Some of the smartest minds of this stage of human evolution—including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former President Barack Obama and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg—have some words of advice. About a specific book.
They all recommend everyone read the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
Written in 2015, the book traces the evolution of humans — from the rise of our most ancient ancestors to our current place in modern society. Harai, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializes in world and military history. Sapiens has become an international best seller and it has been translated in 26 languages.
What inside the covers has resonated with such an impressive fanbase?
The book dives into the factors that have led to the state of humanity today, from the development of language to the creation of money. Harai looks back at when humans first appeared 2.5 million years ago in East Africa, evolving from a genus of great apes. Three-hundred thousand years later, modern humans, or Homo sapiens, first appeared and prospered where other off-shoots did not. Harai examines different theories why.
He digs into the unique brain structure of Homo sapiens, which allowed them to outlive their rivals. The book also looks at the development of language. Homo sapiens are social creatures, and we live in communities. Language allows information to flow between individuals and their community, and important lessons can be shared.
Everything that led up to the point where a reader picks up the book with his or her opposable thumbs.
This article was featured in the InsideHook newsletter. Sign up now.