Sapiens is entirely accurate, and I don't think it was meant to be used as the curriculum for a human history course. I think it lays out some sensible arguments about human history that I would not have seen were it not for Harari writing this book, and that is what I expect from a popular science work. I now have a little insight into a field that interests me, and have things to think about.

Well worth a listen!

71 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Blue Zion
  • 22/12/2018

Should be required reading

Part science, part pontification, purely thought provoking. This book may not make you change your life, but it will certainly impact the way you think about your life. I'm not an anthropology wonk, so learning about the evolution of Sapiens was educational for me, and I enjoyed that it was infused with humor to humanize it a bit. The book is also infused with a lot of Harari's own biases on religion, veganism, consumerism - and so forth. I loved this about the book - others might find it irritating.

There is a very long chapter on how our consumerism has been absolutely devastating to the animals we share the planet with. It was difficult to read, and not because it isn't true, but because it made me feel like shit. I don't know that I'll go full on vegan, but I recognize my impact and I am committed to cutting my meat consumption significantly.

The ending is pretty bleak, but we have also innovated our way into a pretty scary crossroads. Which road will we take? Moving on to Homo Deus. This is one of the those books that should be required reading for everyone. I'm going to recommend it to all of my friends. All two of them.

280 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • N.
  • 26/02/2019

First half is fantastic; second half slows down

tl;dr - worth the Audible credit just for the first half, don't feel bad if you stop before finishing the second.

OVERALL - 3/5 ("Pretty Good")
Like others have said, I really enjoyed the first half of the book. It was incredibly interesting learning about the history of the "other sapiens" and what happened to them. I found myself taking a few extra turns on the car before going home just to hear the next bits.

The said, the second half does slow down quite a bit. I didn't take it to be an attack on technology or capitalism as others have suggested but the same points seem to be made over and over. The last few chapters ended up feeling a bit redundant and it took me a lot longer to get through them than normal. They weren't bad, just... not as compelling.

PERFORMANCE - 3/5 ("Pretty Good")
Derek Perkins does a good job with the material, and he's very easy to listen to.

STORY - 3/5 ("Pretty Good")
The first half of the book seems to focus on WHAT happened and the second half seems to focus on WHY it happened. So your mileage may vary depending on what you're more into. I like the historical parts more than the sociological parts so I favored the first half. However, the two are so tightly intertwined I completely understand why he structured the book the way he did. I think the second half could have probably been trimmed down a bit though.

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  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 17/03/2019

A very disappointing read

A very disappointing read... I read/audio a lot of popular nonfiction and this is the one time I've been compelled to post a negative review. Normally I find some positive takeaways from these types of books, but Sapiens is an exception.

The reader will notice a default pessimistic tone in Sapiens, drawing unnecessarily fatalistic conclusions from historical events, theorized historical events, and dogmatic practices of the human existence.

I expected to find a more historical frame in this book as the name would suggest however what is to be found is a very general overview. With most of the "historical" references being obvious speculation. As in what a member of a primitive hunter/gatherer society "might do" on a day to day basis. I find that sheer speculation with absolutely no factual reference or even suggestion of evidence is out of place in a nonfiction book. There is no credibility to such speculation, even in comparison with modern hunter/gatherer societies. As has been pointed out by other critics; hunter/gatherer societies that evolved into agricultural societies were in places of (relatively) high population densities. Thus competition for resources with other hunter/gatherer societies is expected to result in a much less carefree lifestyle than is described by the author. Even in modern hunter/gatherer societies strife, murder and even genocide are common amongst competing tribes. Relatively non serious injuries result in death on a regular basis ex. None of these negative aspects of hunter/gatherers are contrasted to positives in Sapiens. I appreciate that an author will impart their perspective and draw their own conclusions from facts however in the case of Sapiens what we have is almost pure conjecture. Nearly the same historical overview of human evolution can be found in Jarod Diamond's works, specifically 'The third chimpanzee'. Though Jarod Diamond may also use some speculative analysis I find his historical perspective much more compelling. Diamond's accounts much more detailed and more scientifically motivated. Diamond has closely studied and actually lived with hunter/gatherers in New Guinea giving his first hand accounts credibility. Diamond's works are controversial and considered dated at some points. Though I wouldn't agree totally with Diamond's view of history I would highly recommend Diamond's works over Sapiens.

I would go so far as to say Sapiens is not really a historical work but rather a political volume. Yuval Noah Harari goes into depth to describe how abstract concepts such as religion or human rights are "myths". These "myths" or "fictions" are a main foundation of Sapiens. It is contradictory that the author takes a clear moralistic stance throughout Sapiens. I consider Sapiens an ethical/political assessment of the human existence thinly veiled as scientific.

In summation you will not find any interesting historical conclusions or philosophy that is unque to Yuval Noah Harari in Sapiens. What you will find is a nihilistic regurgitation of several contemporary works, each paraphrased by the author then dredged into his condescending moral frame, and painted over with historical speculation.

45 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gabriel
  • 29/08/2018

Take the Negative Reviews w/ a Grain of Salt

Before I decided to get this, I’ve seen a lot of recent Audible reviews come at this book with the same criticism “I like the first half when it’s about Homo sapiens, but the second half is all opinion and no proof!” Having listened to it, it’s pretty clear where the criticism comes from. The entire book gives the exact same framework and from the exact same viewpoint, and both the first and second half of this book give the same amount of proofs and studies to back up observations and claims, I think most people seem to have a problem with the fact that the second half of the book is deeply critical of The Enlightenment and the “science” that came with it, Classical Liberalism, Individualism and Capitalism and talks about these ideologies the same way one would observe ancient religions. He talks how these have gone against human biological interest and observed how it’s only natural that these have led to a new, consumerist society and mass alienation. I think it just goes to show a lot of folks are deeply attached to capitalism and Neoliberalism. That aside, this is a great book. It really made me learn a lot, and even with the stuff it told me that I already knew, what’s most crucial is that this book gives a proper framework for understanding humans and human institutions and how they were formed.

515 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 17/04/2019

One sided and out of date

Much of the information in this book, including the first third, is either wrong or highly controversial. For example, the land bridge migration theory is mostly debunked at this point as geological evidence for the gap between the glaciers is lacking and there is no evidence that the gap would even have been habitable anyway. Now it is thought more likely that humans traveled by boat along the pacific coast. However, this too is debatable, but my point is that the author dose not mention competing theories or the weaknesses in his favorite theories. Then he goes on to make wild conjectures about and make moral judgments of historical shifts of the kind that he condemns earlier in the book! Furthermore, this book, which is supposed to be about the history of homo-sapiens just glosses over hundreds of thousands of years of history, for history book this is an odd approach. All in all, the book feels like an authors attempt to just vent about his opinions, which is valid, but just be aware that this book is light on science and heavy on moral judgment.

21 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Thielen
  • 11/09/2017

Expands upon the book Guns, Germs, and Steel

The first half dove into human history quiet nice and thorough. Once Sapiens are introduced into history, then the writing bounces around history a bunch. I found myself asking why certain parts of history were not mentioned or glossed over while others were intensely focused. Why so much focus on the American Revolution and barely any mention of empires and wars such as WWII? I also was curious why there wasn't any mention of the Israeli Palestinian conflict while other countries conflicts were brought up.
The economic subjects around money and statistics and commerce were fascinating. This gave a great background of today's commerce in historical terms easily understood.
The last few chapters were enlightening in where we are heading and a subject I find myself in conversations with others.

116 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam A. Havens
  • 09/09/2017

Life changing

I guess this is what it feels like to have a religious awakening, which is ironic given the contents of the book. The way this book describes humans from such a distant vantage point really forces you to acknowledge the objective reality that we are all just animals, doing strange things, believing even stranger things, for our brief lives.

One example of how this book has changed me: I've taken antidepressants for a long tube, but always felt guilty: like if I just understood myself and my world better, I wouldn't need that crutch. I don't feel that way anymore. Read the book and you'll understand why.

It's a tired analogy, but it's like The Matrix. I'm suddenly aware of these major aspects of my reality that I was just ignoring before... Or, more than ignoring, they just weren't something I could see.

Read this. The narrator is great. The content is great. The writing is great.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • juancharango
  • 07/12/2017

Fun, provocative, but too sweeping and speculative

Loved the amusing new perspectives on history and our future. But sometimes it felt more like a speculative conversation with a smart friend at the bar than a well researched and balanced analysis.

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sierra Bravo
  • 15/03/2018

Many interesting things but beware

This book contains many interesting facts and scientific theories and the early section on the evolution of man is quite interesting. What struck me most about the book is that in the early part where the author is most qualified he is very careful to note what is theory and alternate theory but later in the book when is offering his opinion on a number of things (such as how research monies are allocated) he presents his opinions as fact. The first third of the book is well worth the read (or listen) but the last two thirds is simply the author's opinion on a host of things presented as fact. Opposing view points are NOT included or even mentioned. The arrogance of this tends to come thru in spades. Got 80% of the way thru the book and just could not take it anymore. In 15+ years of audible over 360 books this is only the third I have not finished. Read the first third and save your time for something better.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deniz
  • 03/11/2017

Challenging the way we view our past and future

this book was one of the most fascinating writings i ever experienced, it changed my view on history as well as the Future.
Many thought provoking comments and ideas.
All humans have to face those questions

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simi
  • 19/08/2018

A must-listener!

Very original, honest and convincing view on the history of mankind is given in this book. I like the way happiness is included into the discussion.
The quite complex content is discussed suprisingly simple and with amusing humor, which the narrator expresses perfectly well.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • DrEcon
  • 02/06/2019

Reductionist

More than an intro into the state of research, it appears at times as a collection of fears and half truths. Like a philosophical discussion with knowledable friends from college, but way too late into the night.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CB
  • 21/07/2018

Must read / hear

This book should be mandatory reading for any human being on this planet. Maybe we will then have a chance for a better planet.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikola Kos
  • 18/07/2018

A really good book.

Although have read way over 1.000 books in my life, especially scientifical and popular scientific books, this books might very well be one of the best I've ever "read". Also, i recommend highly the next book, "Homo Deus" from Harari.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T.Süß
  • 06/06/2018

Herausragend gut und gleichzeitig beängstigend

Sehr gutes Hörbuch, welches zum Nachdenken anregt, auf Basis der bisherigen Menschheitsgeschichte. Nur zu empfehlen.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reader
  • 13/05/2018

Great insight into humanity, captivating!

Thought-provoking analysis of a humankind, 15h went swiftly and I wanted only more!
It was definitely a great journey.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 05/08/2020

This book is amazing! The Bible of the atheist

this book is amazing from start to finish. It encompasses the history of mankind, science, psychology, Evolution, and even an insight into the future.

this book must have taken so much research to write. It blew my mind even more than Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K-ReineOC
  • 31/07/2020

An optimistic analysis

The book can partially give confidence and hope to our human race. A great book.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Davide Tierno
  • 24/06/2020

A book that must be read

Even though you may not agree 100% with the underlying philosophy of the book, Sapiens is very accurate in enumerating facts and numbers, providing meaningful thoughts for the brain. The author certainly uses a somber tone than Pinkerton (thanks God!) thus providing a more realistic understanding of history.